more redwoods and plenty of ocean

Our second-to-last day on the road began with a view of the ocean, because Eureka is where U.S. 101 first reaches the Pacific.

Beach just north of Arcata

After a few miles of this sort of gorgeousness, we ducked back into the wooded sort.

Things have changed north of Eureka since the last time I was there ten years ago.  They’ve built another new section of U.S. 101, and done another Avenue of the Giants thing with the old section, only the entire old section is within Redwood National Park, so there aren’t any little towns along the way.  There is, however, a very nice visitor center.  And an elk refuge (we didn’t see any, but after Yellowstone I’m kind of blasé about elk, anyway), and several nice walking trails. 

The elk refuge with redwoods in the background

Due to Mary’s leg, we only walked one short trail, but we both enjoyed the drive very much. And the visitor center, which had a very nice bookstore where I bought a history of the redwood region, both natural and cultural.

The “Big Tree,” from a distance because that’s the only way to get anywhere near most of it into a photo.

And the sign on the fence that surrounds it.  Yeah, that’s a pretty big tree, even if it isn’t very creatively named.

After we got back up on 101, we drove past the Trees of Mystery, a tourist trap which basically consists of a bunch of warped trees and a very large gift shop (my ex insisted on visiting it when we’d been here on our honeymoon), and over the Klamath River bridge, decorated with two California golden bears on each end:

I love those bears, and I had completely forgotten about them.

Then it was on to Crescent City.

That’s the Crescent City harbor.

Mary said that she kept doubletaking at the name of the town, because to her New Orleans is the crescent city.  We stopped at a park in town to take a photo or two of the town’s lighthouse:

I don’t know the real name of the lighthouse.  I know it isn’t St. George Reef, which is near here but on a rock out in the ocean.

Then it was across the border into Oregon and up one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, which is not just my humble opinion.  We stopped in Brookings for a quilt shop and lunch, and then enjoyed our way north.

Somewhere between the Oregon/California border and Coos Bay.

We finally stopped for the night in Coos Bay, Oregon, about halfway up the coast, first at a Fred Meyer for a few various and sundry things, then at two motels, the second of which met our criteria of a ventilation system that did not involve leaving our windows open onto a busy highway all night.

And that was our second-to-last day on the road.