Friday 29th May
Left Calistoga after a week here to make our way north to Eureka. As soon as Tony turned on the engine Sandy got into position on her bed at the side of my seat, she knows the routine now. Unfortunately the SatNav has stopped working and we're back to reading a map for direction. From town we took the California 128 to Geyserville, winding through forested terrain before the countryside opened out to vineyards, hayfields and distant wooded hills interspersed with golden fields.The road on the way was lined with oaks some hanging with Spanish Moss. Crossing the Russian River we entered Geyserville and here picked up the I-101 north. By the time we reached the town of Willits we seemed to have left wine country behind. The road either side became heavily forested and we started to climb, weaving through the deep wooded valleys of the Mendocino and Trinity National Forest area. Continuing on the 101 - Redwood Highway - with the south fork of the Eel River criss crossing underneath the road we reached the Richardson Grove State Park where the road wove through the giant Redwood Trees.
Reaching the coast again at Eureka we decided to carry on and head for the town of Trinidad. Outside Eureka we crossed the estuary on causeway roads and noted how the weather had turned cloudy since reaching the coast. Over the causeways we could the sea rolling in on Little River and Trinidad State beaches. Between Trinidad and Patrick's Point we reached our campsite, The Emerald Forest Park was well laid out amongst the forest where there are over 700 Redwoods trees in the 12 acre park. Each parking area has plenty of room and greenery between each pitch - very natural setting - proper camping in the woods.
The town of Trinidad is a small pretty place on the coast with mostly clapboard houses and set on a rugged, rocky bluff overlooking the bay. We had dinner at The Eatery, a nice homey restaurant and coffee house but with a good menu and well cooked food - crab cakes and clam chowder, delicious.
Saturday 30th May
The day is cloudy with moisture in the air but accompanied by the lovely smell of the pine forest. Went down to the beach which we had to ourselves and let Sandy have a good run. There are granite out crops in the sea around the coast and large boulders on the beach. The cloud still hung over the trees along the coast and we could hear a fog warning bell clanging in the distance. As we came back along the beach people were fishing from the shore.
Got coffee and muffins from The Eatery and sat down over looking the bay. Left the camp at 1100 and got back on the 101 Redwood Highway to continue the scenic route north and soon entered the Redwood National Park. We came to the town of Klamath which is the Yurock tribal headquarters. Just out of town the road came out of the woods onto a coastal bay. The road wound around the coast for a while and we drove through low cloud, there was very little view. We entered Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park where the road picked its way through the dense forest with the sun filtering through mist around the trees, very atmospheric. Quite soon we crossed the state border into Oregon and made our way to Harris Beach State Park. We have had a great month or so in California, lots of variety, seen and done so much with Chris and Dave. However, it was the most expensive state we have been in so far for most things, including RV parks, food and petrol. Oregon has no sales tax, therefore, we should see a difference in the spend.
Harris Park is in a lovely setting, forest and coastal views with trails running down to the beach below. The RV sites are spacious and surrounded by shrubs or trees for privacy. The sun came out and we walked down to Harris Beach, climbing over driftwood logs onto the sand. On the way back we saw a small pod of whales not far off shore, we spotted the spray from their blow holes and then they came bobbing up out of the sea.
The nearest town is Brookings where we went for a look at the marina and had dinner at a place called the Vista Pub. A small friendly spot with lots of locals at the bar and eating in the restaurant. The staff were very good and we had an okay burger there. We are becoming our own experts on burgers, so far the best have been Gordon Ramsey's restaurant at Heathrow, Evangeline's in Calistoga and the Angus Steak burgers we cook ourselves.