Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eureka!

We pulled out of Port Orford RV Village just before 9:00 am heading for Eureka. Once again our plans were to stay at an Elks Lodge, so we wanted to get there before it filled up. Knowing we had a challenging drive on Hwy 101 and that this would be our longest drive yet, about 170 miles, we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time.

Now, when I say challenging, I don't necessarily mean difficult. What makes it challenging is traffic, more specifically, traffic behind us. I am a careful, pokey driver, and nothing makes me more nervous than seeing a dozen or so vehicles behind me just waiting for the opportunity to leave me in their dust. When I finally am able to pull over and let them pass, which I do often, we either get the "beep! beep!" of thanks, or the middle-finger salute. Which one largely depends on how long we've led the parade. My Queendom for a passing lane!

There is no stretch of highway more spectacular than Hwy 101 in southern Oregon, at least in our experience so far. Ocean views that go on forever grabbed our attention at every turn. Fortunately, those turns also included turnouts, so we had plenty of opportunity to let folks pass us by. Where are they all going in such a hurry? Don't they see that view??

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Hey $&#*!, What’s your rush, look at this beautiful scenery!

Another thing about Hwy 101 is that once you arrive in a town, you have to drive right down main street. That's not usually an issue, because most towns are dinky. Not Eureka. It's big enough that if I lived there, I would find it to be a pain to drive across town. The traffic is that bad. And of course, the Elks Lodge is on the south side, so we had to drive Scoopy right through. Not my favorite thing to do, but I got through it, one stoplight at a time.

We snagged a spot at the lodge, but before the day was out, the lot was full. We are so glad we got there when we did, because we didn't have a "Plan B". I may have said this before, but what is great about "first come, first served" is that once you're in, you can stay in. No moving on just because someone else has your spot reserved. We planned on staying three nights.

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There’s Scoopy, right in the middle of the Elk’s Lodge RV campsite in Eureka.

Our main goal while in Eureka was to visit the mighty redwoods. And the mighty Costco. We hadn't been to Costco since our stay at Salt Creek and we needed a few things. This was our first Costco visit where we found none of our usual brands. Still, we found everything we wanted.

Early the next morning, we headed to the Avenue of the Giants in Humbolt Redwoods State Park. When we left the Elks, the entire area was shrouded in coastal fog. Though we soon drove beyond it, I hoped we would not have to drive Scoopy in it on our departure day. The thought haunted me our entire stay.

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A new state for our map!           Fog soup with a side of future-tripping stress.

We stopped at the first hike we came to and headed into the forest on the Drury-Chaney Loop Trail. It was under two miles in old-growth forest, but since we were looking up for much of it, the hike seemed to go on forever. We were both absolutely mesmerized by the redwoods. We came across fallen trees that stretched a full city block. Of course, Steven was inspired and took one photo after another.

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It’s hard to convey in a photograph the sheer majesty and variety of texture and colors of these trees.

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His and hers redwoods. Steven had to hold his up while Linda just willed hers to stay upright.

When we finally emerged from the forest, we encountered folks who would walk from their car, poke their heads into the forest and turn around after looking at a couple of redwoods. We pretty much had the entire trail to ourselves. Fine by us.

We stopped in at the Visitor's Center just as they were starting a movie about the redwoods. It was 45 minutes long, so we intended to just quietly scoot out when we'd seen enough. We were getting hungry and our peanut butter & jelly sandwiches were calling our names. In the end, we stayed for the entire film. It was a NatGeo production and very interesting. We continued driving the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants, stopping only to enjoy our said sandwiches.

I remember thinking how glad I was that we were not driving Scoopy on this road, and yet, we came across several big rigs just moseying along. I'd never do it, mostly because of that traffic issue. Pullouts on the Avenue of the Giants were few and far between.

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As tempting as it is…don’t do this.

Once back on Hwy 101 heading north, we took a detour into the historical little town of Ferndale, which we discovered is home to Food network's Guy Fieri. I am not much of a fan, but I did like his little hometown. We found a fabulous kitchen shop there and also had some delicious pie with ice cream. What's not to like?

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Who can say no to apple pie and ice cream?

Back in Eureka, much to my dismay, we made the slog across town and headed north to the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Yes, it's a wastewater treatment facility, but that's always where the best birding can be found. We were not disappointed.

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River otters and shimmering birds glancing off the water entertained us at Arcata Marsh.

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The Arcata Marsh visitor’s center.

Having been inspired by our hike amongst the redwoods, Steven made plans to return. I, on the other hand, made plans to do my thing, which means I'm staying home to do whatever it is I like to do on my own. Sleep. Cook. Clean. Nothing. All of the above. Steven needs his photography time and I need my down time. We work well together.

7 comments:

  1. LOVE the new header shot and logo!!

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  2. Love love love the new header photo. That Eureka Elks looks nice, busy but nice. "First come, first served" is a full-timers best friend. Great blog, keep 'em coming.

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  3. the new header photos says it all!!!

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  4. I also love the new header photo! But I love this entry mostly because, well, obviously, you all are having so much fun, but also because it reminds me of our prior trips through this area. Our very first RV adventure was along this very route (but going the other way).

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  5. I used to be one of those "rushers" and am much happier as a "mosey-er"! Redwood groves are one of my favorite places - the faeries play with time and soon hours have passed :-) Thank Steven for the wonderful pics - empowering to see your will pitted against the mighty tree!
    Yes, the new header rocks!! As does the profile pic :-)

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  6. I'm with you -- what's the hurry? Everyone should slow down and breathe and enjoy this beautiful life. It's speeding by too fast as it is. Your header photo is great!

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  7. My mom has property just south of there in Laytonville. It's one of those small, blink and you'll miss it towns. On one visit (many years ago) we took a drive to the redwood forest. It is a magical place. There is also Muir Woods which are more coastal but just as beautiful. I too noticed the change of header photo and love it!

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