Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

West Coast Roadtrip Jul-9-2011

Morning in Crescent City came with a thick layer of fog, the first non-sunny weather we'd had on our trip.

Yelp pointed us to the Continental Bakery, where we were served by a very gracious man with a pink mohawk. My pictures didn't come out well, but we had an excellent pesto cheese roll and a cranberry orange muffin, and we were so pleased that we went back for an apple strudel bar and an espresso chocolate chip muffin.

We poked around the Crescent City lighthouse a little, but didn't pay for the tour.

We drove down south through redwoods and other forests. The Redwood National and State Parks are a little complicated to map: they are a mixture of one national park and three state parks, and the national park is not all contiguous. The fog continued through the morning; at one scenic outlook, I quipped, "the view has been turned off due to budget cuts."

We stopped at a turnoff with access to a grey sandy beach. Lori said, "You know what I'm going to do?" I said, "You're going to go wade in the ocean and squeal at how cold the water is." My prophecy was correct, but Lori said afterward, "It was so worth it."

We stopped at Trees of Mystery out of idle curiosity, but we didn't pay the admission fee; the Skytrail gondola ride through the canopy would have been either magnificent or harrowing, and we weren't quite sure which.
Paul Bunyan was equipped with a speaker voiced by a hidden staff member; it was fun to see kids' eyes bug out when he would say something like "You in the blue shirt! Would you lace up my boots, please?"
As we were looking at these statues, we noticed something about Babe of the "what has been seen cannot be unseen" variety. I believe that my readership would be fine with a simple explanation, but I'm going to resort to euphemism out of a mischievous glee at the way an awkward situation can be made even more awkward through the use of euphemism:
Babe the Blue Ox in this representation would more accurately be named Babe the Blue Bull.
Babe is as anatomically incorrect as a Ken doll, in the exact opposite way.

We took the scenic byway through the redwoods, and stopped at the visitor's center for a brief walk through the redwoods. It was actually hard to get good pictures of the redwoods, because there was so much light and dark. Some of the best pictures I got were from my iPhone, because it did HDR.
These were taken with the Fujifilm:

This was taken with an iPhone:

As we left the Redwood Parks, we were delayed by a small herd of elk lazily crossing the road:

We saw a billboard advertising the Victorian village of Ferndale and turned off to see that. It was much farther away from US-101 than we thought, and we might not have turned off had we known how far it would be.

The old time general store had a quasi-museum upstairs.

We ate dinner at the Hotel Ivanhoe in Ferndale. (We had meant to stop some place for lunch, but we didn't find anything of much note until we reached a place in Eugene at 4pm, only to find that they opened at 5. I aimed for another place in Eugene, but I took a wrong turn and we were out of Eugene before we reached it.)

Lori ordered the minestrone, and I ordered a salad, both pretty good.

For an entree, Lori ordered the pesto ravioli (good but not outstanding). I ordered the pasta del mar. It was undeniably good, but here's the thing: I don't actually love seafood all that much. I like seafood well enough (much more than Lori does), but I've found that even in a seafood town, I'm likely to enjoy chicken as much as seafood, at 75% of the price. But on this trip, I'd eaten seafood every day for a week, because it was a local specialty everywhere - and I was getting tired of it.

For dessert, chocolate mousse. You wouldn't think that a restaurant that presented dessert so elegantly would have an article in the men's restroom explaining the conveniences of the tiled trough before the bar.

Photos from the car from the post-dinner drive:

I had hoped to stop in Sonoma to visit a sausage shop we'd enjoyed on our honeymoon, but it was long after dark when we were nearby, so clearly out of the question.

We arrived at Eric and Patricia's house in San Francisco well after midnight. Charlotte had left a key for us under the mat, but she had not left us the code for the security system. So the alarm went off to our great chagrin. The neighbors came out and told us the code, and reassured us that they had been awake anyway. (I hope that they had been told that we were arriving, instead of being that hospitable and welcoming to any stranger who sets off the alarm.) Unfortunately, we weren't quite quick enough at entering the alarm, and the security company alerted Eric. On the plus side, if you're going to get a phone call at 1am Pacific time, it's much more pleasant to be in Barcelona when you receive the call. Somehow this worked out that one of the neighbors answered the house phone, asked for Ralph and handed it to me, and Eric told me the password, which I relayed to Lori who was talking on her cell phone with the security company. We were embarrassed, but it all worked out.
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