Our family explored the North Coast of California. I started to write a blog about our experiences, but thought I’d see what the AI (artificial intelligence) ChatGPT would come up with. Below are my instructions, the initial writing I gave it and finally, what the AI came up with in two minutes. The only thing that wasn’t true was the cheese factory in Loleta. I guess we’ll have to try that next time we’re up there!
This is the instruction I gave to ChatGPT:
Please add personalized fun or interesting details to this blog:
Exploring the North Coast, California
Getting there and back is the hardest part. Arcata has a small airport but there are no direct flights from Fresno to Arcata. You have to fly into San Francisco to catch the Arcata flight. By the time you’ve jumped through all the hoops, it’s just easier to take the 7 ½ to 9-hour drive, depending on traffic and the time of day. We stayed at a VRBO in McKinleyville. The house sits right on the Hammond Trail which was perfect for both the walkers and runners of the family. It boasts wooded areas, beautiful vistas of the Mad River and Pacific Ocean and a variety of terrains along the 5.5-mile path. On the trail, right in front of our house, we saw joggers, walkers, bicyclists and horseback riders. We even caught a glimpse of a skunk, which thankfully ran the other way.
We ate at Renata’s Creperie and Salt Fish House and shopped at the North Coast Co-op which a truly a super market. A fabulous place to explore. We found a vast selection of local hot sauces where the hardest decision was how to pick only seven bottles as we’re all hot sauce connoisseurs.
Hiked in the Arcata Community Forest, also nicknamed Fairy Forrest behind Cal Poly Humboldt.
On Saturday’s Arcata has the most wonderful Farmer’s Market.
We ate at a variety of places in Eureka including Pile High Deli, Brick & Fire Bistro, Lost Coast Brewery, Smoke House Bar & Grill,
We visited the Sequoia Park Zoo & Redwood Sky Walk where we saw otters, spider monkeys, red pandas and, my favorite, the bird known as the Crested Screamer. When the bird belts out its cry, the entire area can hear it. Despite our efforts we couldn’t get the one at the zoo to scream for us. Until my husband found them on You Tube. When he played it the zoo bird went nuts and screamed at the top of its lungs. Hilarious highlight of our day.
Humboldt Botanical Gardens
Old Town & Waterfront Eureka
We hiked the Trinidad Trail and frolicked at the Dry Lagoon Beach where the rocks are mostly flat and make for a perfect competition for how high can you build your rock tower but the water is too rough to swim or surf so there are fewer people here.
Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge
This is what it provided me in less than two minutes:
Exploring the North Coast, California: A Personalized Adventure
McKinleyville: A Serene Retreat
Getting to McKinleyville can be quite an adventure in itself, especially if you're coming from Fresno. With no direct flights available, the journey involves a stopover in San Francisco before catching a flight to Arcata. However, for those seeking a more scenic route, the 7 ½ to 9-hour drive offers stunning coastal views, making it a worthwhile option. Our stay at a charming VRBO in McKinleyville provided the perfect base for our North Coast explorations.
The Hammond Trail, a Hidden Gem
Nestled right next to our McKinleyville abode was the Hammond Trail, a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. This 5.5-mile path meanders through wooded areas, offering breathtaking vistas of the Mad River and the vast Pacific Ocean. We were delighted to encounter a vibrant mix of walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and even horseback riders along the trail. Our most unexpected encounter was a skunk scurrying away, providing us with a memorable wildlife sighting.
Arcata: Culinary Delights and Enchanting Forests
Our culinary journey in Arcata was nothing short of delightful. Renata's Creperie and Salt Fish House satisfied our taste buds with their delectable offerings. However, our most exciting find was the North Coast Co-op, a supermarket paradise. As hot sauce connoisseurs, we were overwhelmed by the vast selection of local hot sauces, leaving us with the challenging task of narrowing down our choices to only seven bottles.
To immerse ourselves in nature's enchantment, we embarked on a hike through the Arcata Community Forest, fondly referred to as the Fairy Forest by locals. Its lush greenery and tranquil ambiance transported us to a fairy tale realm. On Saturdays, we indulged in the vibrant and diverse offerings of the Arcata Farmers Market, immersing ourselves in the local culture and flavors.
Eureka: Eclectic Dining and Unforgettable Zoo Moments
Eureka greeted us with a plethora of dining options. The Pile High Deli, Brick & Fire Bistro, Lost Coast Brewery, and Smoke House Bar & Grill catered to our varying culinary preferences, leaving us craving for more. However, our most unforgettable moment occurred at the Sequoia Park Zoo & Redwood Sky Walk. Amongst the otters, spider monkeys, and red pandas, the Crested Screamer stole the show. The bird's powerful cry echoed throughout the area, captivating everyone. Despite our failed attempts to make it scream, a hilarious discovery awaited us. After finding a YouTube video featuring the bird's call, we played it, causing the zoo's own Crested Screamer to join in, resulting in a chorus of laughter.
Trinidad: Hiking and Rock Tower Competitions
Trinidad beckoned us with its natural wonders. We embarked on the Trinidad Trail, immersing ourselves in its captivating beauty. Later, we found ourselves at Dry Lagoon Beach, a paradise for rock tower enthusiasts. With mostly flat rocks at our disposal, we competed to see who could build the tallest tower. Although the rough water prevented swimming or surfing, the absence of crowds allowed us to relish this serene coastal haven.
Loleta and Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge: Nature's Oasis
Our North Coast adventure continued in Loleta, where we marveled at the Loleta Cheese Factory, sampling an array of artisanal cheeses. The Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge provided a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering a chance to observe various species in their natural habitat.
The North Coast of California has much to offer for adventurers seeking a blend of natural beauty, culinary delights, and unforgettable moments. From the tranquil trails of McKinleyville to the enchanting forests of Arcata, the eclectic dining scene of Eureka, and the serene havens of Trinidad, Loleta, and the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge, this region promises an unforgettable journey for all who venture here.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.