Carl G. Washburne to Eureka, CA
Friday, September 20, 2013
Partly sunny, 60s
Continuing south on the Redwood Highway, we headed for Eureka, CA. With rain that was sometimes heavy and intermittent fog, it wasn’t the best weather for sightseeing. Still, it wasn’t a total loss. Heceta Lighthouse, for example, was in the clear.
This, of course, is redwoods country and the rain and fog did little to obscure the up close tree viewing as we drove the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. We’d seen Big Tree in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, on an earlier trip. It was just as impressive as the first time we saw it. At the age of about 1,500 years, a height 304 ft and a diameter of 21.6 ft it is quite a tree!
We spent the night at Shoreline RV Park in Eureka. It was very neat and clean; one we’d recommend. At the suggestion of the campground staff, we had dinner at the Café Marina overlooking Humboldt Bay on Woodley Island. It was a very good recommendation.
Eureka to Olema RV Park, CA
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Partly sunny with scattered showers then clearing
Before heading further south in the morning, we took a few minutes to look over Eureka’s downtown historic district. It is a treasure trove of Victorian buildings set within a handsome, upscale downtown district. Among the noteworthy buildings were the Carson Mansion, an elaborately ornamented Victorian built in the 1880s for lumber baron, William Carson. Across street was the Pink Lady, also built for Carson family. The Carter House, a beautiful Inn and B&B, is a re-creation built in 1982 from the 1884 blueprints of a San Francisco mansion that was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.
We made a lunch stop in Garberville, CA. We ate at The Café at Chautauqua. They served great pureed sweet potato soup and other healthful-sounding goodies. Garberville retains it 60s atmosphere and, yeah, the hippies grew up but they’re still here!
An Aside: We hardly ever see hitch hikers back east. Driving down the west coast, however, we see them all the time. Why is hitching a ride still going on here; why not on the east coast?
Although we didn’t drive through Sonoma or the heart of wine country, that doesn’t mean we didn’t see vineyards. They were everywhere and the vineyards were HUGE! Of course the area is arid so that everything needs to be irrigated but that’s the norm in most of the California growing regions. Evidence of wine production also showed itself in the many farms of insulated tanks that were either storing grape juice of fermenting wine.
It turned out that campgrounds are hard to find in the area north of San Francisco. We tried two state park campgrounds with apologies of, “Sorry, but we’re full.” As the sun was setting we finally found a private place, Olema Campground, right on Rt 1, and about twenty miles north of Sausalito. It had just two open sites remaining. It was expensive and not very pretty but we couldn’t really see much anyway at that time of day. We paid the $63, self-serve, one-night tariff and put together a dinner of leftovers.