Eureka - 27th March
Eureka, we made it. Todays 230 kilometre drive on State Route 36 was white knuckle driving at its best. Windy roads, up 4000 feet and back down to sea level. Speed limit was 90kph most of the way but often there was long stretches way under that. Many hair pin bends and some road works that held us up for up to 20 minutes waiting for the pilot vehicle. Then we had to stop many times to best take in the magnificent scenery. We drove from Red Bluff to Fortuna and then a few K's further to Eureka which is pretty much on the Pacific Ocean.
The last few kilometres into Fortuna saw us get a glimpse of the mighty redwood trees. They were so thick and close to the road it was like driving at night.
Tonight we are in Eureka and tomorrow start down the Valley of Giants road as we start heading to San Francisco and then LA.
Highway 36 Red Bluff to Fortuna
Avenue of the Giants - 28th March
Long Day. Started out in Eureka and ended up in Garberville.
We started out with a short drive to Ferndale which contains dozens of well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes. Lots of interesting shops including a quilt shop. At the suggestion of locals we to the cemetery which is on the side of a hill and at the top reveals wonderful views over Ferndale and beyond.
A short drive took us to the Pacific coast and Fleener Creek Overlook. It was a pretty dirty day and the ocean reflected that. Still a nice time looking out at the ocean. The sand is black, nowhere nice as the white sandy beaches back home.
Back to Fortuna for lunch. Burger King, dreadful service but the ice cream cone I got at the end was enormous. Made my day!
Then onto Highway 101 and The Avenue of the Giants which is a scenic highway running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The highway is notable for the Coast Redwoods that overshadow the road and surround the area. Its a drive of around 50 k's with numerous stops to walk the trails and admire these amazing trees. Some are over 300 feet high and 40 foot round at the base. The Dyerville Giant once stood 362 ft. tall and was considered the tallest tree in the park before its fall in a 1991 storm. The redwood’s crash to the ground moved the earth so much that it registered on a nearby seismograph and one local, who heard the impact from half a mile away, thought a train had crashed.
The walks we took were very peaceful, so quiet and green. We just kept commenting how awesome it was. We spent time near a creek, very pleasant.
We ended up in Garberville, a small town of less than 1000 people. No restaurants of note so we got stuff from the grocery store. The hotel we are in owned by an Indian gentleman, originally from New Delhi. He was very polite and didn't mention the cricket. I see some South Africans booed Steve Smith at the airport as was about to fly out to Australia. What scumbags.