Friday, May 11, 2012

The Klamath River, Pacific Coastline and Trees of Mystery

We’re enjoying some leisure time along the Northern California coast. The weather has been beautiful, although a bit chilly for kayaking, and the Klamath River is running too fast for us anyway. But we have a beautiful view of the river from our site at the Klamath River RV Park.


As most full-time RVers know, it’s not unusual to run into friends as we travel, even though logic and simple odds would dictate otherwise. When we returned from dinner Tuesday evening, we recognized a Phaeton motorhome parked a few sites down from us. Don walked over to see if it was who we thought, and it was! “Smitty” and Louise Smith! They are vendors for Coil N Wrap and were at both the Escapees’ WARE rally and the Good Sam’s rally in Lodi recently. It seems that we’ve been leap-frogging each other up the coast and ended up in the same RV park.


Apart from running errands in nearby Crescent City, the only touristy thing we’ve done is visit the Trees of Mystery. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past few days.

The view from the Eureka Elks Lodge upper parking lot, where we stayed last week. RVs are on the left (see our rig?), with the lodge on the right.


Our current RV site. Shadow prefers the grass to pavement.


A lot of businesses are closed and/or abandoned along the coast.


Still, there are lots of places selling redwood and burl souvenirs, some more rustic than others.



The fog occasionally moved in on us during the drive.


Golden California Bears flank both ends of the Hwy 101 bridge over the Klamath River.


This simple cross stands near the mouth of the Klamath River.


A sandspit creates a small bay at the mouth of the river flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The Yurok people believe this area is watched over by two sister spirits in the form of large rocks.


Oregos is one of the sisters barely visible in the above pic, enlarged below. She looks like an old woman with a burden basket on her back.


The Pacific Northwest coastline provides one breathtaking view after another!




Paul Bunyon and Babe, his blue ox, guard the entrance to the Trees of Mystery. (Note the fellow checking out Babe’s anatomy!)


Paul weighs almost as much as our motorhome!


And Babe is the same weight as Paul.


We rode the SkyTrail tram up and down the mountain.



The wilderness trail at the top was closed, but we enjoyed the views from the observation deck.


I managed to get a picture of two osprey in the distance, a little fuzzy but they can be seen with the zoom.


The Brotherhood Tree stands 297 ft. tall with a diameter of 19 ft.


There are lots of carvings along the path along with recorded stories, some tall tales, and interesting facts about redwood trees.





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day Trips From Eureka

Yesterday we drove south to the small towns of Ferndale and Loleta, with a side trip to Centerville County Beach. The entire round trip was about 60 miles.

Ferndale is a pretty little Victorian town of about 1300 people, and the whole town is a California Historical Landmark. Main Street is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Here are some pictures I took of the houses and buildings. My excuse for some of these not being well-framed is that I took them while Don was driving and we were going about 25 mph.








We had lunch at the only Mexican restaurant in town, Matias, which isn’t in a Victorian-style building.


The drive to the beach was through sparsely populated rolling hills, with houses of all sizes, ages and (dis)repair, barns, horses, cows, sheep and one broken windmill.




There were nice waves hitting the beach, and only a few people and one horse were there. We didn’t see any gray whales migrating north, although they reportedly do so through the month of May.



A white cross was placed atop a nearby hill in memory of all who lost their lives offshore in an 1860 shipwreck. The ATV road leading up the hill gives access to good spots for watching whales, harbor seals and other wildlife.


On our way back to Eureka, we stopped briefly at the Loleta Cheese Factory.


All cheeses made here are available for sampling, and you can watch through foggy windows to see cheese being made in huge tanks.


Today we drove south again, to the northern end of the Avenue of the Giants, and continued through its 31 miles to the southern end. We returned north via the faster parallel highway US 101. Here are a few of the pics from today.


Note the point marked by an ax where an undercut was made in 1908, but curiously, the tree wasn’t felled. Above that a fish marks the high water point during the 1964 flood of approx. 17 feet above the base.


This ancient log is 33 ft. in circumference, and is naturally hollow. It was left over from a harvest sometime between 1850 and 1900, and makes a nice backdrop for pictures.


The road isn’t recommended for big rigs, for obvious reasons. However, logging trucks still use it. Fortunately, traffic was light today.


When we stopped for lunch in Miranda, our timing was bad. The school next door had just dismissed everyone for lunch!


So we drove to the end of the Avenue, got on US 101 and headed north to Scotia, perhaps the last remaining “company town” with houses all built to be the same.


We enjoyed lunch in the pub of the historic Scotia Inn.



The entire round trip was about 180 miles, and we won’t soon forget what it’s like to be surrounded by Giants.