Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bear River Casino

September 10 - 12, 2013;

The Ancient Redwood RV Park was one of the best all around campsites we have stayed at yet.  Lots of big pull through sites in a Redwood forest setting, friendly staff, full hookups, good WiFi and a very nice gift shop and small convenience store.

All things must pass though, so at 11 AM we left for the Bear River Casino.  At 24 miles it was a new record for our shortest move !  It is free, in a wide open parking lot, no hookups, but fairly empty so we have our slides out and no problem running a generator.  

We then rode into Eureka, the big town in this area, to a Walmart, filled with many very weird shoppers.  A woman at the door told me; long hair, short hair, Ha, Ha ?, and the guy ahead of us in line at the cashier in a powered chair, with big hat, buying bottle of Jack Daniels and asking the cashier (with wonder) about those weird Menonite people in the store.  

We then returned to Victorian Ferndale to check out some of the interesting shops there, in particular the Blacksmith shop and Galley.  We then went to the Eel River Brewery Tap Room and Grill in Fortuna for dinner.  The Eel River Brewery has great craft beer and their cafe was beyond good, highly recommended ! 

Ferndale is full of great Victorian buildings

Another great one

Sign outside of Ferndale

Logging truck going down main street in Ferndale

A great Ferndale Hotel

Eel River Tap Room and Grill sign

Then back to the Casino to test the slots, we came out a few dollars ahead and joining the players club gets us $10 each free to play latter.  The Casino is located on the outskirts of Loleta, Indian for "pleasant place at the end of the water".  Loleta is an old town which in days past had a vibrant large Creamery.  There are lots of dairy farms in this area of California.  The Creamery is now closed and the town looks pretty poor and run down.  They do have a great cheese shop, bakery and meat market. We went to check out the Cheese shop and the Bakery.  The Cheese Shop, the Loleta Cheese Factory makes 34 varieties of cheese right on the premises which you can sample and buy.  We then hit the The Loleta Bakery just about noon time with the lunch crowd, the food, breads and pastries looked great, I sampled a delicious lemon poppy seed scone.  There is also an old wooden railroad trestle outside of town, no longer in use, from ages ago. 

The Gilded Rose Tavern in Loleta

Main Street Loleta and Bakery

The old railroad trestle outside Loleta

Tracks are still there but kind of rusty

Cheese in the making at Loleta Cheese 

Loleta Cheese store

We then went back to Fernwood where we took a scenic country road 5 miles west to Summerdale Beach on the Pacific coast area known as "The lost Coast".  We walked out onto the beach and picked up a number of multi colored stones. There was a beautiful fog shrouded coastal vista from the beach. 

Lots of unusual stones on the beach

Seagulls love the beach too

View of the coast from ridge top vista north of the beach

View from country road with beach in sight

View from Centerville Beach

The Bear River Casino appears to be doing very well, they have construction going on to add an addition, the place seems to have a good crowd at all hours.  The majority of the action is penny slot machines but you practically need a training course to figure out how to play them.  There are so many bells, whistles, buttons, flashing lights and video screens and betting options.  If you do the max bet on a penny slot, I think it costs about $5, it's a bit mind boggling ?  There is a whole weird Casino counterculture, who look sort of poor, some even sickly, but they are experts on these machines.  They sit at them for hours, pushing the buttons as fast as they can, with blinding speed, with cigarette in hand, cocktail to the side, sometimes working multiple machines simultaneously. It all seems a little sick to me ? 

Blackberries love this climate, they grow wild all over and we have been munching on them for the past two weeks.

Blackberries in the wild

Another local town is Fortuna which we happened to visit while they were having a 9-11 parade down Main Street.  Fortuna has a few nice shops and a beautiful park complex with playgrounds, ball fields, a rodeo arena, hiking trails and a museum.

Fortuna 9-11 parade

Mural in Fortuna

We have been looking forward to the city of Eureka, California, lots of stuff to do and see there.  There is the "old town" section with lots of restaurants, cafes, all kinds of stores and pubs in victorian buildings.  This area is adjacent to "The Boardwalk" which runs along the Eureka Bay front.  It is a very scenic interesting area, but on the flip side there appears to be much poverty and homelessness.  
We happened upon a cafe there for lunch called "Los Bagels" that was great. 

Stay tuned for the next installment from our next stop, Blue Lake Casino, hope we have better luck there !

Happy travels,
Twinkles and Slick

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