We spent our weekend visiting Pam's brother, near Santa Cruz. We stayed in the most expensive RV park which we have ever been in, at $70/night at the Pescadero, CA, KOA. But since it is the only park that is really close to family and it was a pretty nice one, just off of the waterfront, we spent two nights there even so. Our next move was back to the west where we stopped at Santa Nella and took a day for a trip to Yosemite National Park.
We got up early and packed lunch and so were off to the park where we spent a fairly long day. For those of you who come to California, this park is one of those things which nobody should fail to see. While it isn't as large as Yellowstone, it is just as spectacular! For children the high point of the state many be Disneyland, but as an adult the place that you must see is Yosemite.
We entered from the south entrance and visited most of the major attractions, exiting through the west entrance. We took time to hike up to the base of Bridalvail Falls and also to the lower Yosemite Falls. Even with Labor Day past, there were times that parking was a problem and there were minor traffic jams. I suggest that if you have several days to visit, it would be time well spent to take the free trams and tram tours that are proviced by the park service.
While I took pictures of many waterfalls, the best known are the series of three falls known as Upper, Middle, and Lower Yosemite Falls. If you double click the view to the left you can also view those same falls from Glacier Point, which is far away and well above the falls. The two are very different views.
Today we rest, with plans to head on south tomorrow, and to arrive in Redlands on Thursday. We are hoping that the weather is mild for the rest of our trip since our front air conditioner has failed, last time that we needed it. With the RV now 13+ years old, we really don't want to fool with repairs while we are traveling, but we may when we get to Redlands, if it is too hot. We do have air for the bedroom so it could be worse. So far we have only needed air one night(the one when it failed!).
Yesterday we traveled the rest of the way through the redwood forests and into Santa Rosa, CA. The day was a trip of only 150 miles so we arrived here at about 2 pm, even after the tight roads that are part of US-101 through the big trees. It was an interesting trip and the Oregon and northern California coast is some of the most beautiful coastal area that exists. The redwood trees are magnificent and we wanted to visit them once more as well.
We stopped at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to stay in their RV park and while it is nothing to boast about, for the price it is difficult to beat! The commercial RV parks in this area all charge at least $50/night and many more than that. Here we find 30A, full hook-ups for $25/night and 50A for $30/night and they give discounts for Escapees, Good Sam, Passport America, and Happy Campers. The sites are nice and level and reasonably spaced. While it isn't luxury, it sure is a bargain!
Today we traveled on through the redwood country to Graberville. Just down the road south of Cresecnt City is a place called "Trees of Mystery" which is a typical tourist area but the gift shop has an attached museum of native American items which is free to the public and is well worth the time to stop and visit. The collection includes a wide range of clothing, cradleboards, baskets, pottery and weapons from dozens of the best known tribes from all around the country, including Alaska. It is easy to spend several hours going through the collections, and of course one has to pass through the gift shop as well! There is ample parking there and it makes a nice break as you travel.
While we were there, Pam seems to have found a new friend, or perhaps a new hero? I'll bet he flirts with all of the ladies!
We arrived at our evening stop at about 2:30 pm after 150 miles of travel.
As of this afternoon, we are in California. We pulled out of the park in Oregon this morning and we arrived here in Crescent City at about 2:30 this afternoon. We had pretty good weather, but did have some coastal fog that we drove through at times, although not enough of it to make for difficult driving.
Once we got into the RV park we made a nice loop route drive to see a few of the big redwood trees while here. We were here before but it has been nine years so it made an enjoyable afternoon. And we are also back where our cell phones work, we have internet and we even have cable TV tonight! I never knew just how dependent upon the modern electronic media we had become!
I'll put in a couple of shots of the big trees for those who have never seen them. the first is a shot taken near ground level, looking upward to the tree tops. The second is of myself next to the upturned base f a tree that has fallen many years ago.
Starfish and many other creatures inhabit the tide pools along the rocks. Our friends job is to help people locate the interesting animals and to answer questions, as well as keeping the animal life safe from visitors.
One of the more interesting features of the Oregon coast is what coastal areas call the marine layer. It is fog that is created when the air and water temperatures are such that the cool water causes for to form from the air’s humidity at the point where the two come into contact. The fog, or cloud that forms will be just at the water level and extend up perhaps 30 feet to 100 feet into the air over the water. At times the wind will push the fog thus formed inland and it will cause the entire coast to become foggy. The fog most often develops this way when temperatures rise to 90 or more on the east side of the coast mountain range, thus creating a wind from sea to push inland from the updraft that creates.
The resulting fog becomes particularly interesting when we have a north wind predominating that then keeps the fog just off shore, hanging there like a wall of clouds, sometimes near the horizon and at other times moving in to very near shore, but leaving us here in sunshine. Just lately the fog has moved in and out with wind changes, mostly staying just off shore until evening and then moving on to the coast as the sun sets. By midmorning it is usually once more pushed back out over the water, or in some days it has burned off completely, only to reform late in the afternoon. Many of the plants that grow in profusion along the Oregon coast are dependent upon the fog for water in times when rains get scarce, as they have been this month. It has been very fascinating to watch this event repeat over the past couple of weeks.
Hiking through the forests here you can easily see some great examples of plant life that is dependent upon the fog. Nearly everything is covered with moss of one variety or another. I am amazed by the wide range of different types of ferns and mosses that seem to grow everywhere and on everything. Nearly everything is green with it.
This is a beautiful park and a great retreat from the Texas heat for a year of particularly hot weather, but even with that we both do miss temperatures that are warm enough for shorts and T-shits and no jackets. The Oregon coast is beautiful, but one starts to wonder if we even remember how to sweat?
As beautiful as Wahsburne State Park is, there is a down side to life here. There is absolutely no cell service of any kind in the campground, and no TV unless you have a dish and you get one of the sites with a southern exposure. Since the area is heavily timbered, that is only a limited number of sites. In our case, the satellite TV is kind of a nonissue since we dropped our satellite TV service more than a year ago due to so little use of it. Since we mostly watch the network stations and prefer the local channels for the local news, we concluded that it was an unnecessary expense. Of course, that was before we came where there was no TV at all from the antenna. The advent of digital TV has greatly increased the number of locations where this happens.
In our case, no cell phone also means no internet since we went to a Verizon air-card for that too. We put in a cellular amplifier/repeater with an external antenna which can be raised to about 10’ above the RV roof and everywhere we have been in the two years since we went that way, there has been at least enough signal for the repeater to make both phone and internet service available. But that is not true here! Even an outside antenna must have some signal to work with and this area has absolutely none! This past month has taught us just how dependent we have become upon electronic signals! There isn’t even any radio where we are! We sure have gotten back to reading books again!
Now that the lighthouse has been closed for renovation, Pam & I have begun our alternate jobs here in the park. Pam is leading the JR Ranger program each morning, while I am giving evening program about the wildlife here in the area. For Pam’s first program we felt that things went rather well since it has been several weeks since there has been any JR Ranger activity. She began with only 1 child present but as time went on, others stopped by to see what was happening and most stayed. By the time that she had finished there were ten children and three adults in attendance. On Saturday evening we had some fifteen people attend the outdoor program.
As part of my preparation for my part of the program I spent the afternoon doing some hiking on the trails in the park and seeking out the remains of the first homestead that was located here. There are about seven miles of hiking trails which range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The trails are well marked and maintained so are quite easy to follow.
Weather up to now has been really great, but just the past few days fog has been moving in some and by last night it was heavy enough to cause everything to drip. At times it sounds as though it were raining!