A Travellerspoint blog

Arcata to Gold Beach, Oregon

Redwood Day

semi-overcast 16 °C

It was a short drive to the Kuchel Visitor Center, the southernmost point of the Redwood National Park right down at the beach. We got hold of a park map, planned a few stops and headed off

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First stop was Elk Meadow where we saw a large herd of Roosevelt Elk

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Next was a drive into the Lost Man Creek area where there were hundreds of giant Redwoods (and no people, maybe it was the dirt road)

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Finally we took the Scenic Byway off Highway 101, a fairly deserted road through miles of Redwoods, re-joined Highway 101 and then made a late lunch stop at Lagoon Creek State Park

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Now it was time to find a place to stay - Crescent City didn't look good, Brookings over the border in Oregon was much the same. So we decided to head for Gold Beach - extremely high cross-winds, a light car, fog and a scary coastal road did not make for a comfortable drive but after a couple of hours of gloomy fog, we arrived in Gold Beach to blue skies and bright sun. We checked into Ireland's Rustic Cabins and collapsed on our balcony for a couple of hours, watching a wild Pacific crash onto the beach just 100 metres away

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Posted by kforge 21:13 Archived in USA Comments (3)

Mendocino to Arcata

via the Shoreline Highway and Ferndale

sunny 16 °C

We spent most of the morning wandering around Mendocino. The cottages we stayed in had a steep path down to the beach where the Big River meets the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino Bay - the scenery was stunning and the water was of the ankle-freezing variety. After checking out, we strolled down Main Street to Point Mendocino where I sat on the same giant bench that I had sat on 35 years ago

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We then drove to Ferndale near Eureka, not far from the Oregon border. Part of the drive was on the Shoreline Highway from around Westport to Leggett - it follows Cottaneva Creek inland through redwood-forested mountainous terrain and anyone who gets car-sick, please don't travel on this road. Oh, I nearly forgot; as we were turning out of our 89th switch-back, a small brown bear popped out of the forest onto the road for a couple of minutes and then thought better of it and rushed back into the woods

Ferndale was an important service centre in the late 1800s and has managed to preserve dozens of their original buildings. The town had a large Portuguese, Italian and Scandinavian population

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We had planned to stay in Eureka but the place didn't appeal to us so we continued on another 7 miles or so to Arcata; this town didn't appeal to us either but it was time to find a place to sleep so we just took a room at the Days Inn (a very good room as it turned out)

Posted by kforge 20:30 Archived in USA Comments (3)

Bodega Bay, Fort Ross, Elk and Mendocini

The road-trip starts

sunny 22 °C

The assistant at the Avis check-in at Post Street, San Francisco made sure that we had a low-mileage car as we were renting for several weeks - very kind of her. We were given a recent Nissan Versa with just 6800 miles on the clock. It was a few minutes back to Alexis' place and then the car set-up began - an hour later we were off. It was an easy drive onto the Golden Gate Bridge and suddenly we were in Marin County. Just after Petaluma we took a small road towards Bodega Bay - what a beautiful drive it was, meeting up with the fog at Highway 1 at Valley Ford. We stopped for a coffee at a cafe overlooking the Bay and as we sat there the fog miraculously lifted and we had sun and blue skies (all the way to Mendocino as it turned out)

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Our next stop was at Fort Ross, old Russian settlement from 1812 to 1842. Unfortunately this State Park only opens at the weekend these days (like so many under-funded parks) but we were able to wander around the buildings that survive from that era

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Next was a short stop at Elk where there was an amazing beach and bay

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Finally we arrived in Mendocino around 6pm and the town looked so worthy of few hours of our time, we decided to stay at Alegria Oceanfront Inn & Cottages - a funky and expensive cottage but overlooking the river and ocean with a path down to the beach. I started my beer appreciation tour with a couple of Lost Coast Brewery Alleycat Amber Ales

Posted by kforge 21:51 Archived in USA Comments (1)

San Francisco and Sonoma

2 sides of the Bay Area

all seasons in one day 23 °C

Sunday was still foggy - Jeni and Alexis went downtown and I stayed around and met up with old friend Lisa

As Jeni, Alexis and I headed off early evening for Green's Restaurant, the sun made enough of an appearance to give us the chance to enjoy a short, slightly pink sunset from our window table. The food as always was wonderful

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On Monday, Alexis decided she needed some sunshine and, of course, we completely agreed with her. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin Country and in just 40 minutes were in Sonoma, in the sunshine

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We spent hours wandering around in the sun, visiting the historic Sonoma Barracks and Mission. Sonoma was the site of the 25-day Bear Flag revolt in 1846

Posted by kforge 22:08 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Still a cold, windy, foggy San Francisco

Well done Arsenal

overcast 14 °C

My day started at 9:30am, watching the English FA Cup Final live from Wembley - Arsenal were just too strong for Aston Villa and won 4-0

I've had an issue with flying over the last few years - my eyesight changes after flights. Usually it is just a small change and it does not affect me that much but this time my eyesight has changed enough to make my vision just slightly blurred; not something you want when starting a long road-trip! By the end of the football on TV, I realised I needed new glasses. LensCrafters came to the rescue and managed to fit me in mid-afternoon with the promise of a basic pair of glasses within 24 hours and a reasonable price of $99 (+ $74 for the eye tests). Let's see how this works out

There is a lot of press about what's happening with Cuba. I'm just about to read the Time article "Cuba - what will change when the Americans arrive"; something we'd all like to know

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Posted by kforge 11:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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