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A Solo Road-Trip through Yosemite, the Redwoods and the Oregon Coast

When solitude encounters with nature, and harsh conditions are appreciated most.

By: Eli Otterholt + Save to a List

At the beginning of April when everyone seemed to fall through on plans, I decided to go explore alone.

I hadn't ever done a trip of this size on my own, driving from Los Angeles to Bellingham, Washington (30 minutes from the Canadian border). 

One night in Yosemite, I made up songs to let the animals know that I was there. Hiking right around sunset on a dark cloudy evening and this guy heard me coming, only to scurry away just before I turned the corner walking right into him.

I had everything from sun, heavy rain and thunderstorms, to sleet and snow in my few days there. 

There was something about the raindrops on my tent, and the ominous clouds that pulled me in. I loved how the water rose and so many hid under trees and umbrellas waiting for the downpour to pass. While a brave few would stride on with purpose and child-like excitement.

Or the way the sun dropped below the clouds, lighting up the valley right before it disappeared behind the jagged mountains.

In the Redwoods, closed roads meant I had to walk through overflowing streams before even getting to Fern Canyon. Big bouts of rain kept the Elk largely hidden but I did manage to see a few.

The Oregon Coast was incredible.. and while there was one person I wanted to be there with me, I also loved the freedom of this unique experience. The difficultly and beauty of a journey on my own.

Wind at the Bandon Oregon lighthouse almost knocked me over on several occasions. In a few places it took all my might just to open the car door. No one else was outside, and definitely no one was taking pictures risking the piercing rain destroying their cameras.. except for me. 

I returned home safely and thankfully with no lasting damage to my camera. The experience was something I'll never forget and highly suggest at least a little solo excursion for anyone up to the task. Just be safe. ;)

Follow my other adventures at: https://www.instagram.com/otterholt.eli.photos/

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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