Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday, 8 September

Another night in the woods. It was colder so we added another layer. On these cold mornings, we run the gas furnace for several minutes before we get up to take the chill off the motorhome. Turns out it had rained lightly during the night, just enough to get paw prints on the floor after YumYum had his morning constitutional.

Much of the day was cool (mid-50's) and overcast. Where is sunny California? We have passed through the concentration of redwoods (and parks) and seem to be transitioning to eucalyptus. But there are still a few redwoods yet to see.

We stopped at a beach that was once the site of an ancient Yurok (Indian) village. The Yurok reservation is a band one mile on either side of the Klamath river from the sea to 43 miles up. But only about 10% of that land is in Yurok hands. Seems sad. The beach here is a very dark, coarse sand, so Gene took a sample for his collection.

 Shortly after that stop, we spot a larger herd of elk (maybe 40 or so) grazing and lolling about next to a pullout on the highway. This group seemed more random, with several males. It was interesting to see them with a background of heavy surf just a few yards away. We have certainly seen our share of elk in this area.

After lunch we stopped in Eureka to get some more groceries. When we came out of the store, the sun was shining, but it didn't seem much warmer.

When we came to the turn for the Avenue of the Giants, we took it. How could one resist something like that? We were immediately plunged into the darkness of a grove of giant, old-growth redwoods. The change from the pleasant and sunny California landscape was dramatic and almost overwhelming. The road is the old 101 (and a wagon trail before that) and there are still some old towns and businesses, mostly in clearings. This may be the last great stand of redwoods we see on this trip (or maybe not).

We pulled in to an RV park for the night. Jean commented that here we are in the Avenue of the Giants and there isn't a tree of any kind in the whole campground. Oh well, they are right next door.

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