U.S.A. WEST COAST TOUR
Day 9. Tuesday, November 20, 2012.
KOA Kampground Eureka - Redwood NP, Smith River National Recreation Area, Crescent City – Siskiyou National Forest – Grants Pass – Albany/Corvallis KOA. 6H - 343 miles. Redwood Hwy (Hwy 199) - Scenic Routes and Forests.
Animal life in the Western part of United States most certainly includes a rich variety of birds. We had the good fortune to observe The Bald Eagle, the American National Symbol, an observation we did, while we were on Hwy 1 at Big Sur, waiting, on several occasions, for us to be allowed to pass, whenever there were some road constructions in progress. The next place, where we observed some birds of prey, was at Golden Gate National Rec. Area, where we saw the Peregrine Falcon, a bird who can hunt by diving towards its prey at 200 miles an hour.
No wonder we were looking forward to what was waiting us on Redwood Hwy. Maybe the continuing rainfall would keep the animals hiding from us.
We left the town of Eureka, which was partly without electricity – power cuts – after a night with fierce storm and heavy rainfall. The last thing we saw on the KOA site Eureka was a General Manager pulling out his generator, so he could have some electricity for his office and his computer. We did not have any problem, as our appliances in the vehicle can work on both propane gas and electricity, and they did switch from one source to the other without our interference, and besides that the batteries and solar panel on the vehicle would last for a long time, so we left Eureka feeling a little sorry for the Manager of the KOA.
We proceeded along the coast with a lot of viewpoints and Redwood trees all the way up to Crescent City. It was fascinating to observe the beauty of the landscape, whenever the Pacific Ocean met the Redwood forest with trees all the way to the edge of the cliff.
We had decided to follow Hwy 199 up and across the mountain following the river where the water was turbulent and fierce at this time of the years, where rainfall was a normal and sometimes an all-day occurrence.
A sign suddenly appeared out of the blue sky and it said “State Border” and I could feel tension creeping around inside our car, and an explanation was necessary, before tranquility was reestablished. Vehicles were stopped and checked going into the State of California, while cars like ours, going into Oregon, were in no way affected by any form of governmental curiosity from a Regional Authority.
The City of Grants Pass opened itself up to us, when we emerged from the mountain and the forest, and as it was time for a late lunch, we took time out for finding a Chinese Restaurant, and we were not the only one wanting to consume a more Oriental type of food. Maybe, it was the amount of good, well prepared and healthy food compared to the modest price that the Chinese Restaurant wanted for its products, which attracted such a number of customers.
The rain had stopped and we talked about going further than Grants Pass, after we had taken the a good sip of our Wong Tong soup, and we decided to call the KOA Albany/Corvallis to hear, if they would still available at the office, when we would arrive, because it might be right after night fall.
It was then we heard the news, that the University of Oregon had been flooded with water in a storm the night before, while we were at Eureka.
Driving that far on a Tuesday would give us much more time for shopping at Woodburn the next day.
Click here to see more DAY 9 photos posted at "Else Duch's Gallery" on Picasa.
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Day 10. Wednesday, November 21, 2012.
Thanksgiving Evening. Albany/Corvallis KOA – Woodburn Outlet - Portland - Longview North – Mount St. Helens RV Park. 3H - 138 miles. Outlets shopping.
Being away from the coast and on the other side of those beautiful forests, fare away from the huge Redwood Trees and the mountains, it was now time to reflect on what it meant for us to meet those plants – huge trees – for the first time in our life.
We were never able to take a picture of a whole tree, where we could see the bottom of the tree as well as the top – on the same picture!
To drive among Redwood trees in forests were like driven through a Cathedral, with light falling to the earth in rays and not a sound was heard! To watch cars driving thru the middle of a live Redwood tree was like a picture from our old Geography book from the Primary School days.
We would experience nature in the Redwood forest, and we were small, humble humans among ancient giants!
San Francisco Chronicle could in 2008 tell a story about a Redwood tree, which holds a World Record, being the highest tree in the world. The tree was called Hyperion and was 115 meters high, and therefor higher than the Coit Tower or the Ferry Building both in San Francisco but also higher than Berkeley’s Clock Tower. The tree stands in Tall Trees Grove in Redwood Nat. Park, and no sign on the trail is showing where it is, but when you are there, you know it.
Woodburn was our next stop and the place for us to shop in the many Outlets stores, which we found in this City Shopping Mall.
Woodburn is part of the Metropolitan Salem Area, and with a population of 24,000, it is the third most populated area after Salem. Those who identify as Hispanic or Latino make up a majority of the population in the city. The Woodburn area also has a significant population of Russian Orthodox Old Believers.
Our supplies of warm clothes have run a little short, and the weather had changed dramatically while the Celsius scale was only on single numbers above the freezing point during evenings and early mornings.
We bought ourselves some GoLite Jackets and Columbia boots and socks, which also would prepare us for an autumn tracking to Mt. St. Helens the next day. This Mall must be a place for Hispanic cuisine, so we decided to have our late lunch at one of the few restaurants at the Mall, and for others we would not make that a recommendation. Father Christmas had already entered the Mall and Christmas music sounded and the Mall was decorated for the Event. All the shops would be closed tomorrow at Thanksgiving Day, so we took our time for grocery shopping too.
It was dark when we arrived at Mt. St. Helens KOA in Castle Rock, but we were expected and a very nice site was available for us. Our registration would take place the next morning, where we would also get the information, whether we could reach the Johnston Ridge Observatory or if the snow would have blocked our possibility for driving there and for taking a closer view of the crater.
Click here to see more DAY 10 photos posted at "Else Duch's Gallery" on Picasa.
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