Friday, January 10, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

The big storm at Yachats, Oregon

The best laid plans….We had originally planned on boon docking at Pistol River.  But in the middle of a wild and woolly coastal storm we noticed our Solar Panel was looking pretty wacky.  So we called our friends at AM Solar, explained the readings we were seeing and they thought we needed to do a reboot on the control panel.  Since that involved being up on the roof in 55  mph winds we opted to drive the 45 miles to Springfield and have them take care of it.  What we discovered, and I am very embarrassed to admit, was that the solar panel wasn't wacky but we were.  Being good Roadtrek owners we had read the owner’s manual when we first bought our rig.  The manual said 2010 models had maintenance free batteries so we never looked any further.  Well, apparently our rig was out of the loop and had the old 6 volt lead acid batteries.  Batteries that we should have been checking the water level on-and we never did. Stupid stupid stupid.  Oh well, lesson learned, after Gregg and Deb at AM Solar put in 2 new batteries for us we were on our way.  Heading to Grants Pass, Oregon.  We got a late start and knew we wouldn't be boon docking at a lovely forested pull out along the way.  We planned on staying at the romantic Walmart parking lot !

It's not all gorgeous views when you hit the road !

We lived in Grants Pass many moons ago and had many pleasant memories-one being choir practice at Abbys Pizza on the Williams Highway.  I was a Josephine County Sheriff’s 911 Dispatcher when we lived there and I remember well the fun nights we spent at Abby’s.  What started out as a stroll down memory lane while eating pizza turned into a very strange in a nice weird way night.  While we were waiting for our pizza-Jim invited an older gentleman to dine with us. (Jim always surprises me with actions like this)  Turns out he was a former experimental test pilot and a retired major from the US Army.  What made it strange was that as we were talking to him he mentioned he had just celebrated his 90th birthday back in November-turns out he was born on the exact same day as Jim-what a coincidence.  Also turns out that he was a mechanical engineer, just like my dad; and that his paths as a pilot could have crossed my dad’s path, as my dad repaired planes during the war.  He was a hoot and too bad he couldn't stay longer and talk.  We just couldn't believe the birth date coincidence.

I don’t know if it was due to the Apocalypse IPA beer we had with the pizza or my reading Jack Kerouac’s novel-“Big Sur”, but I sure had a night of crazy dreams.  While I have never smoked peyote, after reading a few chapters of the novel and waking up from my dreams I felt like I was high on something!  It was one of those- you had to be there evenings.

After a good hot breakfast we took off from Grant’s Pass down the Redwood Highway-199, to the coast.  The highway is one of our favorite routes down through the Six Rivers Wilderness.  The road hugs the hillside and the cliffs overlooking the river.   We saw a couple of bald eagles and a red hawk.

Scenes from Highway 199 Grants Pass to Crescent City:

Once down off the winding Highway 199 into Crescent City we dallied a bit on the beach.  The fog had set in and the surfers were no where to be seen.

 Crescent City Beach

 Crescent City Beach-usually filled with surfers !

We then headed up into the Del Norte Forest via Highway 101 and even in the fog coming down that highway and seeing the wild California Coastline always takes my breath away. 

Highway 101 coming down from Del Norte Forest along the coast 

 We kept getting a few sun breaks along the way but they were starting to get far and few between.  And by early afternoon we were pretty much socked in with fog.  That didn't stop us from pulling off when we saw a sign for Trinidad Beach-Jim remembered hearing it was a pretty cool little town.  And it definitely was-mostly beach houses on the hillside but a nice little stop with a couple cafes and gift shops.  As we were just about to turn right to get back onto Highway 101 south Jim spotted a little sign that said “Scenic Drive” and looked at me and said want to take that instead ?  Of course I said yes !

Scenes from Trinidad Beach and the "Scenic Drive ":

  Oh my gosh- what an incredible drive-made for a Roadtrek-don’t think you could get a big rig or trailer down the road.  In most places it’s one lane with very small pull outs for passing and in some areas the road is washed out with big mud holes.  But if you hold your breath and push ahead you will see some of the most beautiful coastline!  It’s wild and rocky and oh so gorgeous.  About halfway through the drive we pulled out to the spot marked Luftenholtz  Creek. What a trail - it’s built out on a promontory that juts out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Absofreakinglutely incredible. Always take the road less traveled.

We didn't know where we would land for the night but we knew we wanted to stop somewhere with electric hook ups.  Since we had 2 new batteries we wanted to make sure we were giving them a good charge since the solar panels had been in the fog most of the day.  We ended up at the Redcrest Resort in the little town of Redcrest in the Redwoods.  About 16 sites, full electric, water, Sani dump and TV cable if you like.  It’s small and quaint-and has hot showers !  Met some great people-James and Julia from the Bay Area-he just retired Jan 1 and she’s going to retire June 2014. They are breaking in a Sportsmobile they just bought-sweet ride.  And then to the left of us - Leroy and Sandra from Wenatchee, WA  -driving a very, very sweet Itaska Navion with slide outs and lots of room (I’m jealous).
Took Hailey for a walk-it’s really dark here, even with the moon tonight and I've watched too many Criminal Minds episodes, so it was a short walk.

  Just finished our favorite Udon noodle soup with bok choy,mushrooms,onions,chicken and red pepper flakes-yum.  Hitting the sack, Happy Trails to all of you.

My favorite pillow in Ruby

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