After arriving in the wee hours of the morning, it took some time to get going and back out on the road. Our goal today was to get to Mendocino as well as the Avenue of the Giants. We left Cloverdale hungry since we did not see any good places to stop and eat, and headed to Ukiah which promised to have more to offer. At this point, I noticed that my allergies were acting up (yay fertile wine growing region!) and I spent a good part of the day looking for tissue and sneezing.
We cruised Ukiah for a bit before I decided to top off the gas tank in the Prius v – I did not know where the next gas stop was going to be, and I did not want to risk being that doofus who runs out of gas in a Prius. Of course in being proactive, I ended up at the one gas station where the gas nozzle flies out of the tank in the middle of filling up. Needless to say, I had gas all over my clothes and the side of the car and the ground. The good thing is that gas dries quickly. The bad thing is that the smell lingers forever.
We drove over to the pizza place for lunch and I decided to change my clothes. I sacrificed one of my Longo Toyota tote bags that was in the back of the Prius to contain the stinky clothes. After a huge wait for lunch (20 minutes!) we came back to my clothes which I had left outside the car to air out. The clothes were not even a bit nicer smelling so it was on that spot I decided to dispose of my jeans that had gotten drenched in gas. By the time everything was sorted and lunch was over, it was almost noon.
On the way farther north, I decided to head for Eureka instead of Mendocino. I figured we had a better chance of finding a place to sleep farther north than doubling back down from Mendocino and trying to head towards Clear Lake. So we hit the Avenue of the Giants and took some great photos of the redwoods and generally enjoyed the amazing drive up towards Eureka.
Now in Eureka, I decided it was high-time that I get some allergy medicine since I had been sneezing all day. We stopped at Walgreens and did some goody shopping as well as getting the allergy relief. After a quick discussion, we eventually decided to – why not – head to Crescent City! It has been a desire of mine to visit Del Norte County and Crescent City since it was one of the two counties I had not visited, and it is the tsunami capital of California. It was only 85 miles away and I knew it was a distance we could easily double back on today so we could position ourselves closer to the drive back home tomorrow.
So off we went! Heading towards Crescent City we continued to pass some fantastic scenery and enjoyed the extended hours of daylight due to our position north of the equator. Just over an hour into the trip, we passed Klamath, CA and stopped in at the huge Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues that were located outside of the Trees of Mystery. The TOM is exactly the kind of roadside attraction that I love, and I only wish we had gotten there before the last Sky Trail ride to the top of the mountain had left. After getting some souvenir magnets, we continued on the final leg of our trip to Crescent City. We finally arrived and decided to stop at the Denny’s for dinner.
Over dinner, Daniel suggested that since we were here, we should complete the final few miles to the Oregon Border. So we finished eating and then headed to the Battery Point Lighthouse for a few photos, and then turned north one last time to get to Oregon. It took no time at all and thankfully, we could pull off and take photos of the Oregon state line. We continued a few feet north to Crissey Field State Park. We used the restroom and took some photos, and at 7pm, finally turned the car south to head home. At this point we were closer to my friend Kris in Portland than we were to our apartment in Orange County.
We made good time getting back to Eureka, and after filling up with gas, we turned on 299 to head inland to Redding, our target destination for the night. It was a long drive in what felt like the middle of the night and in the middle of nowhere. The kind of night where you are constantly on the lookout for deer or elk that might come crashing into the car from the side of the road as well as weird drug runners in beat up pickups. We made a pit stop at one of the rest stops, but other than that it was a pretty smooth ride over to Redding. Once we reached the outskirts of Whiskeytown we finally had cell service again so we could look for a hotel. We got a AAA rate at the La Quinta Inn and Suites and after a few twists and turns we arrived. Unlike the previous evenings Best Western, the La Quinta actually had us give them our name and addresses like checking into a real hotel.
Not the cleanest hotel, but it was quiet and after a super long drive, it was just right. Tomorrow it is back to Southern California via I-5 so hopefully it will go quickly.