We have continued to have rain showers. Yesterday the sun came out a few times, but the dark cloudy sky inevitably always produced more rain. We drove into Depo Bay for lunch yesterday. Coming into that area we noticed that waves were splashing up as far as the road and even giving cars a good spray of ocean water as they drove past. The ocean has been churning away because of the strong winds. Even way off into the distance we could see very high waves. It has been quite awesome viewing such a powerful force of nature, something which is unique for me.Closer up at the shoreline the ocean appears very dark and dirty. The force of the waves has been stirring the ocean floor and bringing up dirt and debris. Maybe the picture of the ocean below can give you an idea of what I am talking about. Notice the dark lines on the waves.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The ground outside looks like it has just snowed. In actuality it is hail, and it is the third time this morning it has done so. It also hailed yesterday when we were walking on the beach. So far every walk on the beach here has been a challenge; besides the hail we have encountered strong winds and sudden downpours.People from this area claim that this is not usual weather for Oregon this time of the year. Sunday evening we had a rather disconcerting night with wind gusts up to 60mph. At least that is what the manager of our campground said the speed of the wind was- for us it felt more like 80mph! Our kitchen slide was flapping so badly because of the wind that we decided to pull it in. In doing so our motor home listed heavily downward to the right so that while lying in bed our feet were higher than our heads. My real fear was that,with our home lying on a slant, the force of wind could easily blow us over. John kept telling me that wouldn't be possible because of the weight of our vehicle, he also encouraged me to envision myself being rocked gently in a cradle. No amount of positive thinking worked for me. With each heavy gust of wind I kept thinking that either we would be blown over or our little Honda Fit (parked behind our home) would be picked up and slammed into us! I was surprised the next morning to look outside and discover that the world around us still looked the same- nothing had been blown over or even tossed around. There may not be many postings on this site for awhile as rain is predicted for most of this week. Thankfully my brother John and his wife Linda have a cozy vacation cottage here where we have been spending our time. We have been enjoying good food and conversation with them. We also have a Scrabble game and cards to help us pass the time.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Before explaining where we have moved on to now, I want to pass on some more humorous signs which we saw while traveling around. There was a "No Name" hamburger stand and a restaurant called "Bless my Soul Cafe" (which offers good feelings with good food). When we were back east there was" Wild Thyme Cafe". And does anyone know Mr.Awhile? He owns "Terry Awhile Inn". Other shops with names I like: " Mellow Mushroom" and " Laughing Seed". Don't remember what they sold. On our way here we drove by Mt. Humbug State Park. Back on a serious note- it was a windy, cold day traveling up the coast yesterday from California and Oregon. And, yes, we were on a narrow and curving road again. Highway 101 is becoming a favorite road for us. We saw scenic ocean vistas with miles of rugged shoreline. Also fir covered forests, and rushing mountain streams . There were signs for "Elk Xing" (saw them the day before,not today). There were a few small towns which we drove through, but the larger places which seemed to have a lot of activity around them were the casinos. The inclement weather made the scenery even more impressive with the misty wisps of clouds advancing and receding over the ocean. Coming into the Waldport area sand dunes greeted us on both sides of the road. Again, a wonderful day on the road. I am not so sure John felt that way as he did all the driving! Below is the scene which we can view now from out our back window. We will be staying here for a week visiting with my brother John and his wife Linda.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Yesterday I failed to mention that we have now moved to Crescent City, about ten miles outside of the Oregon border. I saw an interesting sign today: "Captivating Crescent City..permanently eye candy". It was advertising a beauty salon- somebody was being creative! We started our day today hearing the tsunami alarm- just a practice drill for the area. The drill was the first for Crescent City, apparently what happened in Chili got someone thinking that it would be necessary to have an alarm here. This city did have a tsunami in 1964. It was a cool windy, and overcast day today but we decided to drive to Tolowa Lake State Park for a hike on the dunes. That was an interesting walk- part of it was through a marshy area and some of it was in a forested area covered with moss, ferns. Just the right area to see orchids! The flowers we saw were quite small (I have enlarged the one pictured here). We almost missed seeing it, thinking it was a violet. What a exquisite flower.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Our day started yesterday at the Rumlano cheese outlet and factory. Here we were able to watch how cheese is made. An interesting fact which we learned is that the whey, the moisture squeezed from the curds, is bottled and given to the cows for reprocessing. The milk used to make the cheese comes from organic farms, which makes me quite happy. Their cheese is also quite tasty! From this place we drove to a park along the coast,within the city, which had a memorial to the crew and passengers of the ship Brother Jonathan, which crashed in this area in 1864. There were only 19 survivors. As we looked at the list of crew and passengers we noticed that five ladies had no names, they were simply designated as "ladies of the night". Surely they did have names! As a result of this crash the first lighthouse was built off the shore here in 1865. And a second one was built later, this one is still in operation.The picture of that lighthouse is below.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The town of Fortuna was on our way to the cape yesterday, so that is where we stopped to attend services. As is generally our experience, the church members and pastor of Christ Lutheran were very gracious to us. We were even invited to dine with them at their new member luncheon . We are thankful that in our travels we have been fortunate to continue being a part of the body of Christ. From there we took a Sunday afternoon drive to Cape Mendocino, the furthest western point on the Continental United States. There is only one road into this area, a narrow winding road up and down forested hills and meadow land. Needless to say, the scenic vistas were awesome. The picture below gives you an idea of what I am talking about.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
To drive this road we had to return south from where we came yesterday. This highway, State Route 254, parallels Highway 101. Part of it runs through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. In this park is the largest contiguous old growth redwood forest. Once we started driving down this beautiful tree-lined highway I told John that we had to stop for pictures.I just felt we could go any further without capturing this scene.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
We are in redwood country now. It was a beautiful drive here through forested hills and canyons.We crossed a couple of high bridges over the Eel River. From that height we could look down over the tops of the trees and into the river canyons below. Quite a spectacular sight! Highway 101 in this area can be quite narrow and winding. John commented that it was similar to driving on the coastal highway except that this time he was trying to avoid the big redwood trunks on the sides of the road, not rocky boulders. There were many tempting stops along the way such as the drive through tree, and tree/log houses to tour. Many small shops sold tree carvings and large wooden statues. How is this for a log sandwich?
