We had breakfast and made up a picnic then discussed what we should do. We wanted to go south and there appeared two possibilities. Either go down the 101 and meander through the Avenue of the Giants, an alternative route to the 101 for about 31 miles, or go west south of Eureka towards the coast and loop back to the 101 further south. We elected for the latter and set off. It had been partly sunny as we left, but soon developed into a bright sunny day, though somewhat on the cool side at first.
We drove through Ferndale and noted its Victorian architecture. We decided to stop and look around.
You know you are in a small town when...
Almost everyone speaks to you
A landscaping truck with trailer attached stops in the middle of the road so as not to interrupt your picture taking
A pickup backs up at an intersection to let you cross, even though nothing is coming on the main road.
Christine said, "I could live here!" It was certainly an unusual experience. The old time aura created by the buildings was matched by the actions of the citizens.
We walked along the main street and a residential street while Christine took pictures of many of the buildings. In talking to resident, we learned that the town had suffered an earthquake in 1992 which had destroyed some of the brick facades which were now replaced with wood and concrete block, but the authenticity of the place lingers.
We also learned that the locals would not advise pursuing he route we had planned. It was suggested that we go as far as the beach and an old naval base, then come back as the road thereafter became rough and narrow with steep verges. Besides which, "the drivers are crazy".
We set off and found the beach which was broad an sandy, then climbed up to a lookout which we think was near the naval base as we passed a fenced off entry with what looked like grown over concrete pads behind the fence.
We returned to Ferndale and to the 101 and continued south to a lookout point where we ate our picnic then set off on the Avenue of the Giants. This was similar to what we had seen from Crescent City, but the road was paved. We stopped for photos and at a gift store which had a variety of unusual items, all made from wood, mainly redwood and was also the site of "The Immortal Tree" said to be between 950 and 1000 years old.
We continued a little further then saw a sign to the 101 and decided to return. We missed the entry to the north and ended up on a narrow, rough road with nothing for 61 miles. We turned round at the first opportunity, only inconveniencing one car. We got back to the intersection and realized why we had missed it. It came down a steep hill with a very sharp turn if you were coming south, as we were originally. Coming north, as we now were, it was obvious, so we got on the freeway and headed back to the campground. We did a few things then prepared dinner and after enjoying it, settled in for the night.
Tomorrow we will probably head into Eureka and see the harbour area and maybe go north to Arcata which is actually closer to the campground, though smaller.