We're at Eureka!!!

Trip Start May 31, 2009
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Trip End Jul 01, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, June 22, 2009

We took off from Gresham, Portland just before 9.00 am this morning, after a lovely breakfast of waffles and maple syrup! Boy am I developing some curves!!!

Anyway, the GPS system took us through greater Portland (although we didn't go into the inner city) via the freeway system. Gee it's wonderful travelling through these large cities and towns at 65 MPH! You certainly make some time pretty quickly. The town area itself was quiet, being a Sunday morning, but as you will see from one of the picks, the I5 wasn't quite so quiet. We had plenty of company for about half our journey, which was to involve up to 6 hours driving.

We went around Salem and down through to Grants Pass for lunch at about 2.00 pm. Found a Dairy Queen (Ev!) and had a very light lunch finished off by a small (but in this country there is nothing small) Strawberry Cheesequake blizzard, that Ev introduced us to whilst in 100 Mile. Two fat sods later waddled to their vehicle and drove on to the first of the Redwood Forests.

I dozed on my full stomach, as I had driven the morning session, and Malcy took over the driving here. The scenery was stunning. It reminded us of NZ once again - trees to the road edge, and winding roads. However, we don't have many trees this high. We stopped off and had a walk around one of the areas where they had shorter walking tracks, and took some pics there. We met a young lady (student) working as a Park Ranger in her holidays. She is studying to be a science teacher (doing her Masters) and working part-time in this area. She was very intersting to talk to. It still amazes us how they have people employed in the strangest of areas doing the strangest of things.

From there we continued on until we met the coast - and yes, it was good to see the sea again. During the drive through the Redwood Foreest we crossed the border to California. It is the first time we have actually been stopped at a state border. All vehicles must stop there to be checked to see if they are carrying any fruit/produce. Most of the time the only way you know you are crossing borders is by the signs.

When we came into California, we also finally struck blue skies and sunshine. It had been overcast, and raining off and on during our trip through Oregon. At Grants Pass we found a very helpful information centre (in fact they all have been) where the lady provided us with a full book of road maps for the USA. Could have done with it earlier, but it is helpful and interesting to see where we have been and where we are going, and helps us to know what sorts of roads we are going to be on as well.

Out at the coast, the towns are smaller, and the wind has been blowing. Quite cool out in the breeze, but still good to see the sun again. Plenty of people out surfing, and some lovely beaches this way with heaps of flat sand. No cars on the beaches here either!

We arrived in Eureka about 6.00 pm - having taken our time to get here. The longest we have been in the car yet I think. Eureka has a population of about 14,000, and has been around for a long time. They have done up their "old town" area quite nicely, and there is some money around the place, based on what we can see. It appears to be a fishing area, but there is also some industry (not sure of it is a smelter or saw mill I can see in the distance belching either smoke or steam on the foreshore). Have had a good walk around the town tonight, and down to the water front, but needed our jackets down there in the cool breeze off the sea.

Ate at Denny's for tea (20% discount because we are staying at an All American Inn in town). Finally decided we just can't keep on eating the size meals they dish up at these places. Left half tonight. Haven't been able to get to the desert level since the first couple of days here. No wonder people are larger on this side of the world!

We are doing well with our accommodation costs - finding coupons, and asking for discounts, and walking away when they don't come to the party. The tax bit on top of the costs always has to be kept in mind, and of course, we judge everything against the inn we stayed in at Livingston a couple of weeks ago. Haven't been back to that level again - yet!!

We are going to head out tomorrow morning and travel to San Francisco. We will move away from the direct coastal route, but will once again pick up some more Redwood forests, which are lovely to drive through. From there, who knows. We have picked out a motel close in to the centre of San Francisco - walking distance to the Fisherman's wharf and China town area, so will see what that brings.
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