Published: August 12th 2011August 12th 2011
Back on the road again with a fixed air pressure guage and, a new problem, a repaired front shade holding bracket. We stop at Oregon Caves National Monument and, after reading NPS guidance on the internet, park at a very welcome Illinois Valley Information Center and take the car for the 19 mile curvy ride. The cave is interesting but my sore back could only tolerate the bending while taking the “sneak peak” the NPS offered, but that was enough. The drive itself was amazing. Back on the highway we enjoy the wonderful forest scenes and river gorge views. Redwood National and State Parks Visitors Center gave us another stamp and overview of the park to aid our later viewing.
Passport America offers ½ price parks and we proceed up US 101 to a very nice seaside PA park overlooking the ocean in Smith River. Being in Northern Coastal California we have avoided the heat we finally experienced in Medford. Now it's cooler and as we move south along 101 we'll enjoy the Redwoods and great scenery. I met a neighbor of the RV campground who enjoys growing flowers and gave us a boat load of info about the coast we should see as we motor south. And then, across the street, is a wine/liquor store with great deals. It seems Oregon controls liquor sale prices (on the high side) but California doesn't! Not that we're living to drink but it's nice to sip some wine that is not artificially elevated in price.
Our next stop is Eureka where we are again educated about the logging and fishing industries of this coast. Mills are now closed as the expansive forests are gone and sanity has returned to professional logging. The old days were amazing as the loggers used their prize axes and saws to fell the big ones. The displays say rationality has come to the practice to farm, rather than destroy the forests, but our recollection of the clearcutted Oregon forests belies some of that. On our wonderful Humboldt Bay cruise we see where mills have come and gone and where now the whole logs are shipped directly to China, taking jobs with them. Fishing vessels are tied up, their owners having participated in a program to “sell” their licenses to the government to decrease fishing of a scarce resource. Eureka has preserved the Victorian style of its Old Town, which we explored prior to returning to our campground – located at the local fairground. We've had some excellent seafood here as we enjoyed supporting their main “industry” now, tourism. Tomorrow we're back on the road to see some more redwoods and California sights. It is amazing to realize that you can tell just by the risky actions of the drivers when you getting close to California (or Massachusetts, for that matter).