September 6 - 9, 2013
While Twinkles did the laundry and cleaned, I went out to do a little local area exploration. The area between the campground and the Eel River at one time was mostly Redwood forest, but after the trees were cut, much was converted to farm land. The soil is rich as it is the flood plain for the river which has a history of flooding. The 1964 flood here kind of wiped out everything here, but it has been rebuilt in the years since and life goes on. Also a photo of the Immortal Tree next to our camp site that has survived woodchoppers, fire and flood waters.
|The "Immortal Tree" next to Ancient Redwoods RV Park|
|Roadside monument to flood victims of Pepperwood|
I then went a mile or so down the road to the little town of Redcrest, with the famous "Eternal Tree House", cafe and gift shop. It is an old, huge Redwood tree stump that was hollowed out over 100 years ago with a roof and a door added and has been used as a shelter by various early travelers and settlers.
Then to the town of Scotia famous for Redwood logging and the largest Redwood Lumber Mill, Pacific Lumber Company, in the world. I stopped at the Salmon exhibit with its huge aquarium tanks, stocked with Salmon, that simulate a flowing river. The Salmon run up the Eel River here to spawn every year, it is another big local area attraction. They also have a good Logging museum in town, but it is now closed for the season.
Then to the town of Fortuna, which is larger and proves it by having both a McDonalds and a Burger King. I stopped at a the McDonalds to use their WiFi and eat a bite to eat. McDonalds now seems to be the place for the local old geezers to meet and talk about the "Old Days". There was a group that was chatting away and I couldn't help eavesdropping. It was the usual stuff, local gossip at first, then it turned to "the glory days", when they had to deal with all those "scumbag" protesters who wan't to stop the Redwood logging. This reminded me what a controversial, hot topic the Redwood logging was in this area years ago. It now seems to be sorted out, the old growth is mostly saved, (the 6% that is left), but there remains much tension among the local folks here whose livelihood depends on the lumbering industry.
I then did a walking tour of downtown Fortuna, it has a real downtown with several antique and artsy shops, a really impressive park complex, but it still looks like an old lumber company town. Then a trip to the new industry in town, the Bear River Casino to have a look, it's RV friendly and we plan to move there next to dry camp for a few days. In fact there is a chain of Casino's from here to Oregon, we may do a Casino camping spree for the next couple of weeks on our way up the coast.
On Saturday, Twinkles and I went to the town of Ferndale, it was advertised as one of the best preserved Victorian villages in California and I would totally agree. They were having a town wide yard sale and the participation and turnout was impressive. We walked around doing the yard sale thing for a while, but buying virtually nothing, as there is no room at the Inn. That's one of the few cons to this RV lifestyle. Ferndale is a truly great small town, wall to wall nice stores in beautifully restored Victorian buildings. Also lots of nice houses with beautiful flower gardens. I am really liking this area of California.
Sunday, more hiking was needed, so we went back to the California Federation of Women's Clubs Grove, crossed the South Fork of the Eel River to the Rockefeller Loop Trail to the Bull Creek North Trail. We went about 3 miles through the Rockefeller Forest area that is all old growth Redwood Trees, lots of giants, very pretty. After a few days of hiking among the big trees, you begin to get a little jaded about the just "normal" huge Redwoods, but then you come upon a "giant" and you just have to stop for a minute and admire, there were a few of them along this hike. We have had a great hiking spell here, in the last week have done 40 miles of walking.
Once in a while you gotta do a little RV cleaning, the windows were getting real dirty. Monday was the day, been putting it off for a while, no more excuses. Once I get started, I go crazy and clean all the windows and the entire exterior. This is a good spot to do it, they don't have rules prohibiting washing, might be a while before the conditions are right again. Also a trip to the farm market a mile down the road for tomatoes and corn. They will not last much longer, are really good here and corn is like my favorite food, could have it at every meal. We did break away for an hour for a last 2 + mile hike at a nearby trail that is a favorite. We passed a young hipster couple on the trail, he was wearing skin tight leopard pants and in passing just said "this is amazing", that really sums up the old growth Redwood forest. A little further down the trail, Twinkles noted that his pants were pretty amazing too !
Twinkles and Slick