The Zombies are coming

The cabin I’m staying at tonight is kind of in the middle of nowhere. It’s really hot and I cant sleep. My mind started wandering to zombies. It happens sometimes. 
Well the zombies aren’t coming, yet, but I did tell you a few posts back basically how I would handle things in such an event. 

This post technically isn’t about road trips except that getting away from zombies is the same way I’m running away from a bear. I even picked up a new shirt to wsrn everyone. 


Zombies are kind of a big deal in our house. Movies, tv shows, books, collectibles you name it. Walking Dead is a sacred show in our world. Rick is my favorite and I hope my boys will be as tough as Carl when the time comes. Hubby keeps their training up to date so we should be good to go. 

Hubby will watch any zombie show. There’s one called Z-Nation. It has the the cheesiest plots and script I’ve ever seen. The worst part is I don’t want to watch it but I find myself getting drawn in while he watches. Then I hate myself for losing the 60 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. 

We have a zombie defense plan set up too. 

Don’t judge us, it has multiple uses. It’s the standard get the hell out plan. Where to go. What to do. What we need.It has become a way to gather up all essentials needed for any other type of emergency evacuations. Due to our location in Northern California we have high potential for a few natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. I remember vividly the 1989 earthquake and it scared me for life. Thinking about making a Zombie kit is much less frightening. 

I’m not going to list everything we have in our kit. It’s pretty typical items from all the list you can find on line for emergency preparedness. Water, food, clothes, matches, crank radio….. the list is pretty big.  Our camping gear is nearby as well. It contains a large part of the items needed. We are constantly adding stuff we feel will be necessary. For instance I bought hubby a machete for his birthday. Perfect for Zombie elimination. You’ve got to destroy their brains after all. Even thought all of these items are great to have during a “real” evacuation, honestly it’s primary purpose is for when the zombies appear. My family is all set. 

So in a nutshell. If a bear, mountain lion, gorilla or especially a zombie is chasing me you’re out of luck. I don’t have to outrun them, I just have to outrun you. Tripping, hitting, elbowing and knocking you down are all allowed in this survival game, 

Oh Canada, Victoria to be precise

Early Thursday morning we waited in a long line at the Port Angeles ferry dock. We got there early because we had to drive our truck onto the boat that would take us on my biggest adventure yet. 


Let me back track a little. I just got my passport specifically for this trip. I’ve never been outside of the US before. I hate to fly. I have flown out of necessity and when I was much younger. Admittedly 9/11 scared the crap out of me therefore adding to my already unreasonable fears. It’s that bad that I even think is over the top. Now y’all know why this blog is called “road trips”  not my worldwide adventures. Maybe hubby will convince me to travel abroad someday. 

Ok back to my current adventure to Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. The ferry ride was a blast. I rode the whole way on the bow. I stood tall loving how the breeze felt and the ocean looked. I’m sure I looked like a little kid standing on the large pipes so I was tall enough to see over the rails. Yep, I’m short. Only 5ft. God stopped when he found perfection, or so I tell myself. 

When we entered the docks, all vehicle passengers were hearded downstairs. The process of loading and unloading the vehicles was quick and efficient. Since we had reservations we were in the front which really paid off for the customs line. It only took us about 5 minutes. I admit to having some nerves about this part. We have all of our camping  gear which includes some knives and an axe for firewood. Was this allowed? Thankfully we didn’t have any problems, 

We had lots of time to drive aimlessly and site see before checking into our sleeping quarters for the next 2 nights. The city is breathtaking. The homes are beautiful. The people are polite and kind. I discovered all of this within the first hour on the island. 

Our reservations were for an “Otentik” Read more. Basically it’s a tent/cabin. 

That was cool by its self. Now add in the fact it’s in Fort Rodd Hill Natiobal Historic site.


Wait there’s more, it’s also the location of the Fisguard Lighthouse. 


But wait, there’s more. The park closed at 5:00 and there are only 5 Otentiks, our first night we had to share the park with only 4 other people. Imagine getting to explore this historical location without anyone bothering you. Stepping in front of you while you read signs, take pictures etc. it was so quiet and peaceful. The family of 4 was exhausted and went to bed early so the park really was all mine! 

Oh! but hold on, there’s still more. Picture the sun going down. The air turning a little cooler, the only noise is the water lapping at the shores and the geese flying around making the occasional honk. Then you look up to the lighthouse again. OMG! I was stunned by the beauty. Thank god I had a camera.  You judge for yourself. 


I went to bed with this image in my mind and a smile a mile wide. 

