Usal Beach and Usal Road:
Our camping trip started with fog on the first day at the coast.
This is right at Usal beach - in the Sinkyone wilderness area.
We've been told that there are possibilities of 'rogue waves' that will crash onto the beach. I suppose as with all things in nature, one should always keep an eye out for the unexpected. Having visited the south coast of W. Australia where we have 'King Waves' as they are called there - I've always had a healthy regard for the ocean and keep an eye out. I certainly wouldn't camp on the beach at night. But hey - this is California - I'm more scared of the traffic ;-)
The next day the sun decided to come out and that's the way it stayed for the rest of the trip. Here our two little guys are playing at the beach - black sands.
Our 4 yr old and myself went for a bit of a hike up the coast from the beach. Once you got away from the mouth of Usal Creek, the wind died down and it got quite warm.
Usal beach - a view of Usal creek - tidal. You can see some of the folks camped on the beach - there are a lot of camp sites in the tree covered area in the far left - much nicer on sunny days.
We went for a drive north to Shelter Cove along Usal Road. This is a view of Usal Beach from the road after it has climbed back up into the ranges. We only saw one 4wd on the north part of Usal Rd on the way to Shelter Cove and none on the drive back. There's a pretty reasonable fish-n-chips store near the south end of Shelter Cove - at the top of the boat launch area where the beach access road is.
Just a picture while we're heading north on Usal Rd. It's a nice forestry road that had the odd muddy stretch and puddle due to rain earlier in the week. The rain also meant that there was no dust on the road - nice! It follows the ranges and has some small climbs and descents - trivial 2wd stuff in the dry conditions.
Our little group - enjoying the campfire before bedtime.
Usal Creek, just behind where we were camped. A great place for two little boys (and one big one) to throw rocks into the water. The creek was dry on our 2nd trip a few weeks later - so it must all have been just due to the rain earlier in the week.
A view of Usal beach the morning we left. There are camp spots away from the beach, most with fire rings and tables. Many camp right near the beach - mostly the rowdy noisy crowd. All the people we met there were very cordial and friendly - waves and smiles were typical.
One of the last photo ops - a chance to stop and take photos of Usal Beach - previous picture. Nice tyres ;-) The cruiser got a lot of positive stares and comments while we were camped at Usal - the snorkel was the source of puzzled looks...
This is the drive out from Usal Beach - some nice cliff top views - yes we are 'right' on the edge of the dirt road - wife's side ;-)
Last picture on Usal road before we hit Hwy 1 again.
Traffic - yuk - at least the bridge is pretty and it was a rare fog-less day...
Another trip to Usal a few weeks later.
We arrived in the afternoon - Thursday again. Arriving before the weekend lets you pick the campsite that you want. This is right next to the beach parking area.
Sunset the first night. Hey no fog! We had a relatively cloud free & fog free stay again. There was just some light fog in the early mornings & later in the evenings on some of the nights. This is a view up the coast from the beach parking lot area.
This is the south most end of Usal Beach at Shoreline Rock, early in the morning. It's only about 2/3 a mile or so from the parking area, but it lets you get away from the rest of the folk and it's a pretty nice area for the kids to play.
And this is the view up the coast from Shoreline Rock. Driving on the beach was a thrill for both my little guys. The 22 month old was cackling away as we zipped along. My wife liked it, because it was straight - she doesn't like the windy roads too much. I asked my 4 yr old later how could 'the big white car' go on the beach and the response was "because it's a 4wd - and it's a land cruiser" ;-)
Probably not the place to be when the hill slides in the winter when it's water logged... This is the morning that we left - all packed up and letting the little guys play before the drive back home.
Happy little man with his big brother's sand toys (better than his own set of course...). Mum & big brother are playing chicken with the waves.
Yeah, this is the life! All we need is warmer water like back in Australia!
Early morning, elk in the area between the campsites and the beach area. The beach is in the background.
And this sums up the holiday - happy brothers hanging out together with water, rocks and sticks (just need fire)...