2013 USA Pacific Northwest travel blog

Redcrest, CA - Ancient Redwoods RV Park - site 44

Redcrest, CA - Ancient Redwoods RV Park - site 44, another view

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 0 - our route - 119 miles

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 1 - the familiar grass-covered hills as we...

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 2 - As you can see from this...

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 3 - once we left Willits, the road...

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 4

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 5 - and a lot of up and...

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 6 - we were alongside the South Fork...

Ukiah to Redcrest, CA 7

DayTrip1 0 - our route - 100 miles

DayTrip1 1 - as we start down the Avenue of the Giants...

DayTrip1 2 - farther down the Avenue

DayTrip1 3 - the valley created by the Van Duzen river that...

DayTrip1 4 - not a lot of water in the Van Duzen...

DayTrip1 5 - laying some new blacktop on CA 36

DayTrip1 6 - another grove of large redwoods we drove through

DayTrip1 7 - Spring in North California

DayTrip1 8 - more of the valley

DayTrip1 9 - the Loleta Cheese Factory in tiny Loleta, CA

DayTrip1 10 - they have just re-chopped the curds in this batch...

DayTrip1 11 - right next to it, the other vat is getting...

DayTrip1 12 - ALL of downtown Loleta

DayTrip1 13 - downtown Fortuna, a few miles south of Loleta

DayTrip1 14

DayTrip1 15 - Tall redwoods along US 101 on the way back...

DayTrip1 16 - back on the Avenue of Giants - is this...

DayTrip2 0 - our route - 94 miles

DayTrip2 1 - the closest store to the campground a little ways...

DayTrip2 2 - the Immortal Tree by the campground parking lot

DayTrip2 3

DayTrip2 4 - the parking lot at the Founders Grove in Humboldt...

DayTrip2 5

DayTrip2 6 - the Founders Tree

DayTrip2 7

DayTrip2 8 - it's a very big tree also

DayTrip2 9 - she's standing in the middle of this tree

DayTrip2 10 - now that's a lot of root!

DayTrip2 11 - the roots at the base of the Dryerville Giant

DayTrip2 12 - some of its trunk

DayTrip2 13 - these pieces of bark that fell off the trunk...

DayTrip2 14

DayTrip2 15 - a lot of fallen trees in the grove

DayTrip2 16

DayTrip2 17 - a motorhome built of redwood

DayTrip2 18

DayTrip2 19

DayTrip2 20 - looks more like a train from the front

DayTrip2 21 - and the chauffeur

DayTrip2 22 - the house made inside one log

DayTrip2 23

DayTrip2 24

DayTrip2 25

DayTrip2 26

DayTrip2 27 - the Grandfather Tree

DayTrip2 28

DayTrip2 29 - the Eel River as it runs beside the Avenue...

DayTrip2 30 - US 101 going North on the way back to...

DayTrip3 0 - our route - 82 miles

DayTrip3 1 - the skies are threatening as we head out

DayTrip3 2 - the Eel River as it gets ready to empty...

DayTrip3 3 - Entering the ocean

DayTrip3 4 - the coastline a few miles farther south

DayTrip3 5 - a view from the south of the Eel River...

DayTrip3 6 - one of the homes as we enter Ferndale

DayTrip3 7

DayTrip3 8 - downtown Ferndale

DayTrip3 9

DayTrip3 10

DayTrip3 11

DayTrip3 12

DayTrip3 13

DayTrip3 14 - another Victorian home

DayTrip3 15

DayTrip3 16

DayTrip4 0 - our route - 78 miles

DayTrip4 1 - a familiar name in Eureka

DayTrip4 2 - one of the many logging trucks we have seen

DayTrip4 3 - downtown Eureka

DayTrip4 4

DayTrip4 5

DayTrip4 6

DayTrip4 7 - the Carson Mansion, now a private club

DayTrip4 8 - what is now an office building across the street...

DayTrip4 9 - Fort Humboldt State Historic Park (FHSHP) - one of...

DayTrip4 10 - FHSHP 2

DayTrip4 11 - FHSHP 3

DayTrip4 12 - FHSHP 4

DayTrip4 13 - FHSHP 5

DayTrip4 14 - FHSHP 6 - one of the mill saws

DayTrip4 14 - FHSHP 7 - the former medicinal garden behind the...

DayTrip4 15 - Blue Ox 1 - an old 40 something Studebaker...

