A Day of Rest

Sunday, Day 33

Seems like I lost track of the days once again! Jim just informed me that this is day thirty-three!  It’s hard to believe that we’ve been gone so long, but on the other hand, we’ve seen and done so much it seems impossible that it’s only been thirty-three days!

Today we took a break from travelling.  Given the fact that this is a long weekend, we felt maybe it would be a good idea to remain where we are in case we couldn’t find another campsite for tonight. I forgot to mention in my last post that we are at the Driftwood RV Park, in Port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon. It just happens that this weekend, Labor Day Weekend, is the Annual Slam’n Salmon Ocean Derby here. There were craft vendors and food vendors set up along the boardwalk, and lots of boats in the harbour. We strolled through the crowds this morning and enjoyed a bowl of clam chowder at one of the restaurants. I found some time to catch up on the blogging before we got out the bicycles and rode back to the harbour for the Salmon BBQ and the Derby awards.  The largest salmon catch of the weekend was 36 lbs – wouldn’t that be fun to reel in!

The barbecued salmon was delicious and the corn that accompanied it was sweet and juicy.  At the end of the day, trays of left-over salmon were being offered for sale, all marinated and cooked. What a nice addition that would be to our now nearly empty freezer, but we didn’t think we’d have enough room. A woman overheard us asking if we could buy half a tray, and she offered to share one with us. We heard her whole life story before the negotiation was completed, but she even delivered our share to the motor home, since we had no way of carrying it on the bicycles! What a friendly town.


Everyday’s a Holiday

Saturday, Day 31

As I begin this blog, we’re driving through some very twisty parts of Hwy 101. The speed limit is between 30 and 35 mph. The road is lined on both sides by towering redwood trees, except for the occasional turn when we find ourselves looking across massive sand dunes along the ocean on our left.  We have just left Eureka, California and will be somewhere in Oregon before we stop for the night. From there I’ll try to finish this and post it. Road signs tell us to watch for Elk.  There is an Elk Reserve in the vicinity.

We found the Elk, at least a couple of them, in a meadow at a National Park. Signs posted also warned us of bear and cougars who inhabited the woods as well. We didn’t venture too far off the boardwalk, but I did pick a few wild black berries. Yumm!

We had our lunch in the park before continuing on. Hwy 101 is a much better road and for most of it the speed limit is 65 mph, so we made much better time. When we reached Crescent City the GPS directed us to turn onto Hwy 199, which would take us easterly to Hwy 5, the fasted route to Kaslo, BC.  However, we hadn’t spent a night at a State Park by the ocean yet, and we’d been seeing so many enticing ones along the way, we decided to stay on 101 for another day. We crossed the border into Oregon around 3:00 and stopped at the Welcome Centre to ask about camping at any nearby State Park.  We were reminded that this was the last long weekend of the summer! We’d forgotten, since we’ve been on one very long, long weekend for a month now! All the State Park sites were fully booked. The attendants at the Welcome Centre made some phone calls and found us a site at a private RV Park, within view of the ocean and a short walk to it. The price isn’t much more than that of the State Parks, and we have all the amenities so we’re happy. We took a walk down to the beach before dinner, and had an interesting conversation with a crab fisher, who explained the process and the regulations. The air is still a little bit cool and refreshing.

Wait for it!

Fog, Redwoods and a Long Day

Friday, Day 30

After we spent time visiting with our next door neighbours at the campsite this morning it was nearly eleven o’clock before we got away. The ocean was barely visible through the fog and for many hours fog drifted just above the road and through the trees.  It was another slow drive, up, down and around mountain peaks, but this time much more of it was through the Redwood Forests. The highway was even narrower and steep in many places, until we reached the junction at Hwy 101.  Before continuing on along 101, we stopped at Leggett to see the drive-thru Chandelier Tree, a 315 foot redwood with a diameter of 21 feet and believed to be 2400 years old.  The motor home wouldn’t fit through the opening, but I got a picture of Jim pretending to try.

That was our only stop except for taking the occasional picture and eating lunch along the side of the road.  We were determined to get to a full-service campsite tonight. We were running out of clean clothes and we weren’t sure how much propane we had left, since the gauge quit working a long time ago. We also needed a bank and a grocery store! We finally made it to Eureka just before dark. A fine mist was beginning to coat the windshield. We did our banking and a bit of grocery shopping, but by that time I was too tired and hungry to decide what we needed.  We got only the bare necessities. We were lucky to find a space at the nearby KOA.  This was a very long day.

Nope, it won't quite fit!

Searching for Family and Cool Air

Thursday, Day 29

Tonight we’re camped at Ocean Cove, California. It’s a site with neither hook-ups nor levelled lots. We can’t use internet, or empty our holding tanks or fill the propane tank.  But we’re right beside the Pacific Ocean, watching the sun go down, and the cool, crisp air is a welcome relief from the 105 degree temps this afternoon.  What could be better?

We didn’t travel very far today, but it was a slow drive.  Our first stop was in Sonoma where we began a search for a family who was very close to Jim’s Uncle Peter and with whom he and Jim had spent time during Jim’s visit. We had names and an address, but hadn’t been able to track them down after Jim and his family last visited them in 1964. It wasn’t too difficult to find the house, and it too was listed for sale. No offers of a tour were forthcoming this time though. There appeared to be no one home. A chat with neighbours on either side provided us with only one small piece to the puzzle. One neighbour had been there since 1968 and he didn’t recognize the name, so we could conclude that the family had left the neighbourhood sometime between 1964 and 1968.

We checked for records at City Hall and found nothing. We continued on to Santa Rosa, the County Seat, and at the Office of the Registrar were able to find a few more details about Peter’s death – he’d been cremated, which could account for the lack of burial records. There was nothing about the other family.  While we were parking the motor home in the parking lot, we’d been chatted up by a friendly fellow who talked about his motor home experiences and shared much of his life story with us. Once, when he was telling us about how he’d prayed for a good outcome to some financial situation, he asked if we were believers. We braced ourselves for a sermon, but our positive response seemed to suffice. He eventually let us go on our way and he went on his.

Disappointed with our meagre findings, we returned to the motor home to  find a book on my seat, obviously tossed through the open window,  National Sunday Law – forces unite amid stupendous crisis. Might make some interesting reading!

We left the cities, and the exhausting heat behind. Even the fans in the cab of the rv were of no use in that temperature.  The air was so warm it felt more like hair dryers blowing on us.

We soon began our journey through some rather narrow, always twisty roads that eventually led us to US Hwy 1 and the ocean.  We’d planned to stop at the next available KOA, in Manchester, so we could catch up on laundry, fill up with water and propane and empty the holding tanks, because we’d hoped to find

Sunset behind Jim, over Ocean Cove

a nice camping spot in a State Park the next night, where we knew there would be none of these amenities available. But the winding,steep roads reduced travel speeds to between 35 and 45 mph. The scenery was glorious, yet some of the turns caused us to hold our breath as the road appeared to drop away over a cliff. As I photographed one turn, I was stunned to see three cows on the narrow inside shoulder!

By 6:30 the all-day upper-body workout had Jim badly in need of a rest. That’s when we pulled into this very relaxing spot for the night. The laundry will have to wait for tomorrow.