Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, June 25th

We are off to the Lost Coast today and then a dinner up at the Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka. Here is our route for the day.

Posted on Tuesday, June 26th due to the Internet be unusable at our campground the evening prior.

We left camp off of Highway 101 about 0930hrs and went west to Shelter Cove on the south end of the Lost Coast. The road was a patchwork of asphalt with sharp switchbacks and very steep grades at what I estimate to be 12+% at times – a tough road.

I was not too surprised to see a sign near Shelter Cove counting the RV accidents on the road. What really surprised me was the amount of RV’s at Shelter Cove as well as large truck traffic. Like I said, this road is tough and no place that I would ever take the Monsterhome.

Regardless, Shelter Cove is a clean and orderly small town dependant on dollars from vacation homes and a very strong fishing industry. I was told that the local catch is flown out daily from the local airport.

Here is a look up the Lost Coast from the Black Sand Beach, just north of Shelter Cove.

From Shelter Cove we took Horse Mountain road and Wilder Ridge road to Honeydew. Horse Mountain Road is a well maintained, gravel and dirt road with steep grades and the sharpest switchback I have scene outside of the Baja outback. Kim’s Escalade handled the road easily with superb, processor controlled, all wheel drive.

Honeydew, CA is like something that might rival a forgotten town in Appalachia - a run down little berg with idle characters and not much else.

We took Mattole road west to the ocean, stopping near Petrolia in the heart of cattle ranching country. Below, local kids hang out at the swimming hole on the Mattole River.

This barn has a date plaque that states its date of construction to be 1880.

The coastal road rides along a coast like none I have ever witnessed. It is barren, windswept, with shallow shore rock formations and all gray. The only standout was the large rock at Cape Mendocino as scene below and as we climbed up from the shoreline on another very steep grade. Cape Mendocino is the western most point of the continental, United States.

The road back to civilization was more of the same - tight, uneven asphalt, gravel and with very, very steep grades and switchbacks, and no people! Just the way we like it.

We finally dropped down into Ferndale, a Historic city with many buildings of Victorian Architecture. Below is the ‘Gingerbread Mansion” which is now a B&B.

A photo of the Ring’s Rexall Drug store on the main drag, the oldest continuously operating drug store in the California.

After Ferndale, we were off to Eureka for a planned dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse. The establishment is a genuine, logging camp cookhouse that ceased camp operation a few decades ago yet, is serving up the same fare in the same style to all takers and as a working relic of a proud and bygone era.

A small museum of logging tools and equipment as well as old kitchen equipment from the very early days of the cookhouse, circa early 1900’s is also on the premise.

Inside view.

Outside view.

Great food and a super price. We recommend the Samoa Cookhouse highly.

On the way out town we spotted the Carson mansion, the most photographed, Victorian architecture building in the US. The mansion now belongs to some strange, private club where a myth surrounds the amount of actual members of 1 member short of 400.

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