DayTrip4 16 - Blue Ox 2 - Paul Bunyan guarding the place

DayTrip4 17 - Blue Ox 3 - some of the human powered...

DayTrip4 18 - Blue Ox 4 - a hand-cranked rip saw

DayTrip4 19 - Blue Ox 5

DayTrip4 20 - Blue Ox 6 - a foot-driven table saw

DayTrip4 21 - Blue Ox 7 - Babe, the blue ox

DayTrip4 22 - Blue Ox 8 - one big tree stump

DayTrip4 23 - Blue Ox 9

DayTrip4 23 - Blue Ox 10 - a cable car made of...

DayTrip4 24 - Blue Ox 11 - one of the roses in...

DayTrip4 25 - Blue Ox 12

DayTrip4 26 - Blue Ox 13


It was an easy 119 mile drive up US 101 from Ukiah to Redcrest, CA through much of the same scenery we have become accustomed to here in northern California. Most of the mountains here are covered with green trees as opposed to the golden grass we came from. We are staying at the Ancient Redwoods RV Park right on the Avenue of the Giants which parallels US 101 and is a scenic ride through the giant redwoods. We have full hookups, 50 amps, easy satellite acquisition and no Verizon though they have set up an amplifier near the office where we can get a signal but not at our campsite. It is a very nice park with wider than usual sites for this area.

We took four day trips from here each with a specific purpose. On Friday we took the scenic drive over CA 36 which travels through the valley east of here created by the Van Duzen River. This area of California is mostly lumbering and cattle for its land use. Throughout the valley there were lots of cattle and we passed through several giant redwood groves as well. After going up the valley and back we headed for the tiny town of Loleta to see the Loleta Cheese Factory. It was small but interesting and we were amazed that they produced so much cheese in this small community.

Saturday we head South down the Avenue of the Giants to see all of the attractions that are scattered along its length. The road parallels the Eel River and you get glimpses of it at every break in the redwood groves. On this road you pass through several groves containing very large redwood trees with the road winding through them. It's dark in there and they have reflectors in front of the trees growing right next to the road so they will not be hit.

The first stop on this trip was at the Founders Grove in the Humboldt Redwood State Park. There, we took a hike around the grove seeing the various large trees as well as the Dryerville Giant which was the largest tree until it fell in 1991 like all giant redwoods eventually do. It is estimated it was about 1600 years old. These are what they call Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) that grow in a 40 mile wide swath from southern Monterey County in CA 450 miles north to the southern coast of Oregon. These growing along the Eel River tend to be some of the largest due to the perfect growing conditions in this area. Most of these larger trees are over 300 feet tall and many exceed 15 feet it diameter. They contain enough wood for each of them to supply the wood to build several average homes. Other attractions we saw after leaving the Founders Grove include the Grandfather Tree, the One Log House, the redwood motorhome, the Immortal Tree (in the campground parking lot), and a few gift shops.

Sunday it rained so we stayed in and planned the rest of our stay. It rained all night Sunday night but stopped Monday morning and we decided to chance it for our third day trip: a ride through Loleta over to the coast where the Eel River dumps into the Pacific and also to the small community of Ferndale which has done a magnificent job of keeping up their homes and businesses to reflect an earlier Victorian time.

Tuesday, we headed out to visit Eureka, CA which is on the coast north of here. Our first stop was at the Fort Humboldt State Historic Park where we were able to see many machines used in an earlier logging age. There wasn't much left of the fort as it was built to be short lived and most of it was sold off when it was closed. Most of my pictures are of the machinery as it was much more interesting!

We then headed to the Blue Ox Millworks which was very interesting. We took the historic park tour which includes a demonstration of many turn of the century woodworking tools. This was a period when tools were being automated, though human-powered, and they demonstrated several scroll saws, table saws, Rip saws, drills, shapers, fence picket shavers, etc. that are all powered by feet or hands to achieve the same thing we get with today's motor driven tools. They also have a high school on the premises where students learn a vocation as well as their academic work.

The mill itself has only been around for about 40 years but has achieved a reputation for its ability to recreate the ornate woodwork that has been destroyed on many older Victorian homes all over the country.

Wednesday we were going on another hike in the Humboldt Redwood State Park but the rain interfered again so we just stayed in and relaxed after a very busy, but pleasurable, stay here in the land of the Giants.

Tomorrow we head for Trinidad, CA which will be a fairly short trip as Trinidad is just 27 miles north of Eureka. We will be there five nights, hopefully with Verizon.

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