September 13 - 15, 2013:
Another short trip to Blue Lake Casino in Blue Lake, California. They have a nice RV area, nice wide sites, even some pull throughs, right next to their gas station and convenience store and a dump station with potable water. The only thing lacking is electric. There is a check in procedure at the Casino's, but it's mostly about signing you up for a free players card with a few dollars credit tempting you to spend money in the casino. They always have free WiFi in the Casinos, nice lounge areas, etc so it's pretty comfortable. The danger is that it you can easily spend way more than a normal RV full hookup campsite if you aren't careful.
|Blue Lake Casino|
The actual town of Blue Lake is an interesting story, as there is no lake. In the mid 1800's the nearby Mad River flooded which created the lake. A resort town grew up around the lake and they called it Blue Lake. Then in the early 1900's, something happened that caused the lake to drain, as a result there is no longer a lake at Blue Lake.
|Blue Lake story|
|Blue Lake general Store|
The big town here is Eureka which has about everything you need, scenery, restaurants, bars, theater, the arts and shopping. It was the largest redwood lumber port in it's day, has much history and victorian architecture.
|Another Eureka harbor view|
|Rear of the Performing Arts Center in Eureka|
|Front of the Performing Arts Center|
|The Carson House, Carson was a lumber baron|
|The Pink Lady built for Carson's son|
|Mural in Eureka|
|Old mothballed Locomotives near Eureka waterfront|
|The , oldest continuously operating transit vehicle in US|
|Louis Armstrong on mural in Eureka|
|Another section of the same mural|
|Mural in Eureka|
|Another classic Victorian in Eureka|
We then took a ride to the town of Arcata which was a big surprise, it's a college town, the home of Humboldt State University. As a result, it's full of interesting shops, arts, book stores, bars, cafes and restaurants. Humboldt is definitely not ivy league, lots of flannel shirts and dreadlocks, the grunge look is still much alive here. Every second Friday night is arts night from 6-9 in downtown Arcata, it was great ! They have all flavors of musicians performing in businesses around the town square, with free wine tasting, snacks plus lots of street people, most interesting ! People are smoking funny cigarettes all over, barely out of sight, some right in the open and I don't think it's all for medical reasons.
|Jacoby's Storehouse in Arcata|
|Everett's Place in Arcata|
|Recycle mural in Arcata|
|Pizza restaurant mural in Arcata|
|Bagel shop mural in Arcata|
|Arts night performance in Arcata|
On Saturday we made plane reservations back to New Jersey for mid October and roughed out a plan for our route to Reno where we will depart from. Then we went to the town of Samoa, just across the Humboldt Bay from Eureka for lunch at the "Samoa Cookhouse". The Cookhouse is an actual old Redwood lumber camp cookhouse with long tables to feed the loggers. They serve family style bringing out bowls of food, all you can eat and meals include soup, salad, main course, beverage and desert for about $13.00. They also have a logging museum in the rear of the building with lots of old photos and equipment from the cookhouse and logging days.
|Interior of the Samoa Cookhouse|
|Old stove in museum at Samoa Cookhouse|
Next door is the Humboldt Bay Nautical Museum with many historical items on display. The volunteer on duty was quite the character, Winfred Grissom, who proceeded to explain exhibits and then showed us an old photo of himself taken while he was in a literacy program to learn to read. He also told us he had been a volunteer at the museum for 18 years and before that worked for the city of Eureka's newspaper for 45 years. Imagine working for 45 years for the newspaper and not being able to read !!! He said he found out they were going to fire him at which time he quit before they did it. He even took off his watch, that they gave him for retirement, to show the engraved back that listed his years of service.
|Humboldt literacy project|
|Humboldt Bay Nautical Museum|
Sunday was a solo day for me, the constant togetherness of the RV lifestyle gets to be too much at times. I went for an exhausting but very productive tour to the towns of Blue Lake, Eureka, McKinleyville, Trinidad and finally Arcata. It was a beautiful clear day, blue sky, the Humboldt Bay was beautiful and the Pacific Ocean coast at Trinidad was spectacular. The Trinidad coast is very rocky, with rocks they call "sea stacks" jutting out of the ocean. Trinidad sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean and the huge rock outcropping over the harbor is referred to as "Trinidad Head". I hiked a loop trail that followed the edge of the Trinidad Head that had many great views. I then went to the Memorial Lighthouse in town and went down the 215 steps to the beach below. There were Seals on the rocks just off shore and the view was worth the effort.
|Coast at Trinidad|
|Wild flower seed head along hiking trail|
|Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse view|
|View at bottom of Lighthouse beach|
|Sea Gull eating a Starfish|
We are packing it up now for a trip 70 miles north to Klamath, California where more Redwoods and beautiful coastline await.
More to come,
Twinkles and Slick