Wednesday, December 3, 2014

On the Road

Odometer 41,857 miles to 42,034
Trip Meter 177 miles

November 22, 2014

Destination:  Blue Lake, CA

Every trip starts with a squeeze on your wallet.  We have just been to Eugene, OR and back, so it's time to top up the tank before heading out to Blue Lake, CA to visit my sister Phebe and her husband Rockey on the first leg of our trip south to Arizona.

We took on 40 gallons at $3.43 per gallon, thanks to the present over supply of crude oil, this is less than the $3.73 per gallon it cost us on our way out of Oregon last year- and- the forcast is for lower prices as OPEC has decided to let the price of crude slide, rather than propping it up.
Interestingly, I just read a study by PKF Consulting that demonstrates that RV vacations are more environmentally friendly than a fly/drive/hotel vacation- tho admitedly we are on the  more carboney ( is that even a word?) end of that continum, with our 26,000 lb home on wheels.  At any rate I would be the last person to say we are aywhere close to carbon neutral.  That's a discussion best left for a different blog.
We also topped off the propane tank, which was close to thw 1/4 mark after using the heat nearly non-stop during the icy cold weather in Eugene.

Our last night at our summer home was a duzey.  We were sleeping in the motorhome, packed and ready to go south on Saturday morning.  At 3AM we woke up to a thunderous roar of rain on the roof.  It has been raining since yesterday afternoon- but it was the low intensity type with breaks of no rain.  This was like a tropical downpour!  After a half hour of non-stop gushing rain I got up and looked out the windows with my 4 cell Maglite.  The beam of the Mag-Lite I could see standing water all the way from the RV pad to the front door of the house.  We were an Island!
The nice thing about sandy soil is that water doesn't stay around long.  By first light on Saturday I took the picture above, and by the time we departed at 9:30 AM, there was hardly any sign of the torrent of rain, and the sun was peeking out.  Our home weather station showed 2-1/2 inches of rain.

Traveling down the Oregon coast from Port Orford means traveling right next to the ocean for much of the way, and the sunny skies the blue Pacific made for beautiful vistas from every turn.

Joan and I have traveled this road often, but we never tire of the beauty of this coast- this is the magnet that draws us back "home" every spring.
As we leave Brookings, and cross over into California, Highway 101 veers further inland and glimpses of the ocean are few and far between.

There is another type of scenery that is equally mesmerizing however- we are entering into the Redwood Coast- home of the Sequoia Sempervirons, a.k.a Coast Redwoods.  As we leave the small town of Crescent City, CA we are enveloped by a corridor of giants that must be seen to be appreciated.
177 miles is almost 4 hours of driving for us in our 56 foot combination vehicle.  The road has many sharp 35 mph turns and frequent changes in elevation, keeping us below the average speed for the road.  We use the pull-outs often, preferring not to hold up the cars and light trucks that can make better time, plus, we like to look at the scenery.  We see our windscreen as the ultimate in IMAX viewing- mesmerizing to the point that I often forget that I'm supposed to be scanning my dash gauges and glimpsing at the rear view monitor to make sure the car is still on four wheels behind us.

By mid-afternoon we had arrived at my sister's house in Blue Lake.  Phebe and Rockey live on the south flank of a hill looking down over the small town of Blue Lake.  Their driveway is too steep for us to negotiate with our bus (ask me how I know) so we set up camp on the street below.  The street dead-ends a couple hundred feet further on and the neighbors didn't seem to mind.
Phebe is a gourmet cook and she treated us to fantastic meals for the duration of our stay- so we never really had to worry about needing any utility hook-ups.

Sunday November 23rd

We drove into the city of Eureka to do some sight-seeing.  Although we have been here many times, we never tire of walking through Old Town.  Old town is about 15 blocks long and two to three blocks wide.  Well preserved homes a businesses reflect the Victorian flavor  that was in vogue when it was originally built on the edge of Humboldt Bay.

An example of the beautiful homes in the area is this one called the Pink Lady.  She is for sale today for the small sum of $1,390,000

Across the street the Carson Mansion, built by lumber magnate William Carson in 1885 is, according to their web site, one of the most written about, and most photographed Victorian houses in California

The street scene is beautiful to behold.  All the buildings have been lovingly restored and maintained, and the shops are quirky and interesting

You've just got to love this one!

Being a safetyguy, this is my personal favorite.  Looks like it could be the title slide in one of my safety training presentations.

No trip to Eureka would be complete without a stop at the local Harley Davidson shop.  I think Joan and Phebe are heading in to check out the new selection of street leathers.
Phebe's husband Rockey owns this franchise- the two of them have been growing the store since 1998.  It is now tripple the size of their original space.  It's a must-see, even if you don't ride, the clothing section is awesome!  Tell them I sent you, so I can get a discount next time we shop there...

Tuesday November 25th

We had a wonderful stay in Blue Lake, and today we head further south.  The Sun is out, and the day is beautiful.  We hung around Eureka until 11 AM so with our late start, we know we won't make it all the way to Williams, our original destination.  Four hours after leaving Eureka, and with 172 miles under our belt, the sun is getting low in the western sky and we start looking for a suitable place to stay the night.  Joan found the Golden Rule RV Park just south of Willits, and we pulled in with just enough time to get hooked up and get in a short walk before sundown.  Just two days before Thanksgiving and we are parked in a flock of wild turkeys- hmmm...

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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