The RV Park, Mad River Rapids RV, our first, has been a pleasant surprise. Everyone has been friendly, and very accommodating to our changing plans. We originally pulled in for just two nights while waiting for R-POD plates to arrive. The RV park is almost always sold out but worked with us to extend our stay when the plates were delayed and again when other changes (see below) meant an
|BIG two man chainsaws!|
Yesterday we went out to the Somoa Cookhouse, had a lumberjack-style lunch (family style) and visited their lumberjack museum. I haven't mentioned the logging out here much, but it is a significant part of the West's past and present. It's hard to ignore it's effect on the present (the clear cuts, the disappearing redwoods, overt references to snowy owls, lumbermills, mill towns current and dead, etc.). It was interesting to see the old photos, artifacts, and images from the past.
|Rolling coastal farmland|
Saturday, the clouds lifted off the mountains and we drove south through the Avenue of the Giants, a 26 mile road through what we've come to call BATS (Big Ass Trees). While we decided against paying the fee to drive Bruce through a privately owned BAT, we did stop at the excellent Humbolt Redwoods State Visitors Center and admired the Nash Quad Travel Log, a 1917 truck with a hollow redwood for its body. Built by Charles Kellog who imitated bird songs, and a campaigner for the protection of the redwood forests. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1521510) The truck layout is nice, maybe a little cozier than the R-Pod, but definitely cool. Also a bit heavier.
|Travel Log (photo from mnn.com)|
And speaking of the weight of the R-POD. We purchased the R-POD for a number of reasons, one of them being it suitability for towing by Bruce, the Dodge Caravan. After towing the R-POD from Coos Bay, Oregon to Jedidiah Smith, CA we had a nagging suspicion that Bruce might not be up for the job. Our next run, 60 miles from Jedidiah Smith to Arcata, CA confirmed that suspicion. It's not the Bruce couldn't do it, it just that he might well die trying. The hills weren't that big, and Bruce made it, but thinking ahead to the Sierra's...we just kept envisioning a groaning Bruce chugging up one side of the pass, and the smell of burning rubber as we smoldered down the other side. It is with great sadness, but total belief that it is the right thing to do, we used our time in Arcata to go truck shopping. The dealer was able to order the one we want and on Wednesday, September 23, we trade Bruce in on a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel. (Please refer all follow-up questions on the truck to S.D. I know nothing other than it is silver, it has the 'tow package', will get significantly better fuel mileage, and according to the guys at the RV park, "We won't even know we're towing anything." ).
After that change, we hope once again to be on our way. Thursday we'll drive east and with a few stops along the way, with plans to be on the east side of Yosemite by Saturday. It's starting to get chilly there but we hope to have a week or however long we want to explore there before heading further south to Death Valley.
Tenative travel plans are as follows:
(with lots of stops in between!)