I think today qualified as the very shortest move we have ever made from one campground to another. Our little spot at the fairgrounds in Ferndale was quite comfortable, except for the fact that we don’t have a satellite and there was very little TV reception, with the majority of broadcast stations in Spanish. After our hard driving day on the Lost Coast, we thought a little bit of TV would be good, especially since the news from Egypt seemed to be shifting by the hour. The skies were clear, but it was still way too cold to think of dropping the kayaks in the water. Our hope was that if we moved a bit farther north toward Eureka we might find a place along the Mad River or even farther north on Big Lagoon to slip into some water and christen my new raspberry colored boat.
After a bit of time, Swift Kayak stood by their promise to replace my green topped boat with the damaged paint without charge to me, and in early February my new boat was delivered to Klamath Falls late one dark evening. The shipper was traveling all over the US from Rochester New York, and his load was an amazing mixture of high end kayaks and $60,000 racing rowers. My little boat was tucked in safely and this time wrapped in some amazing felt and plastic that took considerable work to get undone, and the paint job was perfect.
We took our time with a lazy breakfast and then loaded up the rig for the short 13 mile drive north from Ferndale to Eureka. Our searches had revealed another possibility for camping at the Redwood Acres Fairground RV Park, so we drove by to check it out. It looked merely OK for 20 bucks, another parking lot with rigs lined up along the one road, and while there were full hook-ups, there was no cable and wireless could be sketchy. Instead we opted to go back the Shoreline RV, where we stayed last fall, and with our CampClub USA card we spent a reasonable 20 bucks a night, including 70 plus channels and screaming hot Wi-Fi. We knew the routine, the manager shows up around 5 in the evening to take money and check you in, and in the mean time you simply park, fill out a form, and give her a call. We again took a spot on the “unavailable” back row, where she gets a bit antsy about people running over her sprinkler heads, but after assuring her we remembered that part, and that we are only 26 feet long she calmed down.
Our spot was perfectly level on pavement, with a view on two sides of the slough. I checked the tides even though the wind had come up a bit, we thought maybe with the sun we could get out on the water. Again, it was not to be, with high tides listed before dark in the morning and after dark in the evening. In Humboldt Bay and all its surrounding rivers and sloughs, the tide is the most important factor, second only to wind. We had neither in our favor.
Instead we traveled up the coast north beyond Trinidad to check out Big Lagoon, one of three large lagoons that keep showing up in internet searches for kayaking around this area. The Lagoon was beautiful, but no more protected from wind than Humboldt Bay. Near the launch area was the Big Lagoon County Campground, completely empty except for the camp host, with somewhat rough sites right on the water. The signs warned against motorhomes or trailers, but we were sure we could fit the MoHo in there just fine. Of course, here there were no hookups at all, and with kayaking out of the question, we didn’t consider leaving our fancy smooth asphalt parking lot back in Shoreline RV. Still, it was a pretty park, and gave us something to think about when we come back sometime to try kayaking in the lagoons. Even with good weather forecasts, we also need to double check where the tides are maxing out since this area needs at least a 3 foot high tide to keep from finding yourself stranded in the thick bay mud.
We wandered back to Eureka and Costco to buy the cheapest gas around at a whopping $3.46 per gallon for regular unleaded. Ouch. Afterward, a short trip to the local Chamber of Commerce yielded some maps and photos of the locally famous murals. I plotted the addresses out on the map, since the chamber no longer had the walking tour brochures as advertized, and Mo and I parked near downtown and walked the streets viewing the murals. We actually managed to find all of them except one which we discovered later had listed the wrong street location.
It was fun, and we saw a completely different part of town than the “Old Town” where we walked the other day, and enjoyed finding the murals in what is called “Old Downtown”. The largest mural, at 70x70 feet, on the back wall of the Performing Arts Center, was truly magnificent, but my favorite is still the panels on the wall of the North Coast Co-Op.
The day ended with us back in our cozy MoHo enjoying the late afternoon sun and catching up on the world news. We then had an excellent supper with our local cheeses and watched Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love”. I loved this book, and had no idea how it would be possible to make a movie out of it. They did a surprisingly good job and we both especially enjoyed the beautiful locations and Julia’s performance. It’s a quiet little movie, but lovely, although I am not sure Mo got as much from it as I did by not having read the book, so not knowing the background of her spiritual search that was the motivating factor behind her travels.
We decided that it may have been a good thing that we couldn’t kayak because we saw parts of the area that we hadn’t seen the last time we were here, and entertained ourselves in completely different ways.
Tomorrow we plan to drive the wild highway 36 back across the mountains toward Red Bluff and perhaps spend the night somewhere along the way, depending on what we find. This time it really is a spontaneous drive, with no idea what is waiting for us. I love that, even if I get a little nervous about it at the same time.