I’m not sure this trip has anything to beat that vision. Challenge excepted 

Playing typical tourist

When in Seattle Washington we decided to be like most tourists and check out Pike Place Market. I know I went when I was a little girl but I don’t remember anything about it. Living close to San Francisco and Pier 39, I saw a lot of similarities. The market is huge. Everything you can imaging is for sale. Handmade art, jewelry, soap, fresh flower and especially food. 

Seafood is the theme of most locations but there were some others. A bakery with donuts the size of dinner plates, Chinese food with dumplings and typical items. Of course the crowd surrounded the famous meat counter with throwing and catching a large fish back and forth. Through my investigating, I discovered they use the same fish to toss around until the fish just isn’t useable any longer. They don’t sell that fish to customers. 

We walked down to the wharf where things we less chaotic. The crowds were much smaller and spread out. I bought some hot little donuts while hubby searched for something to catch his eye. 

Being from the Bay Area where we get fresh seafood all the time, the prices seemed outrageous. A crab Louie salad for $18.00. It had very little crab on it for that price. A crab and shrimp cocktail in a small cup was $19.00 and the bottom was as full of sauce as the top was with seafood. I guess since we buy live crab at home for $7.00/lbs. these seemed very high. If you don’t have the same luxury as us Bay Area coastal folks, perhaps it’s not a shock. 
We ran across a carousel and little vintage shooting gallery. I was tempted to issue a challenge to hubby but again the price to play made my eyes bug out. $5.00 a per game!?!? Per person! Didn’t look like that much fun to me. I didn’t ask how much to ride the horses. 


We ended by going to a dress shop called Diva Dollz in Pioneer Square. 


Check out their Facebook page. I tried on about 8 pinup girl dresses and loved most of them. I absolutely fell in love with one and hubby couldn’t resist buying it for me. Really, I said it was too expensive and he insisted.ill show you the one I hit later on in this trip. Hubby also insisted on buying the fabulous T-strap heels and a belt to complete the look. I can’t wait to wear it. 

We end the night early at another cabin, we had to arrive very early for our ferry reservations. We are headed to Vancouver Island. I’ve never been outside of the US before so this adventure is the biggest yet.


We watched Moana for the 3rd time because it was the only movie I had on my iPad. Guess I should download something new soon. Good night everyone. 

Wild Oaks Grill BBQ

Day 3 was spent doing a lot of driving on Highesy 101. We were headed to Cape Outlook State Beach for the evening. 

It was lunch time so hubby and I were debating, not arguing yet, about where to eat. We passed several diners & small cafes before making a u turn at the BBQ sign. We love BBQ on road trips..

Wild Oakes Grill. Port Orford, Oregon 


They are On Facebook. Check it out. 

On the window I read “veteran owned and operated” (US Navy) and I smiled. What a great find. Just another reason I want to eat here. 

Upon  walking in I noticed an empty table fully set up with complete place settings and American flags. On the chair is a POW drape. It is set in remembrance of our missing and fallen military men and women. This memorial originally started during the Vietnam war. It is a very powerful sight.  Make this now a 3rd reason finding this place made my day.  Learn more about the missing man table here.


Our waitress, Amanda, told us about our choices and specials of the day. A sandwich called 3 pigs and a cow was a tempting option but we decided on the 5 meat plate. Of course I want to taste it all. The smoked meat consisted of: brisket (my favorite), park ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and tri-tip. We added smoked mac & cheese and smoked chili. For dessert we had a fresh warn brownie topped with cherry pie filling.


I asked for some BBQ sauce but soon realized I did not need it. The meat was moist and delicious without any sauce. I always put sauce on my BBQ. Not this time. The flavor in each of these meats was amazing. I don’t like fake, overly smoke flavored meat. This was cooked to perfection. I still added a little bit of sauce to change it up but trust me no sauce was best. 

The mac & cheese had bits of smoked meat folded in. The chili was spicy with shredded meat, topped with crispy fried jalapeƱos. Everything exceeded my expectations.

A perk of eating at small places is getting to meet owners, cooks, other diners etc. part way through our meal the owner and BBQ Pit Master Rob came out for I’m the kitchen to ask how we liked our meal, and sat down at a table nearby to chat. After I gushed over how much I lived the food, Rob told us some stories of his travels. He even gave me some ideas for future road trips. 

Our waitress Amanda came out with the simple chocolate brownie with the cherries. Hubby and I fought with our spoons to be first to taste. In case you were wondering, I won. I agree with Rob, it’s such a simple dessert but tastes like chocolate bliss. The cherries add a tart note which cuts the sweetness perfectly. 

Amanda helped us pack up our leftovers for tonight dinner. 

If your ever passing through Port Orford, Oregon, be sure to stop in, say Hi to Rob and Amanda. Tell them Shotgun Rider sent you. You won’t regret stopping for a bite.

