Friday, January 7, 2011

Northern California on the Scenic Route

I left Vallejo Thursday morning and stopped in Petaluma and Santa Rosa.  I lived for a year in Petaluma in the ‘60’s.  About 20 years ago I revisited it and the countryside where I used to go down the street to get fresh eggs at a farm which as gone years ago and my former place of employment was a parking lot.  I didn’t feel the need to visit the old “home place” this trip.  I did go shopping at both communities and got more inventory. 
I’m taking #101 which is a scenic and winding route.  It goes through the vineyards and  past wineries with tasting rooms.  It later turns into mountains with winding roads, evergreen trees and running creeks along side.   I stopped at a roadside park to have a meatloaf sandwich (Mary made a LOT of meatloaf and I get to enjoy it again!) and enjoy the sounds of the river.
My goal was Garberville before dark and I barely made it.  This is the southern point before entering the Redwood forest and I wanted to enjoy the trees in the daylight.  Garberville is a surprisingly active and busy little town…unlike so many I’ve driven through.
Friday morning I had the last of Mary’s meatloaf for breakfast then on the road.  I was not aware that the Redwood Forest and the various sections of the park were spread out so far.  There are 31 miles of the “Avenue of the Giants” plus more along the way.  The weather was sunny and warm even more pleasant than anywhere else I've been on this trip.  The roads had warnings for possible ice but fortunately they were dry.  I certainly wouldn’t want to take these winding turns when the road was dangerous.
About the time I was getting tired of the mountains and switchback roads, I got a glimpse the ocean. 
Pacific Ocean…Oh the Joy !!
My apologies to Lewis and Clark but as I crossed the state line into Oregon, the Pacific Ocean was to my left and breathtaking.  The rows of breakers and giant rocks are like no other body of water I’ve seen.  The Atlantic in Florida and all along the Gulf are lap, lap at the shore.  This ocean has an attitude.  I stopped for clam chowder at a restaurant in Gold Beach while I watched people pull their crabbing pots in off the docks. A bit further north I stopped in Port Orford RV Park run by a commercial fisherman.  He said that this is the most western point of the continental  U.S. and gets the most severe weather.  The boats are not left in the water but hoisted up onto a dock that, he says, is often washed away by storms.  Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the lighthouse and a look for myself.


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