Saturday, August 5, 2006

Crescent City Vacation

We went to Crescent City, CA, in order to escape the hot valley weather.  Here is a flickr badge of some of the pictures.  Click on the link at the bottom to see the entire set (31 in all).  The story of the week is below the photos.











2006/07/29 Crescent City, CA



We left home a little late, 20 minutes late.  I went through my usual last minute panicm which irritates J quite a bit (understatement).



Headed for the coast via Redding and Hwy 299 & 101.  Lunch in Weaverville at the Garden Cafe - it's for sale, full of flies, average food, don't bother.   After we reached the Trinity River the scenery improved.  The river is full of kayakers and rafters.



The redwoods along 101 before Crescent City are beautiful.



So here we are in our little house at 640 Pebble Beach Dr... right on the beach in the Castle Rock Wildlife Refuge.  There is a beautiful view of the ocean from the living room and the dining room.  We are right across the street from the beach.  There is an almost constant parade of Brown Pelicans flying by, punctuated by the occational sea gull or starling.



Waiting for the sun to go down, I can hear seals (sea lions?), and waves hitting the beach.  Life is good.



Weather is beautiful, blue skies, in the 60's.



2006/07/30 Crescrnt City



Today's hilight was a walk on the beach.  We got there a bit after low tide.



I thought it was going to be another nice walk on the beach:  pelicans, prehistoric looking things flinging themselves into the water looking for fish - seagulls - driftwood - sea lions barking - fishing boats out in the deeper water.  All of that was expected and it was there.



What I wasn't prepared for was the life on the rocks at low tide:  Anemonies, sand crabs, muscles, barnacles, and lots of star fish.



And, did you know that sea weed has lots of different colors in it?  Like red, for example?



I finished the book 'The Futurist' today.  It was an entertaining look at Americans in today's global community.



2006/07/31 Crescent City



Drove along Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park.



Myrtle creek trail was beautiful.  It was good to be in a coastal fprest again - the smells were good.  Plant life was varied, green... rhodies, azaleas, ferns, columbine, tiger lillies, inside out flowers, ginger, tan oak, madrone, pt orford cedars, laureal (myrtle wood), serpentine soil, fivfinger ferns, moss, fir trees, historical hydrolic mining site where they flushed away the hillside with high powred water... ditch running along a ridge with sluce gates... all happened in late 1800's.  ,yrtle cr was very pretty as were the various spring fed creeklettes running down hilll.



After the walk we took the Howden Hill scenic drive past Stout Grove in Jed.Sm    park..



2006/08/01 Crescent City



We went up to Gold Beach, OR, to take a ride on one of Jerry's Jet Boats.  It was an hour's drive North on hwy 101 arriving at 8 for an 8:30 departure up the Rogue River.



Our guide/driver was a  20-something man named Drake... blonde, tall and thin, he must be Scandinavian.  He grew up in Gold Beach, went to school in Portland, and was utterly charming.  We gave him a nice tip :-)



Our ride up the river was in one of Jerry's smaller Jet Boats.  When the water was deep enough Drake would spin the boat in a 360 degree turn, so the boat would turn left or right until it ran into its own wake and got everybody wet.. everybody except Drake.  You definitely have to hold on to you hat!



We went about 30 miles up river to Agnes, where we had lunch and goofed off for almost an hour and a half.  The Restaurant was called Cougar Lane and it was the Choice furthest up river of three choices for a lunch stop.



On the way up the river in the morning there was no wind, and the weather was beautiful all day.  We saw lots of osprey nests and one bald eagle nest in the top of fir trees, a couple of beautiful bald eagles, a family of river otters, people catching big salmon in the estuary close to the Pacific ocean.



The scenery is beautiful, a different perspective from the water than from the road.  I think a kayak float trip from Agnes to Gold Beach would be wonderful.  When I mentioned that to Drake he said that often the wind blows up river and you have to paddle very hard to float down river.



I guess a noisy, gas guzzling jet boat driven be a capable, local guide isn't such a bad way to spend the day.



2006/08/02 Crescent City



Big deal today was going to a movie: Monster House (** Satisfactory).  This is another one that was rated pretty well by Roger Ebert.  I didn't care for the animation; the adults looked stupid or unloving; it was a movie released in August that was about Holloween.



Wait for the DVD.



The rest of the day was pretty slow.  Went to the Rumiano cheese company and picked up some cheese made in Crescent City... the Dry Jack (aka parmesian) is particularly good.



So far on this trip I have finished two books: Bookman's Wake (Dunning) and The Futurist (Orthman), both worth a read.  I'm going to have to think of a rating system for books....



2006/08/03 Crescent City



In the foggy morning air between 6 and 8am the pelecans were having a feast right across from the bay window where we take our brkfst.



They dive beak first with their wings tucked back.  They look like spears throwing themselves into the water.



After brkfst we headed So. to Prairie Creek St. Pk.  On the way we took the "Coastal Drive" enroute to the Scenic Drive.  The Coastal Dr. turned out to be a narrow, gravel road which was paved sometimes for about 25 yards at a time.  No matter wether it was paved or gravel, there were pot holes everywhere :-(  The driving gods cleared away the big rocks and I didn't drag bottom, even though my 3" of clearance was making me nervous.  The Prius is a good car but it is pretty low.



Finally we reached the Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy.  It was beautiful... a drivw through a redqood forest.  Our walk on Prarie Cr. Tr. was a wonderful walk in a quiet forest, where one of the loudest noises was the creek.  One of the logs we went over was so large they built steps... 11 steps and 11 down.  We saw all the nirmal plants one expects to see in a coastal redwood forest in August.



After lunch at a diner in Orick, we went on the 1 mile guided Lady Bird Johnson Grove trail.  Is she still alive?  The old growth coastal redwoods are wonderous.



2006/08/04 Crescent City



We went down to Prarie Creek St. Pk. again today.  Once again we walked through giant Coastal Redwoods.  The forest floor is covered with ferns, fallen limbs and nursery logs, moss, small dens created by empty spots in trees and logs.  Fern Creek us a nice little meandering brook in the summer.



Now we must pack and prepare to go home and see the kitties tmorrow.