Friday, March 19, 2010
We left the Sacramento area yesterday and drove northwest. It was slow going for us because of a headwind and hills. We were driving into the coastal highlands once again. On the first leg of our journey we saw many fruit orchards, some in bloom but most seemed to have past that stage. I also started seeing more again of the Photinia bush ( a plant of the rose family). It is quite gorgeous right now with its red tips coming off the green branches. There were many seen in Sacramento, I took a picture of one by the back steps of the governor's mansion. Further north the bush appears to be completely red in appearance, a very striking color. In the summer it produces white flowers.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This fort was established by Swiss immigrant John Sutter in 1839. With the help of Native Americans he became quite a successful business man providing needed supplies to the pioneers moving west. Ironically, the discovery of gold brought brought him financial ruin. Prospectors virtually took over his lands and by 1849 he had retired to a farm nearby. The town of Sacramento was laid out on his property in 1848. Below is a picture of one of the rooms of the fort. It was one of the many rooms which we toured in the fort that gave me a feel for what life was like in the mid 1800s!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There is one memorial we found in the Capitol Park which I would like to share with our readers before moving on to the rest of our day in Sacramento. It is an old native American Indian grinding stone, a tribute to the people who first lived in California. I will post that here along with a plaque standing next to it.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Capitol Park surrounding the capitol building is absolutely beautiful. It has 40 acres of plants and trees from around the world. There is 100 flower beds, and a cactus garden. A camillia grove honors the early settlers of California.
While in the garden we noticed one lone hummingbird, the Anna's Hummingbird. He was high up in a tree but even without a binoculars he was easily identifiable. As the sunlight shone on him the little patch of red on his neck lit up like a neon sign. That was quite awesome to see. There was a lot in the capitol park which we had to pass up (many of the war memorials we missed) because we needed to move on and see other sights of Sacramento.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
We have just returned from spending the past twenty-four hours with John's cousin and her husband, Christine and Bill Newsom. They live just outside of Nevada City in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. After arriving there yesterday we headed out with them to South Yuba River State Park. This park has some historic sites related to the Gold Rush era. Of note is the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Built in 1862 the venerable 229-foot structure is thought to be the longest arch/truss single span in existence.
Friday, March 12, 2010
During the past year while traveling we have not always parked our rig in rv parks. Some people may think that we are always camping out in beautiful forested locations. In actuality there have been quite a few times when, because of visiting family or wanting to see historical sites in cities, we have chosen to park in mobile home parks in metropolitan areas. That has been especially true for Desert Hot Springs, Los Angeles, El Paso, San Francisco and now Sacramento. Some of those parks have no age restrictions and we have seen rather large families squeezed into a double wide trailer. In our last park there was a young girl living with her dad in the fifth wheel next to us. Her dad said he was borrowing the trailer from his Grandfather for six months so he could attend a school nearby. I am sure hard economic times have created many of these situations. The park where we were located in Los Angeles was the ideal situation with stores and a park within walking distance. Yesterday I walked around the area where we are now located, about 15 miles from downtown Sacramento. It is mostly a commercial area and the only shop I found interesting was an antique store. There is a store for motorcycle accessories, appropriately called Suicycle. Also a shop claiming it has home alarms, Hue and Cry. A tree cutting service advertises that it has cut enough wood since 1970 to warm all of Sacramento. In a strip mall I noticed a small store which advertises that it is a casino, opened around the clock for its patrons. It looked quite small, a rather innocent-looking place. I think I will steer clear of it. One could draw the conclusion that we have been hanging out in some very shady metropolitan areas and, in reality, we have not found that to be the case at all. Many of the parks have strict rules about who can reside in them, and even fuss if lawns are not mowed or leaves picked up. Of course many of those rules do not apply to people like us, the transients. It is fortunate for us that these parks always keep a few spots for us, the people on the move! Today we had plans to do some touring in Sacramento but the rain has been rather steady all day. We headed to the closest theater, only about ten minutes away. We saw Alice in Wonderland in 3-D. I found it to be an absolutely, delightful and charming movie. I liked it better than Avatar. It is also wonderful in that it speaks to the issue of female empowerment. Children's fairy stories have progressed a long ways since the time I heard them!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
We attempted at first just to hike across some of the meadowland but the path proved to be quite wet from the rain the night before. This area is Mitchell canyon.