Sunday, July 06, 2014
Having taken the leisurely tour getting down to the Bay Area, we took a pretty direct route back. We left Friday morning, headed back up 101 with a brief detour through the redwoods, and had a late dinner at Porcini (really good) in Crescent City (where we also stayed).
The next morning, we headed inland and picked up I-5 in Grants Pass. We were back in Seattle by 8:30 Saturday evening.
San Francisco was pretty much fogged in for most of our two day stay. We came in across the Golden Gate early evening on Wednesday and headed back across in similar conditions on Friday morning.
We did some homework on the drive into town and ended up at Burma Superstar on Clement for dinner. We had to wait for more than an hour, but it was well worth it. I still had room for ice cream at Toy Boat before we headed down to M's mom's place.
Java Beach Cafe, which I wish I had discovered on previous trips.
We took M's mom to the Apple Store at Stonestown to check out options for replacing her ancient PC - and she and M spent the whole time playing with Photo Booth.
On our last day driving from Fort Bragg down to San Francisco, we were in and out of fog the whole way. Which I guess is probably to be expected in June around here. Point Arena was pretty gray, but the sun and the Pacific were showing through a little farther south in Gualala. We had lunch at Cove Azul and by the time we were done, the fog had moved back onshore.
Lunch in Eureka, then our winding ride through Petrolia and Honeydew, took awhile. I had hoped to check out Shelter Cove, but by the time we finally got to the main road, we realized it might be better to just keep going. We grabbed sandwich stuff for dinner at a grocery store, which M ate right away, but I waited until we until we got back to the coast to eat mine (Route 1 between Leggett and the coast is not one for eating and driving at the same time). We got to the coast right around sunset, which was great, and eventually pulled into our reserved spot at MacKerricher around 9 in the evening.
Saturday, July 05, 2014
I had been afraid for weeks that this section would be fogged in, but we got lucky. On the other hand, just before we lost cell coverage, one of M's friends texted us about a possible 8.0 in the Aleutians. I had visions of the tsunami washing us off the road south of Cape Mendocino until I thought about it a little more and realized it was more likely to drown us in the campground later that night. As it turned out, a big wave never materialized.
We've had a good routine this trip - breakfast and dinner at the campsite - but then fun lunches prepared by someone with more skill and imagination and ingredients. With some careful searching and filtering, the internet is a great way to find places you might otherwise miss. Our trips have become a nice blend of old-fashioned discovery and high-tech reconnaissance. Or is it the other way around?
We had lunch at Cafe Nooner on Opera Alley in Eureka's Old Town, where I had an oyster Po' Boy and M had some sort of falafel-stuffed flatbread. Both were very good. We walked over to Living the Dream on the waterfront for ice cream. Normally, I eat the ice cream and M resists, but this time none of the flavors really did it for me and we swapped roles.
We had off and on fog between Prairie Creek and Eureka, but there were enough glimpses of blue sky and the coast that I marked it off as a perfectly nice day. Patricks Point was socked in, but Trinidad offered some brief glimpses of the ocean.
There is something pretty impressive about these trees and it's unfortunate there aren't more left. Trees may be a renewable resource when grown like crops, but old forests aren't renewable on any human timescale. We didn't spend much time exploring - never getting more then a couple of hundred feet from the road - and it would be nice to allow a little more time on a future trip.
It's funny that despite the emotional and spiritual power of these huge trees, the first thing I found myself expecting to see was Ewoks racing by on aerial jet scooters! (M reports that she had no such delusions).
On Sunday, we stopped in Bandon, visited Cape Blanco (previous post), and had lunch at the Barnacle Bistro in Gold Beach. We stopped south of Cape Sebastian, where M read her book and I wandered among the dunes on the beach. We also stopped at Arch Rock, where M encountered what sounded from her reaction like it must have been a very large snake, but somehow all I saw was something slightly smaller slithering into the salal.
From there, it was on to California and the Redwoods.
Did I mention, the weather has been fantastic!
Friday, July 04, 2014
There are several state parks crowded along this coast west of Coos Bay. We stayed at Sunset Bay, but visited both Shore Acres (which includes an old estate and formal gardens, along with a spectacular setting) and Cape Arago. M relaxed up on top, watching for whales spouting and listening to sea lions, while I scrambled down to the beach for more photos and more exercise.