Saturday, December 11, 2010

Into California

At the beginning of our second day we found ourselves at a great RV park called "At Rivers Edge" literally on the south bank of the Chetco River.

The Kalmiopsis Wilderness is a nearly 180,000 acre Wilderness which includes the headwater basin of the Chetco and North Fork Smith Rivers and a portion of the Illinois River canyon. This is a harsh, rugged area with a unique character. Elevations range from 500 to 5,098 feet (Pearsoll Peak). The area is characterized by deep, rough canyons, sharp rock ridges and clear rushing mountain streams and rivers. Diversity of topography and geology provide excellent habitat for a wide variety of botanical species.

It was wet from earlier rain but the Musemobile gave us warmth and snugly dry shelter.

For those who don't have a Musemobile this RV resort also has nice cabins for rent.

So now we passed into California where the northern coastline is beautiful rivaling the great coastline of Oregon.

"Trees of Mystery" is a roadside attraction we ran across once before.

California, like Texas, does everything big including moving Paul (my namesake) Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox to more western climates. Of course Paul Bunyan never got to California and that's why they still have the giant Redwoods.

Did you know that James Earle Fraser who sculpted the famous "End of the Trail" statue also designed the Indian Head nickle? This is a wood replica of "End of the Trail" in front of the "Trees of Mystery."

"It was for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 that Fraser produced his most recognized work, the doleful "End of the Trail." While intended to be cast in bronze, material shortages due to the war prevented this, and the original plaster statue slowly deteriorated until it was obtained by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1968 and restored. The restored statue is currently on display in the entryway of the Oklahoma City museum, and the original that sat in Visalia, CA, was replaced with a bronze replica."

Our friend Carol told us about a really cool place just outside Eureka, California called "The Samoa Cookhouse" so we stopped there for lunch.

There were not huge football players from the Country of Samoa like Junior Seau who spent 20 years in the NFL and who played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990-2002. His number was 55 and he is one of Matt's favorite players - ever.

"The country of Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976 almost thirty four years ago."

Outside next to the Cookhouse is an nice maritime museum.

"What is now Samoa, California was first known as Brownville until a group of Eureka businessmen formed the Samoa Land and Improvement Company in 1889.Vance Lumber Company purchased the Humboldt Bay frontage from Samoa Land and Improvement Company for construction of a large sawmill in 1892. Eureka and Klamath River Railroad was chartered in 1893 to connect the Samoa sawmill and associated worker housing facilities to the city of Arcata and timberlands near the Mad River. The Samoa sawmill was the largest in Humboldt County when purchased by Andrew B. Hammond in 1900. This was the cookhouse used to feed the employees of that Sawmill"

The entrance is onto narrow porch decorated with some old logging pictures and a Christmas tree.

The board says it all. No menus just a cost matrix by age and Eating time. You get everything served including Soup, salad, sides and meal included in the price are drinks and desert.

Just walking around it's easy to understand the logging history...

... and the giant trees of this area. Notice the men at the base of this tree.

Nothing fancy but a lot to catch your fancy ...

... imagining this huge cookhouse filled with tough loggers chowing down of great grub. That's Yvonne our waitress in the background, a wonderful lady who has worked here fifteen years - I think she must have started at sixteen.

The cookhouse is filled with great memorabilia from the sawmill,

... including the great player piano...

... some old gadgets...

... even the old schoolhouse bell...

... even old office machines...

... and, of course, some old cooking utensils and pictures.

One drawback is that to get to the restrooms you have to walk under some huge saw blades.

Yes, those horses on top are standing on the trunk of a giant felled tree and the ones below are on the ground for a great perspective picture.

Part of the old sawmill is behind the cookhouse and falling beyond disrepair.

We spent the night in Rohnert Park, California where Matt attended Sonoma State University and today we headed to Bakersfield where the groves of fruit and nuts never fail to amaze me.

There was even a fantastically beautiful rose available for one of my favorite types of pictures.

After a good visit with Peter we drove on South and East to a small RV park in Grand Terrace, California a small town between Riverside and San Bernadino. Tomorrow we head east on I-10 probably stopping somewhere around Phoenix, Arizona.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
"A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation." ~ Adlai E. Stevenson

1 comment:

Joline said...

Sensational Paul as always!! Where are you now? And so glad it was a good visit with Peter. Enjoy your visit with Matthew and your holiday time.Sending our love and hugs to you and dear Sharyn, Jo


©Paul Viel