Great people, even better food! 

Day 2 Sleeping under the giant Redwoods

We stayed tonight in one of my favorite places. A mini cabin in a campground. I stayed in one last year and fell in love. Much more comfortable than a tent, and so cute. 

Yes, it costs a little bit more than tent camping but it’s still cheaper than a hotel. 

This KOA campsite in Crescent City is surrounded by ancient redwood trees. A beautiful place to stay. We didn’t have time but the offices had directions to multiple self guided walking tours in the redwood forests. 

We took a late stroll to look at the stars. Without all of the light pollution the stars seemed much closer here. 


Too soon we had to leave. We had a long drive ahead of us to Cape Outlook State Beach. 

Thanks for following me. If you like my blog posts please follow along. By following and putting your email in you will receive emails keeping you up to date with my travels. 

In the meantime I’m off for my next adventure 

My hometown is a perfect road trip part 1

Not all of my readers know me personally. Some have found me through social media and while checking out travel blogs,. Here’s a chance to learn a little bit about me and my local surroundings. 

I have lived in the same small town for 45 years. It’s a small coastal city that I now realize I’ve never fully appreciated. I recently went outside of Pacifica to another coastal tourist town. When I looked around I realized that city, other than a few big businesses, is exactly like the city I grew up in. It’s the same city I bought a house when I got married, have raised four boys and am fortunate to see everyday. 


My little town is Pacifica in Northern California, It’s about a 15 minute drive outside of San Francisco. It’s known for a lot of things such as being foggy and cold. I don’t agree with that anymore. The climate has definitely changed.  Today happens to be a beautiful clear day that I spent outside gardening and blogging. 


Veggies from my garden 

Pacifica also has a fast food restaurant on the beach. It’s a Taco Bell now but while I was growing up it was an A&W. Click here to read more. Best Taco Bell in the world. Yeah this Taco Bell’s been named the BEST TACO BELL ever. #1!!! Not because of the food. All Taco Bells have just about the same menu. It’s because of the the location and the views. 


Here’s how your road trip to Pacifica might look. 

Driving south from San Francisco down coastal Highway 1, you’ll enter Pacifica. On your right you’ll see a beautiful view of the Farallon Islands. Down a little further you’ll see the Pacifica pier where people walk along the sea wall, sit on the beach and fish. . 

We are pretending everyone is traveling on a day like today. Warm, sunny and clear. Pretend with me please. 

Remember, I’m just now learning to appreciate what Ive had right in front of me this whole time. I’m trying to look at it from an outsiders point of view. 

Drive a few more miles down the road and you’ll pass the Pacifica golf course. Continue on through Valley Mar. Off to your left in an old train car is the location of a BBQ joint featured on Food Networks Diners Drive Ins & Dives. Gorilla BBQ. Lines can be long and they sell out fast on busy days but it’s worth the stop. 

A little bit further down, still on your right,  because that’s the side the oceans on and that’s what we’re talking about, is Rockaway Beach. Lots of shops and restaurants to check out. My favorite is a fairly new one called Breakers Resturant. A fabulous breakfast and lunch spot. Totally small town. Soooo yummy! I love the blueberry pancakes. 

Go up over the small hill and you’ll see Linda Mar beach to your right. If you turn left at that very first stop light on Crespi Drive, at the next stop sign to your right, you’ll find my absolutely favorite coffee shop Fog City Java. It’s kinda like my very own personal Cheers. I go there almost every morning, try to sit in the same spot and have my delicious Vanilla Bean Coffee. I really miss the coffee and the people when I go on road trips. I have met so many people, I now can call friends, and meet more everyday. The core group I have come to think of more as family. I hope they know how much they mean to me. Stop in. Have some coffee, order a veggie bagel, have a fresh made donut and tell `em I sent ya. Then head over to Linda Mar beach. Bring a jacket because it can be chilly.

Walking the beach you’ll see the Taco Bell I was telling you about earlier. Admittedly, I don’t walk this beach as much as I should. I need to change that. 

Well that’s the basics as I see it. Except for the coffee recommended detour, it’s what you see if you drive straight through on Hwy 1. If you take time to venture off the highway you’ll find lots of other fun places. A great deli, Columbos. Next door a vintage consignment store. Near the pier there are more businesses worth your time. I know there are a lot of places not mentioned in this blog. Google Pacifica. Read about other places that interest you. Visit them. 

Hey local friends, please don’t yell at me. I said I have a newfound appreciation for where I live. For such a small town there are a lot of places I’ve never seen. I plan to take local road/walking trips very soon. 

The pier is a place I have not gone to since I was a little girl. I remember fishing with my dad probably about 37 years ago. It’s on my list of places I need to go to again.

