Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Beautiful Southern Oregon Coast

 May 17 - 24, 2021
Brookings, Oregon

Wow, that three weeks in California flew by! I think it took me that long to move out of "vacation" mode and back into "fulltime RV life" mode. Settling in for a week at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon, I feel time slowing down. The motorhome feels like our permanent home again. I'm focused on each day rather than comparing our experiences to what we were doing during the "lost year" (thanks Janna, it's the perfect description). Without a doubt, this is the life we're supposed to be living. 

Living it along the Oregon Coast is pretty spectacular!

Being in a banana belt zone, Brookings gets more sun than other areas, but it's still chilly at 55 degrees with high winds. Fortunately our space has nice hedges surrounding the spacious yard so we spend a good amount of time hanging out at home.

Tessa is getting very used to lush green grass.

Soaking up blue skies from the front yard.

A 20 and A24 have the best water views, but we have this pretty glimpse through the trees.

The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is 12 miles of beautiful view points between Harris Beach and Gold Beach. Boardman served as the first superintendent of the Oregon State Parks from 1929 - 1950 (wow!). He was responsible for acquiring coastal lands in Curry County with the goal of establishing the whole area as a national park. While the Department of the Interior did not support the idea, Oregon incorporated the lands into the state park system and named it for the superintendent upon his retirement.
We spend a day appreciating the exceptional beauty, and Mr. Boardman for his tireless work to protect it.

Knowing it will be at least a couple years before we see the Redwoods again, we return 30 minutes south to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park in California. With the wind at over 35 mph, tucking into a protected environment seems like a good option! 

Forests are beautiful, but nothing compares to these amazing giants. Howland Road is a peaceful, narrow drive through miles of trees, including Stout Grove. 

This burl looks more like a mud slide than part of a tree.

The road narrows through the trees.

Impossible to capture the whole tree!

Taking our time, we discover shelf mushrooms high above us.

I love the deep, cool, unique environment created by the healthy forest. It's a whispering place.

My BFF loves this area and suggests making the loop on Carpenterville Hwy over the mountain to Pistol River. It's a great drive with amazing long distance views, ending where the river enters the ocean. 

When we return to Hwy 101 we find a couple wind surfers enjoying the high winds. And we spend some time enjoying them!

Waterfront camping doesn't look so fun in the wind!

They're moving very fast!

And they catch a lot of air!

Looks like so much fun!

For the second time in three years I spend my birthday at Fat Irish. I've been looking forward to their Shepherd's Pie and Irish Red Ale, and am not disappointed! I highly recommend this pub, it's the best place to eat in Brookings! The big 65 - how did that happen??

Bill's Bloody Maria was tasty too :-)

Our last day the wind finally takes a day off. Tessa and I spend some time on Harris Beach where the waves are smaller than we've seen in weeks. A freshwater creek crosses the sand, driftwood lines the edges, sea stack formations add their unique character. It's a magical place.

Hard to catch her moving so fast - love the bunny ears :-)

Making it's way to the big water.

Exploring the rock fins.

"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints."

The Chetco River is very low, but we find some pretty spots along the north side. One of the best steelhead and salmon rivers on the west coast, there must be a lot more water in the winter. 
New growth is starting to fill in the areas damaged in the 2017 fire. 

Wonderful river colors!

Affordable river front home.

Started by a lightning strike, the fire burned over 190,000 acres of timber.

Only about two feet deep.

Like so many places, we're sorry to be leaving after a week, and at the same time looking forward to our next stop. Two weeks in Winchester Bay where we're looking forward to friends - and rain!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Soaking Up the Calm

 May 10 - 16, 2021
Trinidad, California

From our first visit on our first route in our first year, we have loved the beauty of Trinidad, California. To me, it's the prettiest beach in the state - which is saying a lot given the numerous choices!

Trinidad State Beach

Our short 75 mile moving day leaving Redcrest, California, continues through the beauty of the forest and along the rolling coast. Heavenly!

I have an appointment to stop at Cummins in Arcata where they are authorized for recall work. They quickly confirm what I was told in Fresno, and send a tech out to check what parts we may need to resolve the issue. While they do that, we take their recommendation for breakfast at Toni's a couple miles away. Although it's counter-order, the food and service are outstanding. We add our recommendation to theirs! 

