Saturday, April 20, 2013

Eureka (2013)

The alarm clock rang at 3:00 AM and thirty minutes later I left Oceanside.
I tried to get through Los Angeles without hassle and I was successful. I-405 was closed before I got to Long Beach. The detour was through side streets and I got back on I-405 at Seal Beach Boulevard.
At Artesia I-405 changed from five lanes to two. The same was when I got close to I-10. There is a lot of highway construction going on. Since it is a Saturday and I was early I did not lose much time.
I arrived at highway 101 at 5:30 AM and by 6:15 AM I arrived at the Costco parking lot in Oxnard. I ate my breakfast there, shaved, got pretty and continued on.
At 9:30 AM I drove in the parking lot at the San Luis Obispo Elks. They let me dry camp so I do not have to listen to the cars zipping by on highway 101. The camping area is next to the highway. I stay next to the cemetery. Nobody makes noise there.
After lunch I drove to the Harford Pier in Port San Luis, near Avila Beach. We have summer weather and the weekend growth was there. When I came by Avila Beach people were parked along the highway, out of town.

At the pier is a big barn. It must be a remnant of the days when a lot of commercial fishing was done here. Now there is a restaurant in the barn.

While on the pier I watched two sea otters laying on their back in the kelp and beating something on their belly with a stone.

From the pier one can see Avila Beach in the distance.

On the way back I took a chance and drove into Avila Beach. I was lucky, somebody left and I took their spot. There were a lot of people on the beach. Picnics were going on at the beach and the park next to the beach.

Next to the beach are a lot of sidewalk cafes.

I left San Luis Obispo at 4:00 AM and arrived at the Elks Lodge in Sunnyvale at 8:00 AM.
At 9:00 AM I picked up George, Doreen’s brother in law, and we went for breakfast. George cannot sleep at night. His wife Vera died last year and I believe that has something to do with it. He is a very nice person.
His son is taking him to England next Saturday. At ninety he still has a lot of courage.

I took off again at 4:00 AM. At 5:00 AM I had breakfast at the overlook on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. What a view I had while sitting in the driver seat of the motorhome and eating my cereal.
There was no fog, it was very clear. Unfortunately the pictures are not as good as the real view.

At 6:30 AM I arrived at the Sonoma County Fairground RV Park. I drove into an empty site and slept on the couch for an hour.
After lunch I went to Railroad Square, this is Santa Rosa’s Old Town. Charles M. Schulz was a native of Santa Rosa. His cartoon characters are on street corners.

My next stop was Guerneville. I visited Betty Anderson, a former neighbor in Carlsbad. She lives there with her daughter Suzy. Betty slowed down a bit and she does not remember many things.

Since I was near the Sonoma coast I drove there and followed highway 1 to Bodega Bay, where Alfred Hitchcock made the film “The Birds”. The stores sell some memorabilia, and one store has the likeness of Hitchcock standing in front of the establishment.

It was a beautiful drive. The sky was blue and there were a lot of flowers.

Today I got up at 6:00 AM, my regular time. There are no more big cities with traffic problems on the way to Eureka.
I left Santa Rosa at 7:30 AM. In Willits I stopped for gasoline. The first station charged $ 3.42 for a gallon. I thought that was pretty good and went in. The next station was an ARCO station and they charged $ 3.19.
Since I am gone the price for gasoline must have dropped a lot. I am glad.
At the Rest Area north of Willits I took a long rest. The scenery along highway 101 is just beautiful. The flowers on the hills and on the side of the road are in full bloom. Unfortunately there is no room to stop and take a picture.
I arrived at the Richardson Grove RV Park, near Garberville, at 10:30 AM. After lunch I took a ride through the Richardson Grove State Park. They have some giant redwood trees there.
The park is next to the Eel River.

My next stop was the Legend of Bigfoot store. They have a lot of redwood carvings for sale.

Near this store is the Grandfather Tree, another tourist trap.

Across from the RV Park is the One-Log House. Somebody carved a room out of the tree. It has a tiny kitchen and a place to sleep.

One of the carved bears has an ice cream. Since I did not have an ice cream for a long time I enjoyed one today.

I decided to stay one more day and visit Shelter Cove, a small community on the ocean. When I left the sun was shining and there were no clouds. It took me a long time to drive the 23 miles. The road went up and down and it was very curvy.
It was a beautiful drive though. I came through redwood coves and ranch land, with cattle on the hills. The last three miles I drove to fog. At the lighthouse I met the man in charge of the lighthouse. He is a volunteer and was painting the outside of the structure. He let me go inside and look around. Unfortunately I was too early and did not want to wait until the sun had burned away the fog. While I was there it got a little lighter.
The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse was decommissioned and brought 35 miles down to Shelter Cove. It is located in a little park.

One of the good citizen of Shelter Cove has his monument in the park.

On the way home I drove through the Avenue of the Giants. It is very difficult to get a good picture of those giant redwood trees. The super large ones are close together and it is too dark for a picture.

I also stopped at The Living Chimney Tree. Fire hollowed out the tree, and from the inside one can see the sky. The walls are about two feet thick. The tree looks normal from the outside.

Many times I drove by the Benbow Inn. This time I stopped and checked out the lobby and the garden. Rooms cost between $ 88.00 and $900.00 a day.

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