Eureka, California

On Labor Day, Bill and I left Keith and Joanette in Florence and made our way toward Eureka. We had expected heavy traffic, but is was surprisingly light. The drive was spectacular. Sometimes were were hovering over the coast, up on high cliffs and then back down at sea level.

Rogue River

As we entered the small town of Orick, California, we had a nice surprise.

After the quick stop in Orick, we made our way to the Redwood Coast RV Park in Eureka. I had not been in Eureka, since 1985. My good friend David Valentine was stationed near Eureka and decided to stay in the area after discharge. I made several trips to visit him, and for a while, we co-owned a small sailboat, and we kept it a nearby marina.

We planned a two night stay, to give us time to tike a bike ride and check out Eureka’s historic old town.

On Tuesday morning, we went on the bike ride on the Eureka Waterfront Trail. The trail, is not particularly long, only about 6 miles each way, but has several differing landscapes: shoreline, marshes, Old Town Eureka, industrial and a couple of miles in a wildlife refuge.

Eureka was settled along Humboldt Bay in the 1850s And quickly became a logging and lumber center. The old town is 350 acres with 154 buildings, most of them Victorian style. It is listed on the list of US historical places.

Anyone following the blog, knows that I love photo ops with big chairs. Well, on the ride there is a series of benches, some that look to me like big chairs, or loveseats. So here are a few pictures.

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On the ride back, we passed by the Carson Mansion, built by William Carson, a logging in lumber Baron from the late 19th century. Construction on the house started in 1884 and Carson was quoted as saying,” If I build it poorly, they will say I am a damn miser, if I build expensively, they will say I am a show off, so I guess I will just build it for myself.”

The mansion could be listed on the national register of historic places, but the private club that has owned it since 1950, has not applied to do so. Probably so they could build the hideously ugly addition that I have cropped out of the photo.

We returned to the RV park and spent some time in the hot tub before going to dinner. We decided to go into Arcata, which is a university town just north of us and check out the dining options. As would be expected there are lots of cheap eats, but among them was a gem, Foile Douce. This cute little bistro has a very interesting menu and it was hard for us to decide. But, we ended up choosing a very delicious savory artichoke heart cheesecake as a starter and then shared a brie and salami pizza. Both were delicious, and filling, so we said no to dessert. I am so glad we passed on the Subway down the street.

We head south today. We are on our way to Guerneville, California, along the Russian River in Sonoma County. Wine country! We are visiting a friend that we know from Palm Springs who now lives in Guerneville and hope to get in a couple of wineries while we are there.

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