Eureka, California  8/18 – 8/25

Eureka, California: Population = 27,226, elevation = 39 feet, Average January low temp = 41.1º, Average July high temp = 63.4º, Average precipitation = 40.33”, Average precipitation days = 127.5

Highway 101 follows the coastline South through Oregon and into California.  There are mighty slabs of rock, wrested from the Earth’s crust and tilted like fallen dominoes against the coast.  There are broad sandy beaches ringed with dense ferny rainforest.  There are little coastal cities, clotted with the traffic on Highway 101.  As we passed through Brookings, they were experiencing a dense soup of smoke from nearby forest fires.  For miles, the sky was a murky brown.  When we finally got back to clear sky, we were in California.  The highway takes us through the Redwood National park, where the narrow road twists and turns between the behemoths of the forest.

A glimpse of ocean from highway 101
The smoke from nearby forest fires taint the air in Brookings

Eureka is another interesting West Coast city.  The harbor is filled with boats, both working and pleasure craft, bobbing pier side.  A neat historic district holds many beautifully restored old buildings containing a variety of interesting and funky shops, bars, and restaurants.

The entrance to the Marina with its iconic fisherman
The Carson Mansion is a private club now so we could not get a peek inside
This painted lady is for sale. For just $325,000 it could be yours.
The only brewery taproom in town has a good selection of beers and pub grub

There are also murals everywhere.  The first murals were done by established artists.  Later works were done by a collective of 14 to 24 year olds calling themselves the Rural Burl Mural Bureau, who regularly paint new murals.  So far, the Mural Trail includes 22 murals.

It has been a while since we have seen a zoo, so we decided to have a look at the Sequoia Park Zoo.  This is not a huge zoo, but what they have is interesting and a little unusual.  Just outside of the zoo enclosure they have an awesome redwood forest and a beautifully tended garden.

A little spotted owl take a daytime nap
River otters swim non-stop like underwater acrobats
It is mostly bamboo for the red pandas, but they do enjoy an apple too.
The zoo garden contains a rainbow of dahlias

There seems to be a little confusion about redwoods and sequoias.  Technically, both are part of the same species and genus.  Up close and personal, the redwoods grow very tall and have needles like a flattened pine branch.  The sequoias grow very wide and have needles like little spikes.  To see some of the best redwoods, take a drive on the Avenue of the Giants, just South of Eureka.  Some of these monster trees are over 1,000 years old.  If you ever go, be sure to keep a wary eye on your surroundings.  This is where the Sasquatch was spotted.

At some point in its 1000+ year life, a forest fire blackened the trunk of this redwood, but did not kill it
The Avenue of the Giants
It is hard to imagine how big these trees are unless you have something to compare them too. Here is Gypsy, looking like a Hot Wheels toy

The summer days in Eureka are cool and comfortable, starting with morning fog then clearing away for sunny skies.  This would be a great city to live in, but it could use a little work.  The boardwalk has nothing alongside most of it.  Too many of the streets are decayed washboards.  It could use a good cleanup.  But, with all that, it is still a fine city with lots to see and do.

Next up: Penngrove, California

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footloosefogeys

We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

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