Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eureka!! - June 6, 2009

Eureka, California, a tourist town and fishing village. Also the name of a interesting but cancled weekly scifi show. And no, we did not find Sherrif Carter's underground house, Cafe Diem, or any sign of Global Dynamics.

What we did find were lot's of young people, apparently homeless, looking through trash cans for aluminum cans to turn in for a cash refund. Thinking back on it, we saw quite a few people there that seem to have fallen on hard times.

We saw this neat old house off in the distance. Off we went to see it up close. Turns out it's a private club. Members only. So we didn't get to investigate up close.

Schmoozing with the Redwoods - June 5, 2009 (Cont'd)

Today we drove the "Avenue of the Giants". It's an old curvy narrow section of California Highway 101 that goes right through the Redwood groves. In many places you have to steer towards the center of the highway to avoid the trees right at the edge of the pavement.

We went on several hikes to get out into the forest and surround ourselves with the trees. Here's a picture of EJ next to two giants to give you some perspective for the size of the redwoods. Actually these are Coastal Redwoods and they only grow around the 2000 foot level within 40 miles of the coast. They need the coastal fog in the summer to meet their water needs as there is very little rain at that time of the year.

At the visitor center Frank found a 1920's camper that was built out of a redwood log. It was installed on a Nash-Quad truck chassis.

And finally, Frank did NOT fall over backwards taking this picture of the top of a redwood.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Update from "off the grid" Putnam's - June 5, 2009

Well, we are not in Texas as last reported. Frank's dad's surgery is not scheduled until June 22, so we had a few weeks to continue on our original route. We spent 5 days with EJ's brother and sister-in-law and headed to the northern CA and the Redwoods on Wednesday.

As we mentioned earlier, our little laptop suffered what turned out to be terminal damage on the roads of Lousiana. We ended up buying a new laptop (hereby named Nomad2) at the Costco in Sand City, Ca. We've spent several days setting it up with new software and learning the new Vista operating system. Old dogs don't like learning new tricks.

We decided since we are so far behind on updating the blog that we would let you know where we are now and plan to fill in the rest later. It's amazing how fast the time goes by. We're having a great time.

Today we're headed for "Avenue of the Giants" then Eureka where we'll probably spend the night. From there we'll begin our eastward trek to Yellowstone.

San Francisco - Our nerves are shot - June 4, 2009

After spending a wonderfully quiet and peaceful night at the Uvas Pine RV Park south of San Jose we hit the road, the 101 to be specific, and continued heading north. Our goal today was to see the Golden Gate Bridge and get past San Francisco. Around 1:30 the traffic started getting really heavy and we had our first dose of gridlock. All traffic had come to a complete stop...somebody had dropped a case of styrofoam cups on the highway. Apparently a 3,000 pound vehicle is no match for a styrofoam cup as it brought all 4 lanes of traffic to a complete halt.

We approached the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) from the north as we had gotten on the 880, 580 and so on and worked our way around the east and north sides of the bay. As we approached the GGB we could not figure out how to get to the GGB park without crossing the bridge and turning around. We're finding the signage in California to be less than helpful for out of towners.

Using Streets and Trips software we managed to work our way to Fort Baker which is at the bottom of the GGB. It turns out the fort had been a cannon emplacement during WWII. It's called Battery Yates at Fort Baker.

After we left there we went through Sausalito to look at the house boats. There are literally hundreds of them. They range from million dollar homes to derilicts and is quite a community.

Then it was back out onto 101 to continue north. Traffic was bumper to bumper with instant slowdowns for no apparent reason. This continued on until 4:45 when we were far enough north of Santa Rosa to leave it all behind us. Some observations...more people were getting on 101 than getting off and when the traffic subsided it was instantaneous. We never did figure out where all those cars went.
The rest of the drive to Leggett was great. Driving through the forests, the hills and best of all, hardly any traffic. We arrived at our destination about 7:15 at the Redwood River Resort. Cool and damp, but really beautiful.