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The Great Outdoors

arcata bless my soul cafe By Nieves cafe mokka ferndale fortuna humboldt county Lost Coast Petrolia the redwood forest the victorian inn

John and I wanted to go to Yellowstone for one last hurrah before the holiday season puts me on lock, but we decided to take two smaller trips instead.  Our first trip - the Redwoods! I love that part of California. I wanted to stay at the super cute Miranda Gardens Resort, but there was a marathon in town that weekend and they were completely sold out. So we stayed at the clean, but not-much-personality Comfort Inn in Fortuna.

Our first stop in Humboldt County was dinner at the delicious Bless My Soul Cafe in Eureka. Bless My Soul is a soul food restaurant specializing in Creole cuisine - it is insanely delicious, and a place I make a point to go to every time I'm in town. We had hush puppies, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Scrumptious. Plus, we had the added bonus that night of meeting Mama Janisse, the owner and chef of Bless My Soul - she went to every table and made sure we were all being taken care of. Her daughter is one of the waitresses there, and remembered us from when we'd eaten there almost a year before. I love Bless My Soul. Be sure to check it out if you're ever up north!


Next, we went to Cafe Mokka in Arcata  - Cafe Mokka is a super tiny, incredibly cozy coffee shop in front, and beautiful traditional Finnish sauna and hot tubs in the back. We reserved an hour in one of the private hot tubs, which was the perfect ending to our long day of driving and scrumptious food eating.

On Saturday we started our day with a great breakfast at the Victorian Inn in nearby Ferndale.


Then, we embarked on a drive which I think is one of the most beautiful I've ever been on - taking the road from Ferndale to Petrolia. 

(the sign says Capetown-Petrolia)


I first made this drive upon the recommendation of my friend John, who knows I like pretty drives. This one is spectacular! Petrolia (so named because it is the site of the first oil well drilled in California) is a tiny town in the Mattole Valley, part of the Lost Coast which is the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the US. It is truly spectacular - I too was busy driving and having my eyes filled up with beauty to take many pictures, but we did stop to say hello to some cows along the way. This is after they ran away from us:

It was just about to rain that day, which made it even more dreamy and beautiful there than usual:


These pictures capture maybe 10% of the beauty and drama. Just truly breathtaking and heart-filling. Petrolia has been home to authors, artists and makers of all sorts over the years, and its the current home of my favorite body care company, By Nieves. I made a point to stop at the Petrolia General Store and pick up a bottle of her Cloud of Protection spray. 


Mattole Road leads southeast out of Petrolia - another lovely drive, which takes you directly in to The Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I felt there the way I imagine religious people feel in a cathedral - that it is a sacred space, an ancient place, a place of comfort and safety. 

John in front of a fallen tree (John is 6'1")


Overall, this was a beautiful, recharging trip. Thanks for sharing a small part of it with me!




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