Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thursday and Friday, 6, 7 September

We leave Lynne's house about 11:00. When checking the tires, Gene discovered a lug bolt on the left rear wheel that was loose. Also, while backing up to turn around, Gene backed into a tree, doing some damage to a panel in front of the left rear wheel. Not an auspicious beginning.

We had to back-track to Grant's Pass to get on a road to the coast. On the West Coast with its mountain chains, there are relatively few roads going east and west. The twisty road led us over the California border to Crescent City.  But before we got there, we pulled in to Jedadiah Smith Campground and secured a spot for the night. These West Coast parks charge more for camping, though our Golden Age passes still get us a 50% discount.

Then we went in to Crescent City long enough to get diesel and some groceries. Finally, back to the campground where we were camped in the middle of an old-growth redwood forest. Coastal redwoods grow to be 370 feet tall, and 20 feet at the base. We felt like ants crawling through tall grass. It is perpetually dark on the floor of the forest.

Next morning we got a late start (checkout is 12:00), dumped tanks, and headed back to Crescent City. It was overcast today, with a low cloud cover that hid the tops of the mountains. We stopped at the Redwood information center and got some good advice. Then we walked down to the "beach." We were actually at the harbor entrance, near a small lighthouse. The tide was out and the shore varied from small cobble to coarse sand, all a dark color.  Gene collected some sand while Jean looked, fruitlessly, for beach glass. Beyond the harbor the shore was rocky, not a swimming beach.

When we returned to the motorhome, we followed the ranger's advice and found a feed store where Jean was able to buy some more dog food. We also went to Walmart, but the store was undergoing expansion and there was very little parking, so we headed on down the coast.

We didn't go far, about 60 miles to a recommended campground called Elk Prairie. There were no elk on the prairie, a large meadow, so we checked in, picked a campsite, and headed on down the road to the town of Orek in search of something for supper (or a cafe).  The metropolis of Orek contains about 650 souls and very little in the way of stores or restaurants. We stopped at a little country store where we were able to get the makings for hot dogs and beans. Well, we wanted to get away from frozen skillet meals. Now we want to get back to them.

On the way back to the campground, Jean shouted, "Elk, elk! and Gene replied, "Traffic, traffic!" but manged to turn in to a resort called Elk Pasture. 

Sure enough, there on the lawn were about 24 or 25 cow elk, grazing peacefully. Shortly a big bull showed up and started herding his harem together. Then he went off to a nearby meadow where we saw a couple of other young bulls. The big boy bugled a few times and they withdrew. Meanwhile the cows were crossing the road one by one and stopping traffic. Across the road another young  bull arrived but left when the old bull caught up with his family. All this happening just a couple of yards from where the motorhome was parked.

Finally, we headed back to the campground and ate our hot dogs. We can check another animal off our list of things to see. A day that didn't start too well, turned out to be pretty exciting.


  1. I love it when they bugle. I really miss that. Our big boy at the zoo used to call a lot in the early morning, when I was driving in, and I would stop my car and roll down the windows to listen. Always gave me chills!