Good news awaits us back at the shop. Yes we need the part, yes they can get it in a day, yes they will do the work next Monday so we can just have it done on our travel day. Woohoo!!! I'm sure Taylor thinks my reaction is over-the-top, but I'm so, so happy to finally be getting this completed :-)))

Elk Country RV Park is in our top five favorite places to stay, and this time we're here for a week. Not only is Trinidad beach nearby, but we get to share our space with a large wild herd of Elk. There are at least twice as many people here as two years ago, but we're fortunate to have quiet neighbors. FHUs with 30 amp on level grass and gravel sites, with gorgeous meadow and forest views. Site 516 has us backed up to the wild meadow, and at one of the openings where the herd enters the campground. Like our space in Redcrest, we have no problem connecting to satellite. Unlike Redcrest, we have cell service. The park WiFi works most of the time. 

We love our wild neighbors who come by nearly every day.

Her fluffiness is happy to have another green yard to relax in.

Very comfy with no human neighbors on three sides.

Across the highway is Dry Lagoon Beach. We make it our first stop on our way to visit Trinidad for fish and chips. The large fog bank, which will hang around for most of our time here, waits off shore.

Calm view from the Seascape Restaurant. No, that's not a whale spout :-( it's a smudge on the window!

The natural setting and wild herd make staying home especially enjoyable here. Still, we love getting out to explore the special beauty of the area. 

Many of the cows are close to birthing. In a couple weeks there will be lots of babies!

A rare sighting of the fraternity herd in our backyard.

They make it clear whose home we're visiting.

The fog moves in and out.

More rhodies in many colors.

This massive rock along the bay is a fantastic variety of unique foliage. All are sculpted tightly around the sides by the wind and water.

Gold Bluffs Beach is a remote recreational area accessed by a rough, steep, narrow and winding road through a primordial-feeling forest called Fern Canyon. There's a small campground (tents and vans) in the dunes with pounding waves nearby. It must be wonderful for sleeping when the wind isn't howling.

One of three creeks that cross the road.

Sediment from the Klamath River give the bluffs their gold color. Their name is from the miners who came to the area, not the color.

Tall sea grass rustles in the wind.

Monochrome views.

A day trip to Eureka includes the drive out to Samoa Peninsula. When we were here in 2015 the wild dunes were stunning. Now they are overgrown with the invasive Scotch Broom and (for me) it destroys the natural beauty. We see it everywhere now, covering hillsides and river beds. It's pretty, but is choking out most of the natural foliage.

Scotch Broom

Built in 1878 as a life saving station on the peninsula. The Coast Guard took over the property in 1915.

When the sun comes out again we return to the beach at Dry Lagoon and spend a few hours soaking in the calm of the surf. The waves are mesmerizing, ever changing, peaceful. It's times like this we're reminded how blessed we are to find our joy in the beauty of nature. 

Deep undertow churns the surf, looking more like meringue in front of the "normal" waves.

Fishing Dad

Beach Babe

Another Beach Babe.
The RV park is behind the trees.

Although our travels continue north, when we depart on Monday morning we head south. Cummins in Arcata is completing our recall service. We spend nearly seven hours "killing time" in Arcata and Eureka, and I'm very glad we have a short 100 mile drive to our next stop in Brookings, Oregon.

Eureka has several neighborhoods of vintage homes. Many need a lot of TLC, but several are beautifully restored.

The Carson Mansion, home to the Ingomar Club, is a real stand-out a few blocks from the marina.

We take the pretty drive to the community of Kneeland where most properties are behind tall wood fences or abandoned. It's a naturally beautiful area but has a bit of a serial killer vibe :-(

It's great to have the necessary orange form for DMV to release the current registration in my hand after months of knowing I needed it! We pull out of Cummins before 5:00 and head north.

On one of our drives we discovered that the Newton Drury Scenic Drive bypasses the five mile 7% climb out of Orick on Hwy 101, so we take that for an easy eight mile detour. As expected we have two delays where the highway is reduced to one lane, but both are about 15 minutes with lovely views so no hardship. 

Electronic assistant.

This on one side with a steep drop off on the other. I'm happy when we get on the other side!

Arriving at Harris Beach State Park at 7 PM is very late for us. We've only arrived once after dark, and that was our very first night in the rig. It's still light but it takes us three times around to find our site because we don't have a map and the site number is bent over. Although it wasn't a long drive, it's been a very long day and we're glad to be here for a week!