Wednesday (June 3): Claudia, Bruce and I checked out a few interesting places in and around Brookings today. We started at the harbor at the entrance to the Chetco River.
We peeked into a chocolate shop and asked for a recommendation for a place for lunch. We learned the “Hungry Clam” nextdoor was a local favorite.
Before eating lunch we walked around Azalea Park, just across the bridge from the harbor.
Tai chi at the amphitheater at Azalea Park
The chapel at Azalea Park
We had lunch at the Hungry Clam and it was terrific. We then drove east along the Chetco River to check out Alfred Loeb State Park and campground. We took a short hike in the area.
While we were down at the beach a couple of nights earlier, we noticed this large bluff behind the parking lot. At the top, we could barely see a few people at a viewing spot. We decided to check out that viewpoint.
The view from the top of the bluff was excellent!
I made a mental note to return to this spot for a chance to take photos of a sunset.
Monday was Memorial Day and a travel day for me. I left Redwood Meadows RV park and headed for Brookings, Oregon. It was a short drive of about 30 miles. I’m staying at Harris Beach State Park campground, just north of Brookings. I’ll be here five nights.
Oregon State Park campgrounds are excellent resources! The campgrounds are beautiful with great amenities (restrooms and token-less hot showers!). Claudia and Bruce are staying here during the same time, so we are having fun exploring the area.
Harris Beach is a great introduction to the Oregon coastline. A nice flat beach with many dramatic rock outcroppings, framed with frequent foggy edges. On the first night here, the sunset was colorful and ever-changing. Plenty of people gathered along the bluffs and on the beach to watch the display. It reminded me of the shared experience of watching a fireworks display.
On Wednesday (June 2), we drove north about 30 miles along the coastline to Gold Beach. Along the way we noted the various pullouts that we would explore on the return drive. It was pretty foggy on the drive, with occasional clear spots. It turned out to be the perfect weather combination for photographs!
One of the best locations was Meyers Beach, a long stretch of rock studded beachfront, with three different turnouts for cars to park. We walked the length of the beach and were treated to billowing fog, gentle waves, blue skies and great reflections. A long walk on the beach does a body good!
Another great photo opportunity was Arch Rock Viewpoint. A short trail around the bluff provided wonderful views of the coastline and Arch Rock.
It is difficult to cull down the photos to a reasonable number for sharing. As light and fog conditions continually change, new photo interpretations emerge. I am feeling the immersion of this landscape; it is refreshing, cleansing and uplifting.
Sunday (May 30) My last 24 hours at Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park were bittersweet. I knew I would miss the beauty of the campground, but the Memorial Day Weekend campers had begun to descend upon the park and it was getting very busy.
I awoke to sunny skies on Friday and decided to suck up as much solar power as possible. I spent the early afternoon chasing sunlight with my solar panels. I have a 120W suitcase-style panel that weighs 25 lbs. I also have a 100W thin flexible panel that weighs 4 lbs. I made some coupler cables so I could connect both panels to one charge controller, giving me the most amperage possible.
The forests here are magnificent, but they don’t allow for much useful solar charging time. I was able to give my battery a decent charge by continuously watching the little pockets of sunshine move through my campsite and position the solar panels accordingly. This recharge was enough to keep my refrigerator running another day, so I knew I was in good shape.
On Saturday I packed up and drove 0.7 miles to Redwood Meadows RV Park, located on HWY199 in Hiouchi. (Don’t call it “hootchie”, just sayin’) This RV park initially looked a little run down, but once I settled in to my spot I started to like it a lot more. Based on the infrastructure, it looks like an older RV park. It has large grass areas between the rows of spaces and plenty of trees. I was located in the row closest to the highway (right behind the gas station/deli), yet the road noise was subtle. I think the building helped block the sound. There are also some tent spaces as well as yurts, tiny houses and canvas cabins. The grounds are well kempt. Verizon does not know about this little hamlet and the on-site wireless network is weak and often drops connection. No problem, it’s a good time to stay off the grid and enjoy the surroundings.
Sunday was another sunny day. I drove about 3 miles over to the Stout Grove trailhead across the Smith River from Hiouchi. I had heard about Stout Grove from a couple of places and decided to check it out for photos. The trees are described as “not the largest trees” but they were impressive enough. The walking loop is about 1/2 mile with several little side trails. The nearby access, ample parking, restrooms and easy hike make this a very popular spot. Lots of families with small children were able to amble about through the tall trees and fallen logs. I spent about two hours in this area and would really love to come back on a drizzly day. I did my best to find photo opportunities that didn’t have much sunlight, instead looking for the even light of full shade. I used my tripod exclusively; I like the way the tripod slows me down and take a little longer to compose my photos.
Today will be my last day in California. Tomorrow I’ll drive about 20 miles to Brookings, Oregon and begin the coastal version of the trip. My friends Claudia and Bruce are also camping at Brookings, so it will be fun to spend time with them at a beach campground
Here are some photos taken while visiting the Crescent City Area. Many of the redwood forest photos were taken within a couple hundred feet from the main highway. Just a short distance can feel like another world.