Part two will be sharing more about Pacifica and the people in it. Hope you’ve enjoyed a glimps into the under appreciated, mainly by me, peek into Pacifica, California. Please come back to read part 2. 

Finding an Adventure within my own town this time will be fun. 

And off we go…. Day 1

Headed up the Northern California coast was pretty uneventful until we hit Ukiah. We came to a dead stop on highway 101, right past Upper Lake Williams. 

Signs directed us to the right lane as the left was closed ahead. We merged well before we could see why the lane was closed. However lots of people in a hurry tried passing everyone who pulled to the right early. You know those people I’m talking about. Well this time it really bit them in the rear, the unfortunate part is that the left lane was closed because emergency vehicles were trying to get a big fire. 

We we only about 300 yards away from the hill that was on fire. As we sat watching and waiting several fire trucks tried to get through only to get stuck behind one of those drivers. The worst part was when the fire truck got behind them, lights and sirens, urgently trying to get to the fire, the drivers froze. In drivers training 30+ years ago, they taught me what to do in the event an emergency vehicle was behind you with lights on. Pull to the right as far as possible and wait for them pass. Also, don’t follow them like a running back while your half-back makes a lane for you to score a touchdown. Guess these drivers were absent that day. Thankfully they got the hint when the fireman had to jump off the truck and yell at the guy to pull over. 

Anyhow, we could see the hill on fire. We were close enough to see flames and feel the spray of water from the helicopters doing airdrops. 


The fire was moving across the dry hill fast. The conditions could not have been much worse. Windy, hot and dry, Dangerous enough that hubby and I talked about an evacuation plan just in case we had to leave the truck on the road. We quickly repacked a bag with only essentials.

Thankfully, after about 45 minutes, we started moving. We passed the cause of the flames. A truck and trailer were burned beyond repair and it started the hill on fire. The passengers were standing with CHP and appeared to be ok. The firemen were able to contain the fire close to the road but up and over the hill was still burning as we drove away. 

Hope everyone stays safe. Remember, lights and sirens, pull all the way to the right. Unfortunately but true, it could be your friend or relative they are going to help.. You would want to make sure they got through as fast as possible. 

Promise you, my next blog won’t be so grim. It’s about BBQ! 

ShooFly, solar light, bug bands oh my!!!

I’m always looking for items to have that may be useful on our annual road trip. Sometimes it’s to replace old stuff and sometimes it’s just because it’s a nifty item I want to try. 

Recently I’ve purchased a few items I hope will make this trip more enjoyable. 

The first one is called ShooFly. It’s a battery operated fly distracting device.

When camping I hate flies. They get into you food, they land on you, they buzz your head. They are just gross. This clever looking device spins a couples strips of plastic with holographic stripes which supposedly keeps the flies away. We shall see. I’ll give a full report as soon as I try it out. Not so sure about this one. 

 Next irritation on camping trip are mosquitoes. Sprays get in your mouth. Wipes leave you all sticky. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still be using those because hubby and I react badly to bites. Itching is a bad sensation while sitting in a truck for 8 hours. I bought these bands. I’m even more skeptical of these working that the ShooFly. Again I’ll report to you my findings. 


Next is a fire starter. Hubby likes to make fire from scratch. No matches. It reminds me of how Tom Hanks acted in the movie Cast Away.  Thumping his chest and yelling to nobody. “Look what I’ve created. I have made fire.” Must be a man thing. I know these work because each of my four boys have been given the key into manhood. Tasked with using these to start a camp fire. It’s just a fun thing and when it takes to long I pull out the matches. I’m impatient like that. Evolution makes this possible.He’s  such a caveman. 

Bought a bear bell too. When camping you string it across an area to alert you to a bear approaching. Remember, I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you! Just thought I’d warn people now. Same goes during the Zombie Apocalypse.  Pretty sure I’ll be tripping and pushing people down if danger is chasing me. If I am running stay out of my way or I’ll turn you into bait. 



Lastly is my favorite new find. I remember seeing this item on the TV show shark tank . 

LuminAID is a solar, blow up lantern. No batteries, no heat like a propane lantern, water proof, easy packing and affordable. I paid about $14.00 on amazon. I am excited to bring it with me into those dark campsite bathrooms and showers especially. The orange strap turned into a place to hang the light. It seems bright. Here’s a picture from a dark room in my house. 


Like I said, I will give my honest opinion on these items as I use them, I don’t get any compensation to review them. It’s just for my entertainment. Although I’m not opposed to the idea of free stuff or compensation . Just throwing it out there If anyone’s listening of course. Hello? Anyone? 

Anyhow,I hope you all are ready for this trip. I’m getting there. Now it’s time to pack this stuff up.