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Day 39 – Apr. 27th: Crying Babies and Grungie Folks

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<– Day 38 – Apr. 26th: Finding Virginia City | OVERVIEW | Day 40 – Apr. 28th: Firehouse #4 –>

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Beautiful drive over highway 299.

Well, it’s been an interesting day. My day started at 12:01am. I hadn’t been to sleep yet due to the crying of two kids in the motel room next door. Well, not just next door, but through the two doors that would have created a suite, doors so thin and porous that whatever food was being cooked in their room late at night wafted into ours. They weren’t good cooks.

The cries came and went for the next hour. Finally, at 1am, I woke up the proprietor of the not-so-fine establishment to complain. I figured if I was going to be awake, he was going to be awake. He wasn’t happy that I woke him. I wasn’t happy either. He agreed to call them. Amazingly, that seemed to help, at least for about fifteen minutes, though I can’t imagine he got on the phone with the two young children and explained the problem. I stopped caring about 1:30am when I fell asleep.

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Our Sunday drive from Red Bluff to Eureka.

In the morning we awoke and got the heck out of there. So much for that deal!

We drove up to Redding and then headed west over several ranges, which appear to constitute part of the North Coastal Range. We spent three hours driving through some beautiful country along lots of two lane highway.

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At one point we pulled into the lumber town of Weaverville. In the driveway of the Weaverville Garage was a VEC CJ-2A that needed some work.

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After a couple more hills, we landed in the coastal town of Eureka.

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I thought we were about to wind 360 degrees.

We drove around the city a bit and found a large sculpture dedicated to the local fisherman in the harbor.

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Next we found the local food co-op, which turned out to be a real nice building that included a demonstration kitchen. I am going back for duck eggs and bread tomorrow. There were some beautiful buildings, too.

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Outside those bright spots and the cute downtown, we couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of ‘grungy’ people. Young and old, men and women, there were a notable number of people who appeared as if they hadn’t showered in days, weeks, months? And, it didn’t appear to be just homeless folks. It reminded me of Santa Cruz, but worse. In the downtown square we spotted a long line of people, but we couldn’t tell what they were lined up for. Even stranger, nearly all were dressed in various shades of brown clothing. But, I’m pretty sure they weren’t UPS drivers. There was just an odd vibe about the place. Maybe it had something to do with being Sunday?

The good news is that we landed in a nice motel tonight. After consulting the weather and maps, we decided to take another day off our trip by avoiding the Oregon Coast altogether. It is supposed to be wet and cold, so we’ll aim for it later. Besides, we learned our ice cream place in Seaside won’t be open. So, we land at Medford on Monday, will drive to McMinnville on Tuesday, and Vancouver on Wednesday.

<– Day 38 – Apr. 26th: Finding Virginia City | OVERVIEW | Day 40 – Apr. 28th: Firehouse #4 –>

 

6 Comments on “Day 39 – Apr. 27th: Crying Babies and Grungie Folks

  1. scramboleer

    Love your pics Dave. I grew up in Eureka. It’s spectacular, but the Redwood Coast’s isolation is a double-edged sword. There simply aren’t the jobs anymore. Many of the industries have either mechanized, down-sized, or simply vanished. Even the 100+-year-old ice cream shop in Old Town is now closed. Life is constant change, but it can be hard up there. Many folks work multiple jobs.

    Regarding the long line of people, you may have been near one of the rescue missions in Old Town, one of whose leaders (Betty Chin) was recently received an award by the White House for her efforts.

    If you’re hungry on the drive north (and haven’t already stocked up at the Co-Op), check out Larrupin Cafe or Seascape (on the pier) in Trinidad or stop at “Hole in the Wall” sandwiches in Eureka on your way out of town and stop anywhere along the coast/Redwood National Park for a picnic lunch.

    Safe travels!

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Dan: That’s right. I remember you telling us you grew up around this area. It’s possible that was a line related to the mission, but they weren’t lined up at a building. They were lined up for a someone (couldn’t tell who).

    I think the lack of few other people downtown is what made these folks stand out so vividly. The downtown seemed clean, but most of the people who were there weren’t all that clean. I’m not surprised by the job woes. It’s a similar story on the coast of Washington. Fishing and logging decreases of the last couple of decades have hit the area hard. The Washington coast has less favorable weather than Nor Cal, so tourism isn’t as strong either.

    We are headed back to the co-op this morning for some picnic food. Having a picnic in the National Park is a good idea!

  3. Steve E.

    That unrestored VEC in Weaverville has been for sale all last summer for $6,500, and he eventually took down the sign. A little high for around here, considering I found a $300 CJ-2A, minus engine, for a friend last Spring. He asked me help him find a Jeep for a project with his two boys.

    Oh yes, you found where all the people from Portland, OR migrate to get their dope. If you check out CL rideshare there are always people wanting free rides between Portland, OR and Humboldt County. Eureka is actually a respectable town, just depressed as Scramboleer already mentioned. I spent Spring, Summer, and Fall there last year. The people with dreadlocks wandering around town just stand out because they are highly visible hanging-out on the streets. Yes, they really do smell like they look. In warmer weather there are many hitchhikers along Hwy 299. I would never give one a ride because they must not bathe often.

    I hope you enjoyed driving Hwy 299 along the Trinity River. There’s lots of wildlife including Bald Eagles and bears crossing early morning or late evening. The Trinity R. is great for fishing and rafting. You picked a great time of year for a safe drive. There can be large slides blocking the road, but mostly scattered sharp rocks in Winter after a rain storm, threatening your tires and oil pan.

    Eureka has a long history. I’m glad you discovered the famous Victorian Homes. Look for the Elk herds on your way up the coast today. They are excellent at posing for pictures. Their brilliant brown bodies stand out in the lush green fields in several State Parks along Hwy 101. They are wild, but docile. That means you can get out of your car, but don’t approach too closely.

    **Steve E**

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    Steve: I think the visibility was the issue coupled with the lack of other people. That’s why they stood out so much. The town itself seemed like a fine place and much less depressed looking than other coastal towns I’ve seen.

    You mean I can’t play with the wildlife? lol. What some people will do around wild animals (Only takes a few minutes at Yellowstone before some parent starts shoving their child toward a moose for a photo . . . sigh).

    = D

  5. tom in philly

    95% of the wealth generated last year went to the top 1% of the nations wealthiest. more than russia. on the other coast, NC’s, same thing. fishing is almost done. if it wasn’t for the local cherry point navel base nearby, the whole area would go bankrupt. at least there in CA you have hunbolt where you can get some good green.

    in brazil you can work your ass off and never get ahead. some thing is starting to happen here. they have taken our jobs, our money and are starting to buy all our old cars.

    in regards to smelly’s = they are everywhere not just found on your trip.

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