101 – Route not room

April 17th

We certainly chose the right day to walk with the giants; today dawned wet, grey and groggy. We must be going north! Our destination was to be the rather romantically sounding, Crescent City. It sits almost on the northern border of California and Oregon. Chosen because of its location rather than for any other reason it was a convenient stop on the 101. Now on the pacific coast, we drove for many miles right alongside that mighty ocean, angry seas, profound outcrops, dramatic views, a route we have found to be a pleasant drive, even in inclement weather! All along the road now, evidence of the lumbering that is so important here. From the hillsides systematically stripped of their timber coating, to the logging trucks that thunder by carrying once noble cargo and the piles of sawn wood awaiting despatch. Once in Crescent City we found our waterlogged site, almost on the beach. How different the picture might have been…it’s been good to travel along the coast after so much desert, to have a crescendo of forest to one side and the mighty ocean to the other. Although it has been nice not to be on the interstate, we couldn’t really relax on these twisty, winding roads – never sure what might be around the next bend!

April 18th today we crossed our 22nd state line as we travelled to Salem in Oregon. Immediately apparent was the improvement in road quality and the road signs and heh… there are signs made for us RVr’s. directing us to specific RV parking. No more Wal-Marts?

The drama continued to unfold along the road. Another soggy day with … rockslides, road slides, tsunami evacuation routes, elks, high winds; what else is there to negotiate? We felt we were RVSAILN! This continuation on the 101, was a route that we revised in the light of weather reports last night warning that a section of the I-5 had been closed because of snow – and that they were only allowing vehicles fitted with snow chains through!! – Snow chains, they weren’t in the plan. So we avoided that mountain pass and cut in land to the I-5 further north. And when we reached our destination – another wash for Toad. I think we’ve washed him more than any other car we’ve ever owned, but he really was fifthy after dutifully following Bree unquestioningly, for more that 300 miles! The duck that greeted us on our arrival at our campsite said it all! Though Malc, who as we know has a weakness for birds, later made friends with him Oh by the way only in America…”Hurry on down to the Ice Cream Social…”isn’t local radio wonderful?

Salem

A better day today, Thursday (19th) Malc took a day off from driving as we spent the day in Salem. A town with a proud past rooted in the opening of the Pacific Railway and a lumbering heritage. Solid brick buildings, once thriving mercantile businesses now house the usual offices and shops. The city is Oregon’s state capitol and home to the Willamette University founded in the late 1880’s.It sits in the Willamette valley, a rich agricultural area which boasts several flower festivals and “agri-tourism” The river frontage is undergoing a revival with the help of industries that once blighted the area.

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