Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Trinidad, Patrick’s Point State Park, and Lots of Blackberries in California

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Our visit to Patrick’s Point and the Trinidad area was most notable for it’s amazing blackberries. I’ll get to details there, but first, let’s talk about fun on north coast beaches.

When We Visited: August 10-14, 2014

Ages of Kids: 8, 6, 4

Where We Stayed: 4 Nights at Sounds of the Sea RV Park, 1 Night at Trinidad Head State Park

Our general policy is to not make reservations ahead of time (more freedom that way), so we were unable to spend much time at Patrick’s Point State park itself as it was booked pretty solid. We opted instead for a commercial RV park that came recommended by a few fellow travelers. Sounds of the Sea RV Park is nice and conveniently located between Trinidad and the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park for exploring (the wifi was even really great, which saved us from a severe lack of Verizon during our stay there).

After getting settled and eating dinner our first night, we walked to Palmer’s Point (inside Patrick’s Point State Park) for a short wander and some tide pool exploration. The stairs down to the tide pools were nice on the way down, and gave us quite a workout on the way back up. Cara wore her buzzwings on the hike which always makes us happy. Lately, she hasn’t been wearing her wings as much, perhaps as a sign she’s growing up?  At some point she will be done wearing them completely, but until then, we’ll take the wings whenever they make an appearance.

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Our love of tide pool exploration started in San Diego last spring, and we have enjoyed discovering and exploring the variety of pools we’ve had the chance to visit. Mostly we’ve learned to be patient and to look carefully. It seems that we find a lot of anemones, and occasionally luck out with a seastar or some crabs.

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The next evening, we decided to hike to the top of Trinidad Head. We’d heard from some friends that the view was pretty stellar. Parking at the south end of Trinidad State Beach, we piled out of the truck to start our hike up on the Head. On a whim, we first took a peak at the beach and the fog rolling in led to some immediate photos for a few minutes before our hike. Though the fog limited our views later on, it made for fantastic photos down below.

If you don’t believe that it actually looked that awesome, consider the behind the scenes picture below, taken with a totally different camera. When Jess wants the kids to run, she’ll often yell “Come get me!” and this time, they really did. They piled right on.

Our hike on the Head itself was pleasant, but not particularly scenic. The vegetation is thick enough that much of the trail is cut through tall thick bushes, only opening to the views here and there at a viewpoint. The aforementioned fog did an excellent job masking any views there, so we mostly had a great hike with an ocean soundtrack. We found out later there’s an EdVentures Quest patch you can earn on this hike and were tempted to hike it again JUST for the patch (and maybe a clear view?) but didn’t make it enough of a priority in the time we had. There’s always next time.

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Okay, on to the blackberries. Here we go. For those of you that live in Oregon, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” But for us, walking down the side of the road picking as many as we can and shoving them in our faces is a treat. I can only imagine what we looked like to people driving by.

In addition to All-You-Can-Eat Roadside blackberries, right behind the Airstream and along nearly every walkway and border in the RV Park, were huge patches of blackberries. We picked and ate, and picked and ate some more. Finally, Jess got the idea to actually make something out of them and googled up some dessert recipes. During our several days there, we made two blackberry crisp style desserts and some fresh blackberry pancake syrup. There was something very surreal about eating a dish that was picked 10 feet to your left and baked 5 feet to your right. Hyper-local dessert! Yum!

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By carefully watching the online reservation system, Jess was able to snag us a one night stay at Patrick’s Point State Park Thursday night before we left town. One night wasn’t much, but it did get us into the park and gave us easy access to the activities there.

While we were in Patricks Point, we met up with Shelley Beinsfield and her kids. Jess had met them at Prairie Creek State Park a few days earlier while working on Jr. Ranger Badges with the kids. They were in town for the summer and  visiting as many as the state parks as possible to earn the EdVenture Quest Patches. We joined them in Arcata for a swim at the public pool Tuesday night, and they joined us on our first day at the State Park for a hike. It was a blast having so many little hikers to entertain each other. We worked our activity books for their patches and enjoyed some clear views of the ocean and landscape.

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Just down the hill from our campsite was agate beach, known for the ease of finding the beautiful clear stones polished by sand and sea. During our last morning, we walked down the hill to the beach to explore despite the foggy, slightly wet weather. We found plenty of beautiful rocks there, but none of them were actually agates (don’t tell the kids!). We had a fabulous time anyway enjoying the fog wrapped coastline.

Trinidad_49Patrick’s Point & Trinidad was a wonderful stop on our travels. It was an excellent break from the summer heat, and I loved having so much fog around. We had hoped that as we traveled north, our blackberry bliss would continue. We did have some more blackberries, but Patrick’s Point and the Sounds of the Sea RV Park turned out to be the highlight of our berry enjoyment.

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