I love kitsch. I love American sub-culture. I think that’s why I might love RVing (its too early to tell). The combination of roadside attractions and the RV Park experience may prove to be sociologically fascinating.
Today we left Coos Bay for a long drive. We got a late start because we were busy trying to figure out how to dump our black and grey water for the first time…and drain this stale fresh water and sanitize our tank. It wasn’t to complicated but it got us out of the gate late knowing we had an 8.5 hour drive today and wanted to stop at a few key roadside attractions: Prehistoric Gardens and the Trees of Mystery. But first we had a scenic drive down 101 and the majestic Pacific Coast.
Prehistoric Gardens. Tawny and I came here once on a drive down the coast. We wanted the kids to have a similar experience. The prices have gone up, but they’ve done well in preserving and restoring many of the dinosaurs, and even adding a few new ones. One of my favorite roadside attractions.
From there we drove into California and to the Trees of Mystery – a perennial favorite. Every time we drive down 101 we always stop here. They’ve added a few new attractions with a Sky Trail (Gondola ride) that takes you over the tree canopy. It wasn’t really worth the wait, but its nice to see them investing in this roadside attraction that dates back to the early 60s. A must see.
From the Trees of Mystery (which we finished at 4pm) we realized we still had a 4.5 hour drive on to the Willits KOA where we had made a non-refundable deposit (note to self – check the distance of the campground you reserve before you reserve it). So we drove and drove and drove and drove …and when we were within 15 miles of Willits, CA we were flagged down by a first responder. There had been an accident ahead that had closed 101 (a lumber truck had overturned) and it might be awhile before we could continue, especially because we were in a trailer and the room to get past the wreckage was small.
However, as they started to let cars through we nudge our way into the queue to a shrug and frown of a CHiP but were just able to squeeze ourselves through the wreckage and arrive at the Willits KOA just as everything was closing. Willits KOA Review: Curt. Slightly Rude. Contrived and sterile. Not sure I’d recommend or return. We’ll be heading out early tomorrow morning before the petting zoo and pool open and heading to Big Sur.
Day 2: 358 Miles
Gas: 2.5 Tanks
Fuel Economy: 11 MPG
Average Price: $4.00 a gallon in Oregon, $4.39 in CA!