We drove out of California today with mixed emotions. We won’t miss paying $30 for two sandwiches at lunch. Campground were also expensive. The price of diesel dropped $.25 as soon as we crossed the border into Oregon. Depending on where you are, there are too many people and the traffic can be a real time suck. Nevertheless, California is a special state and my fantasy of living there remains. For geezers with lots of time and a moveable home who like to follow the good weather, the state is perfect. We are traveling the coast at the moment, because it is temperate year round. We could move inland 75 miles and enjoy warmer temperatures. In the summer we could move into the mountains and visit the national parks that we mistakenly thought we could see on this trip. Right now they are covered with snow, but as the interior of California gets too hot, they will feel just right. The Goldilocks effect.
Even though the scenery didn’t change too much once we crossed the Oregon border, there were some clear signs that we were in a new venue. We saw billboards inviting us to buy marijuana. There is no sales tax. And when Ken stopped to buy some of that cheaper diesel, he was not allowed to pump it himself. When the rest of the country went to self service fueling, Oregon did not.
Although the rest of the Pacific Coast Highway should be quite doable by motor home, we struggle with how to stop for photography and more thorough investigation. Many of the pull outs are on the western side of the highway and crossing back and forth can be a challenge even if the pullout is large enough for us. When we got to Crescent City, the views of the light house and the harbor were so enticing, we had to stop. We left the motor home in a large empty lot, unhitched the Jeep and went exploring. What a picturesque spot! We saw huge piles of empty crab pots stacked around the harbor. We’re wondering if the season is over or about to begin. Either way we hope to finally eat some locally caught dungeness crabs. They can’t be any more expensive that they were in California. Along much of our route we frequently see tsunami signs. Some warn that we are in the danger zone. Others state that we are on an evacuation route. The harbor area looked quite new and we wondered if the facilities had been rebuilt after a big tsunami in 1964.
Our campground is on a bluff overlooking the sea and we can hear the pounding surf even with the windows closed. Azaleas are blooming brightly outside our windows. The campground is owned by a couple from Germany, who have hung posters from their homeland around the campground office. Usually when a campground has a little store you can buy things like a sewer hose or the fixings for s’mores, but here they sell Männerschnitten, spatezle, and knödel mix. On the weekend they serve dinner on site. The menu is sure to appeal to an old kraut like me. And we got a 30% discount on the campground fee, because it is still so early in their season. Life is good.