A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Redwoods

We got off to a late start yet again. This seems to be a reoccurring theme at the beginning of each trip. I wanted to pick up my new glasses at Costco which didn’t open till 10. I planned to go south from there, then over to I-5 and begin heading north. The more I thought about this that morning the less appealing interstate traffic became, so after picking up my glasses we turned around and retraced our tracks north on 101.
The plan for this trip was to venture into eastern Oregon and Washington with the only real point of interest as a must see was the John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon. While driving along I began losing motivation for the trip in part due to the high cost of fuel and still operating on a limited budget. We made it as far as Richardson Grove along the Eel River for the first night. I found the Redwood setting very peaceful, relaxing and realized that all I am looking for is right here. There was no need to log in long high mileage days. I rationalized the money saved on fuel, could be put towards campground fees, which I normally avoid. Sinbad and I held a meeting that evening and we cemented a new plan. I’ve been following online the exploits of a 70 year old man boondocking around in Mexico. George averages 50 miles a day travelling leaving most of his time to explore and enjoy wherever he is camped. I tried this out at the end of our last trip and discovered how pleasant it was. So it appears we will stay in northern California for the entire time and I am perfectly happy with that. Sinbad is too.
I went for an hour hike early in the morning, then moved the rig down by the river in a sunny spot I found while hiking. I simply enjoyed watching the river flow by, walking and sitting by the riverbank. We lounged around Richardson Grove until 2 o’clock that day. We then moved on up the road taking the Avenue of the Giants scenic route and pulled into the first campground we came to, Hidden Springs. As was Richardson Grove there are very few campers out this early in the season and this is good.
The next morning after my hike, I walked across the road to meet Fred & Ruth from Riverside. They had a small camper van on the same chassis/engine assembly, as is the View. I’ve seen these before on the road and was curious as to the gas mileage they get in comparison. Fred was equally happy to make my acquaintance, as they had been interested in Views also. They had a Rialta van a few years earlier but lost it due to a fire. Fred said he got about 20 mpg on the average with this new van so this is only a couple miles better than the View. He invited me in for a tour and I was afraid I might like what I saw, wishing perhaps something on this order may have been more practical. Once inside though I instantly knew otherwise. I felt I was in a coffin equipped with a small refrigerator and stove. My head almost touched the ceiling and I do not know how they can call the two bench seats twin beds. They asked me to sit and visit but being hot and sweaty from my hike I said I couldn’t. Ruth sensed I was about to leave so she quickly asked if I was familiar with “Born Again”. I thought to myself “No, she’s not going there is she? Maybe ‘Born Again’ is a brand of RV.” I was wrong and she launched onto a full-blown born again Christian spiel. That I needed to repent for my sins (I don’t know if there’s enough time left in my life for me to account for all my sins). That I needed to make sure there will be a spot reserved for me (yes, she used the word ‘reserved’, which caused me to liken heaven as a campground) in God’s Kingdom. Caught completely by surprise I stood there with the proverbial deer in the headlights look. I soon regained my senses and I assured her that I had already experienced the ‘born again’ feeling when I retired four years ago. “I’m a new man!” I wished them a happy trip and returned to camp with the words of “our savior Lord Jesus Christ” following me across the road. Back in side the sanctuary of the View, I was thankful for everything it was.
This sinner and his cat continued on their journey reaching Patrick’s Point State Park later in the afternoon. After a cup of tea and with binoculars in hand, I walked through the campground underbrush following the barking sounds of Sea Lions below the cliff. Finally, I located a clear spot where I was able to see the ocean. Within minutes, I spotted a whale surfacing, blowing spray then diving deep with his tail fully extended out of the water. Wow! I couldn’t ask for anything more. I walked back to camp with the biggest smile on my face having been able to see a whale. Tomorrow I look forward to hiking the trails in the park, trails that we did as a family over 25 years ago.

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