Friday, Lee went back to Abalone Point in Shelter Cove and Needle Rock to get some drone footage. I stayed back and did some work, which was not the best decision since it turned out to be the nicest day and he saw a herd of over thirty Roosevelt elk, including some bulls with huge antlers, at Needle Rock! He did get some absolutely amazing footage though in both places, and has edited and uploaded the videos if you want to take a look.
Saturday I had planned a full day of exploring based on the weather forecast which showed that although it would be windy it was the only clear day forecasted all week. Well. they got part of the forecast right, it was windy, but unfortunately we barely saw any sun at all. Still it was good to get out under the sky and we did see some beautiful places, but I sure wish I had also gone out the day before. I am feeling a bit sun deprived. My route took us along the Redwood coast north of Eureka. We did make a couple of stops along the way at Burl Country (still looking for that perfect piece of wood to make a tabletop) and McDonald’s for my favorite breakfast sandwich (bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit with no cheese). Although Burl Country is a little run down, they had tons of wood slabs there and the owner was very interested in helping us find what we needed. We went back into the wood shop and dug through piles of wood slabs (we are looking for a piece that is roughly 22.5″ long and 10.5 “wide to fit on our small end table next to the couch), which for some reason is an incredibly hard size to find. We could get a larger piece and pay to have it cut down, but that would increase the cost and I would lose the natural edge that I am so fond of. We have spent a lot of time looking for this piece of wood and I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to force it. If we find it, we find it, but I will say I really appreciated how nice and friendly they were at Burl Country and would recommend a stop (even though it’s a little chaotic in there) because they took the time to educate us on the process.
Our next stop was the farmer’s market in Arcata. I love local farmer’s markets, but in winter the only one open was in Arcata. I didn’t expect much, but was pleasantly surprised. Not only was everything made locally (you could tell by the assortment of available items) , but it was also located in a really cute town square surrounded by a thriving downtown. I spent $9 on a beautiful head of broccoli, a huge leek, and some spinach, and I really liked the town. It’s sort of “upscale hippie” and I mean that in the best possible way. It had some very cool unique shops, but was very clean and we didn’t see many of the omnipresent wanderers we have seen in other towns. Again, to be clear, I have nothing but respect for anyone who is hiking a portion of the coast, but not so crazy about the amount of panhandlers and hitch hikers we have seen. Many serious hikers and bikers have stopped in our campground for a $5 a night tent site and they are a really great bunch of people. The itinerant wanderers/beggars, not so much. Anyway, it was a nice little town and I particularly liked Jacoby’s Storehouse which has some shops on the bottom floor, a restaurant in the middle, and law offices on the top. Great use of an historic building and reminded me of the Colony Mill Mall back in Keene.
After Arcata, we traveled a little bit up the coast and stopped at Luffenholz Beach County Park. When we go to a new area, I initially research using a “Top Things to do in my area” search, but as we start visiting places I pick up free magazines and pamphlets about the area. I was looking in the Top 100 things to do in Humboldt Country magazine and found this beach as number 86. It states it is a “secret spot” with stunning views of Trinidad Bay. I thought it was worth a shot and this should definitely be a higher number on their Top 100 list. Or maybe not, since then everyone would know about it!! It is located on the scenic drive (put Luffenholz Beach in your GPS) between Trinidad and Westhaven Moonstone and there are a couple of small pull off areas where you can park. We stopped at the first one which had a sign stating Houda Point + Camel Rock. There was a picnic table and stone bench with amazing views. From the bench there is a very short easy walk to this spectacular view.
Camel Rock is the two rocks in the back and they are a protected monument because they used to be part of the California coastline and provide a unique ecosystem. If you are physically able though I highly recommend taking the steps down. The path splits three ways. to the left it goes down on some rocks close to the ocean, the center takes you up on a hill where there is another stone bench, and the right takes you down to the beach where you can walk around at low tide. Although the stairs are steep, the views were amazing and we walked every single inch.
The best part was there was only one other person there, and I walked along the beach for quite some time taking pictures of birds and the waves. That perspective at the base of the rocks was really cool, and made for some great waves. I was very surprised though as i was heading up when a surfer came down in a hurry. I stopped and watched him battle the waves around the rocks for while thinking “I am no surfer but this seems like a bad idea.” Finally though he caught a wave, and certainly seemed like he knew what he was doing. I re-looked at the sign on the way up and it seems like a popular surfing spot. While I was taking pictures (which unfortunately do not capture how awesome the place was because of lack of sun), Lee took some drone footage. His footage does a better job of showing how great this place was. I love when you find a little hidden gem like this and if you are in the area I would definitely recommend a visit.
After Luffenholz Beach we drove up the coast a little to the town of Trinidad. It’s a nice little coastal town with a terrific beach where we stopped for another few minutes.
Next it was Patrick Point State Park, which is a very large state park near Trinidad. Normally there is an $8 day use fee, but we got in free because we were volunteering at Burlington. It is a large park with numerous campsites, Agate Beach (where you can hunt for agates at low tide), hiking paths, Patrick’s Point, a recreated Indian village, and Wedding Rock. I think it would be worth the $8 since there is so much to do, but of course was glad for the extra perk from our volunteering job. First we went to Wedding Rock and Patrick’s Point. Patrick’s Point is a short, beautiful walk through a lovely path that shows great views of the ocean. Wedding Rock has a steeper path which takes you onto the rock itself and again great views. I recommend both if you are physically able and bring your longest camera lens because some cool birds hang out on the rocks outside of Wedding Rock.
By the way, I do struggle with bird identifying, so if anyone has a talent for it, please feel free to take a look at my birds page and tell me if I have gotten anything wrong. After Wedding rock we drove down to Agate Beach campground and looked at the beach from the top of a cliff. It is a VERY steep climb up and down to the beach and since it was getting colder and windier, I just didn’t have it in me. Definitely want to come back on a nicer day though and see if we can find any agate’s.
I wanted a spot out of the wind to eat, so we decided to check out the re-constructed Yurok plank-house village. This area was created by Yurok tribes members out of Redwood materials with traditional methods. Lee and I liked it, in particular the hand made canoe and the plank houses which have a pit dug inside as the living area.
We had a nice lunch after seeing the village and then because I was pretty cold decided to head back towards the campground. I think Lee could have kept going, but we packed quite a bit into the morning and I was pretty pooped out. We did make one more stop on the way back though at the Loleta Cheese Factory. This little production facility/store is right in the middle of farm country (not that far off 101) and they had lots of great cheese which was reasonably priced. I was even more exited when I saw the trim bin. These are pieces of cheese cut irregularly off the end of a roll, so are available at a reduced price. I picked up quite a few packages for only $21 and since they are all end dated through May, I definitely know we will use them up in time. You know me, love a great bargain and I had never seen this before. So now we have plenty of cheese for Quartzite Happy Hours and I learned something new to be on the lookout for. We finally made it back to the campground around 3:00pm and I was so tired I laid down and took a nap. Definitely would like to go back to Agate Beach when the weather is nicer and then there are more places up the coast to explore. We have 10 more days before moving onto Monterrey and hopefully the weather will cooperate enough to give us a couple more nice sunny days to explore!
And finally, here’s one more drone video that Lee took of some parts of the Eel River near where we are work kamping.
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