#92 PNW - US101 Battery Point to Eureka

2007 July 20
176 miles
PNW Trip
Day 13

I can't argue with this sign! I'm enjoying the cooler temperatures in the Cascade Mountains. It's 64 degrees as I pull out of Grants Pass this morning at 9:30pm.

Bonus points to anyone that can name the model of the dark grey car in the right corner...
(Hint to Lorrie and Betty: think of Pearl.)
I made a stamp stop at the visitor center in Caves Junction, but I didn't take the time to ride out to the actual caves. While in the VC, I chatted with a retired woman traveling by herself from Albuquerque...but she was using 4 wheels. However, she was taken with Fleeter and the 2 wheeled way of travel. (Side note: while chatting with the woman, a fellow MC rider made a comment on our conversation though he didn't truly join the conversation. You'll understand later why this was worth noting later in the Log.)

At 11am, I crossed the state line into northern California...another state gets COLOR!
That's a BMW F650GS zooming by. He was concerned about me and came back to check that I was okay. This road isn't the easiest to turn around on. I appreciated his concern and effort. Rider "courtesy checks" are alive and well in California!
Smith River NRA headquarters on US199. This is a fun road to ride. (Riders: make note.)Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park lets me know that I have officially arrived in the land of "big trees"! Tall aren't they?! I get plenty use out of that "self-timer" function on the camera.
Rolling out of the Redwoods and into Crescent City, California --
I know the Pacific Ocean is very close now. The Pacific Ocean...again! Battery Point Lighthouse

In 1855, three cannons were salvaged from the America after it shipwrecked near the point. They were placed on the point and fired during celebrations such as the 4th of July. Hence the name, Battery Point. The light went into service in December of 1856.

During high tide, Battery Point turns into an island.
(Rebecca: I know that you have a special connection to this place.)Back on the road, I take US101 south along the coast.This is a side road that runs right along the ocean in a park. The water is just over the brush line. You can see the low fog lingering over the water in the center of the photo. How surprising it would be to see an elk stepping out of the brush line into the roadway. I didn't see one along here, but I was keeping a close lookout for them.I took advantage of this pullout and used the tree as a roost to sit and enjoy the waves crashing just below me.I used the tree limbs for my tripod to take this photo.Back on US101, I ride through some lay-lowing thick fog...thicker fog than I would have expected in the afternoon about 4pm. Don't worry, I was in my lane. I took this photo over my shoulder looking back behind me.I couldn't resist a quick photo with this Paul Bunyan and Babe. I saw these larger than life statues at the Trees of Mystery Park on US101 near Klamath, CA. After a few miles of riding out in the sunshine -- as it were on an overcast day, I ride back into the dark canopy of the Redwoods. I see many trails leading into the woods, but don't take the time to go exploring ... though I was tempted.

Riding out of the woods and into an open area, I looked across a field and saw this herd of elk taking a rest.
I stopped in Orick at a small souvenir shop of redwood carvings. The fellow at the counter warned me of the spit winds. I nodded as if I had a clue what he was talking about... A couple miles later I knew exactly what he was talking about. The winds across this section of US101 can be rather gusty.
This must be the "spit."Eureka! I made it to Eureka. I found a room at the Travelodge in Eureka for the night. About 7:15pm, I stopped at the first "economy" motel I came to and, upon inquiry, found out that the best they could do was an upstairs walkup for over $90 and they only had one left. I excused myself, went outside, pulled out my phone and Motel Coupon Book out, and started calling. After being quoted over $120 for a standard-issue Best Western, the second phone call netted a room for $70 at the Travelodge. They had only one left, I asked them to hold it for me - that I was only one block away. It was obvious when I walked in that there were a few people trying to get rooms and not having much luck. Fortunately, they held my room for me. Lesson: When in popular towns on a Friday night, it would be advisable to either have a reservation or stop early enough to beat the rush.
I felt rather lucky about snagging a descent room, though economy-class, for what must be a good price in Eureka. While I was walking to the ice machine, a woman unloading luggage from the back of a pickup asked me if I'd like to join her and her husband (Colleen & Bob) for supper. They were going to walk a few blocks down to Kristina's Restaurant. They had spotted it while doing the "motel search" shuffle just before landing at this place. I agreed. I had a good parking spot right in front of my room and didn't want to lose it. Then she noticed two fellows on bikes parking...she suggested we ask them to join us also. So we did.
Remember the guy that talked to me earlier this morning at the visitor center in Caves Junction, Oregon? Well, it was the same guy that I was walking up to to invite to supper, just as I was invited a minute before. He recognized me from the visitor center. He and his friend (Sandy & Don) agreed to join us. Sandy and Don ended up with a large 3 bed room upstairs away from the parking lot at a higher rate. But they took it because they were realizing that the options were dwindling fast.
Most of my meals are solo when out fleetering the roads, but not tonight. I had an enjoyable supper with fellow travelers as we crossed paths riding south along the Pacific Coast in California. This is how interesting travel stories come about.
Bonus hint: It's pre-1964 model.

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