Not far past Crescent City we were in a redwood forrest. These things are big! Thats one single tree behind my Honda.
It was time to look for a hotel, and thats when things started to go bad. We tried to find a quiet spot in a small town, but couldn't find anything- partly due to the lack of decent tourist info in this state. We got into Eureka and decided we had better stay there, as it was a long way to the next town of any size. We drove into Old Town, Bonnie saw this neat building and said we should stay in town and walk around here.
Just 2 or 3 blocks from Old Town there were several motels. We first checked into a Motel 8, but then discovered it didn't have air conditioning, and the internet was down for upgrade. We got our money back and went across the street to a Quality Inn. We checked in, went to the room and it was hot as an oven, and no A/C. Also broken screens on the windows. We got moved to another room, but it had only 2 small windows on one side, so no way to get cross ventilation. The desk guy assured me no hotel in town had A/C. We left the windows open and went for a walk.
Old town was intersting, but the town in general looked like it had seen better days, lots of empty buildings, but a few open places. Ok for a few minutes walk, but hardly worth comng very far to see.
When we got back to the motel we discovered a group of about 12 motorcycle riders were staying there. They seemed to be all older couples, but they were noisy, yelling to each other across the court, generally just having a good time, but really noisy. They finally got quiet, we had to close the room windows, and spent the worst night of the trip.
Clearly this 'Quality Inn' is not on my list of favorite places. They even had the water reversed in the sink- hot on the right! If you ever visit Eureka, skip this place.
Next morning, July 4, we headed down 101 and were soon into the Humbolt Redwood forrest. This is a spectacular place to see. This is not one of those trick photos, Bonnie is really standing between those two trees. We went for a walk in the forest. It was very quiet and peaceful walking among these giants. We later bought two of them to plant at home.
A bit further down in a visitor center with this tree section. Note in the background the tree has an axe on it where some loggers started chopping it down. No explanation why they stopped, but the tree survived. Then up higher is a blue marker- thats where the flood waters reached in December 1964. The tree also survived that, and is still growing well. It's called the Immortal Tree. Its current height is 248 feet, it's 14.5 feet diameter at the base, estimated to have 104,000 board feet of lumber and to be 950-1000 years old.
A bit further along we took a short loop trail and saw this burl. Sure would make one big bowl if you could cut it off.
This tree fell right alongisde the road. The bark is peeling off, notice how thick it is, nearly 9 inches. The forest depends upon the fallen trees. They become "nurse" trees, provding nourishment for new growth. It takes years for them to fully decay.
Out of the forrest we were back on 101, and soon onto a mountain road out to the coast. I don't recall ever driving a more winding road- 24 miles, with some switchback turns posted to 10 miles per hour.
But it lead to some more great coastline, and we took this photo, probably our last shot of the coast road in Mendocino. Bonnie liked Mendocino, cute town, lovely ocean front state park, great gardens.
We headed back over the mountains, since we were told there were no affordable hotels along the coast. We passed several of these vineyards, and were soon into Sonoma county. It also started to get very hot. It was about 65 at the coast, but 102 when we got into a hotel in Cloverdale.
It was a quiet town, and there was a laundromat right across the street, so we had dinner, and Bonnie did our laundry. We are now just about 100 miles from San Franscico
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