September 22nd, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

My next destination ended up being Lassen Volcanic National Park. I drove until I found a USFS campground called Hat Creek that was close to Lassen and decided to stop. It was only $16 so I am sure it was cheaper than the ones in Lassen. Besides, I had water (hot and cold), heat, and food so I had what I needed to get by.

It was a restless night’s sleep for some reason. I have been having trouble sleeping lately and this nonsense needs to stop. However I got up raring to go, had a quick breakfast and some tea, and went to check out the volcano.

I got to Lassen and it is a beautiful and expansive park I definitely want to come back to this one and spend a few days exploring. Like Mount St.Helens, it is a large, imposing behemoth of a mountain.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

My truck and trailer at Lassen Volcanic NP

I was only there for a short time because it is a bit farther south than I had originally planned to go so it was a special trip to get there. I thought since I was in the area I would check it out. I do need to turn the corner and start heading towards home.

I debated the next leg of the trip and ended up heading toward the coast. I did not really want to go up the interstate again and sure would like to avoid Portland if at all possible. And I will make it possible.

I ended up driving some two-lane roads CA 44 and CA 299) that were beautiful drives through small towns with $4/gallon gas and sprawling forests. On the west side of Redding I drove through an area that turned out to be the location of the massive Carr Fire from a few months back. The devastation was incredible. Everything was burnt – cars, trucks, houses, equipment…it was unbelievable to see destruction of such magnitude. Seeing it on the news, internet, or newspapers does not really show it.

IMG_1431

Near Whiskytown NRA

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Near Whiskytown NRA

I opted to go to Arcata instead of Eureka to save a little time. I have now been on all of US101 from Arcata, CA north. I was a little concerned when I got to Arcata, though. The wind was howling off of the Pacific and I was concerned about the trailer getting blown over. Once you are committed to go this way there are not a lot of options without a lot of backtracking so I stayed the course and it all worked out fine.

Along the way north on US101 I drove through the southern part of Redwoods National Park. I had gone to the part of the park near Crescent City last year so this was new territory for me and is my fifth National Park on this adventure, and fourth in just the last two days.

It may sound a little rushed to you, but I have seen what I wanted to see and will go back to see things in greater depth in the future. The concentration camp was really only something to see once, but the rest I want to explore more. I just don’t have time to spend two to three days in each place on this current adventure.

I have stopped for the night in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park just outside of Crescent City, CA. It is well off the highway and is very nice. There are massive redwood stumps bigger than my trailer in the spot behind me. It is $35 a night but there is a hot shower, water to fill up your tank, and it is a beautiful, quiet place. Still a bit spendy, though I bet the private campgrounds are $75-100 or more.

I told you the stumps are big

One drawback about my site is that it is right by the bathroom…as in the path runs right next to my trailer. As in a foot from it. Luckily it has not been a parade, but I bet it will be in the morning (so will the dump station). I will probably try to get out early in the morning to beat the Sunday rush and get at least halfway home or more. Then I can make the final push on home Monday morning unless I make it all in one day. I DO have another day, though…

I’m looking at the maps to figure out my next move. I have Monday off so it is a 6-day weekend for me. I don’t do what I used to do back in the day – drive and get in late the night before I gotta go back to work (or even drive an all-nighter straight TO work!). I’ll hopefully get in mid-day Monday to have time to take care of mail and anything else that has popped up while I have been away.

See you tomorrow!

 

Crescent City, CA

Adventure, Outdoors, Travel

Tonight I am camped out in the Ocean View Inn, in a nice hotel room overlooking the ocean. No hot tub, but a reasonable place to stay. It was a bit of a pain to get here, but I finally made it.

When I left the hotel in Roseburg this morning, I found out that the highway I came down today was actually closed for 12 hours and was just reopened. Good thing I stopped when I did. Even today it was horrible and black ice was a big problem in Grant’s Pass, OR. It was a great drive though.

Let me go off-track for just a moment. I have tried to remain brand loyal when it comes to flying and hotels, but I’m going to focus on my wallet a bit more than brand loyalty now. I have started to use Expedia now for my hotels. I have way more options that way and I can save some money plus I can earn free rooms on all of my stays no matter where I stay. Now that I will be using the trailer mostly and not relying on hotels nearly as much, it gives me more opportunity to earn a free room. Seems to be the smarter way to go.

In case of interest, the places I stayed at are as follows:

Port Townsend Inn, Port Townsend, WA
Windmill Inn, Roseburg, OR
Ocean View Inn, Crescent City, CA

All of my choices so far have been fine and I would stay at any of them again. I have actually been to the Port Townsend Inn three times previously. I think you have to take ratings, such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc. with a grain of salt. For me, I don’t need anything fancy – I’m not going to be in the room that long. As long as it’s clean, in decent shape, and the bed is comfy I’m good. I do usually get a place with some sort of free breakfast. That means I don’t have to stop and I can stay moving to get where I want to go. I don’t expect perfect…I mean look at the usage hotel rooms get. You have to look at the value – what you spend for what you get. I am not saying I won’t splurge sometimes though!

Back to the adventure… I got close to Crescent City and my destination. This is a bucket list item for me – Redwoods National Park. I found one of the visitor centers and stopped in to ask questions as well as get my National Park Passport stamped. I also ended up buying a book called “The Golden Spruce” and is based on a true story.

The guy suggested a side trip for me and it was a good suggestion. It was a beautiful drive (as was the drive on I-5 and US199) and was one of the more scenic drives I have taken in my travels. It was a single-lane drive through redwood groves on a dirt road. I stopped for a hike and those trees are amazingly large.

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

Jedediah Smith Grove

A giant tree

A giant tree

The park is unique in a few regards. One thing is that it is similar to Olympic National Park in Washington in that there are separate sections of it. Another unique feature is the sections are co-managed by the state. An interesting idea.

That catches you up on this leg of the adventure. Tomorrow I plan on going south if the road is open, then I will turn and head back north toward Seattle. I want to check out some actual coastal sections of the park. The section I looked at today and hiked around in was along a river – more like a stream actually.

I can really see the possibility of coming back down this way again and I plan on doing just that and spending a lot more time exploring after I get the trailer picked up. It’s really a nice area, and it kind of reminds me of Florida except for the lack of palm trees. The people are really nice here, it’s nice to be back by the water. Found some good food as well, and you know I’m a foodie!

As I have posted earlier I have gone back-and-forth about continuing this blog. I had to take it private for various reasons for a while but that really doesn’t do much good as far as getting views. I have considered what to do and decided the hell with it – I will keep blogging since there are those who are interested in my travels or want to keep up with me for whatever reason.

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