Portland to San Francisco in Fifteen Hours: Let's go to the Redwoods!

In retrospect, I cannot believe I drove from Portland to San Francisco while stopping over at the Redwoods all in one day. For snacks, we had some Rainier cherries that my cousin brought with us from Seattle. We pitted them ahead of time in our Portland Airbnb, veggie straws, leftover donuts from Blue Star, and then we had a whole loaf of wheat bread of turkey and spinach sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…

The night before, we packed our bags, I fell asleep fairly early while we watched an assortment of movies, and then I woke up at 5 AM to shower and get ready to head out. My cousin, she likes to sleep in and is very much not a morning person, so she slept through several alarms and nearly rolled out of bed by the time we got into the car and onto the road at 5:50 AM.

I’m obviously being cheeky here, but yes, six hours of driving later…

I’m obviously being cheeky here, but yes, six hours of driving later…


We arrived at Stout Grove in the Redwoods, but not before we got stopped for a border check between Oregon and California! Honestly, I wasn’t concerned - I wasn’t doing anything wrong or suspicious. Although, I was driving an obscenely large car for just two people (note: the car I was driving fits seven people).

Stretching our legs at Stout Grove was fantastic. When I was doing my research on which trail to visit, I chose Stout Grove based on reading it was an easy trail that loops around with gorgeous views and a stream to chill out on. Cool! Easy walking, water, looped trail? Sign me up!

We pulled over to the shoreside after Stout Grove to stretch our legs. Hello Pacific Ocean.

And then we got lost. I didn’t think it was possible. The trail was looped I thought? Somehow, we chose the wrong way while walking and did not reach the loop, but instead got caught in a medley of thorned bushes? Don’t ask me how this happened, it did, and then we spent a while looking for the loop. My cousin even ran down the trail to see if she could find the loop. Spoiler alert: she didn’t.

We ended up turning around and eventually found our way back to the entrance. Stretched our legs: check. Fresh air: check. Arrive to San Francisco: we weren’t quite there yet, so off to the car we went back to.

We’re almost there, San Francisco.

A few sandwiches, and a bag of veggie straws later, there was a Red Scion from Nevada who continuously tailed me while driving. This car would speed up on my right lane, cut me off, and slow down as soon as he started driving in front of me. Any time that I tried to move to the right lane to pass him, he kept on speeding up so I wouldn’t be able to do so and would slow down again if I were behind him. I thought it was a bizarre coincidence, but at one point when I thought I lost him for about 45 minutes of driving, he came up speeding from behind me and cut me off, deliberately slamming his brakes. I stayed on the right lane and decided to ignore this Scion until he slowed down next to me, looking at my cousin and me, and waved at us. This was intention. I ignored him, not looking over at him at all, since I was anxious for our safety. I headed off the first exit and saw he did not follow - thank goodness.

The remainder of the drive was fairly uneventful, and seven hours later, we arrived to our hotel: The Kimpton Sir Francis Drake in Union Square of San Francisco at 9:30 PM.

I thought I had prepared myself for this drive, but honestly, there was no way to prepare than to actually go through the entirety of the drive. Would I do it again? Probably not, I think I would want to split up the drive next time.

West Coast Road Trip Series