Day 3 :: 23 January 2007 :: Crescent City to Point Arena
aka "Hi ML!"
Okay, so we got a decent start out of Crescent City, which was good. We hit the Lagoon Creek Beach, which is the beach that Lorre and I went to 7 years ago. There was frost on the snow, which was trippy, especially walking through it to go say hi to Poseidon and Ariestess again from this beach. The waves were really rough, far rougher than I remember them being 7 years ago, but I bravely went to say hello anyway. And we got some water and sand for my collection. Well, it's turning into our collection now, particularly with the inclusion of the sand, as that's the stuff Jenn likes to collect.
Leaving Crescent City, we got to drive over the gold bear bridge. It made me giggle to remember it from 7 years ago, but we didn't stop to take a picture this time. We just wanted to get going. We had a long way to go and we had to be in Point Arena, but more on that later…
We saw several creatures on the drive :: hawks, crows, ravens, herons, egrets [approximately 2 dozen of them along the Eureka mudflats area alone], ducks and geese along the mudflats by Eureka, and some elk. The elk were very kewl. Probably half a dozen does at one point, then we got to see a gorgeous stag, with just a bit of velvet on his rack. Damn, but he was beautiful, too… And I can't forget to mention the two dead creatures we saw that really stand out :: a dead deer and a flattened dead fox in the middle of the road. The fox was kind of creepy, as I've never seen a dead one before, but the coloring was more than obvious as to what it was.
Once we left Eureka [after lunch], we drove thru parts of Jenn's evil hallucinatory forest from her trip up to Portland 6 years ago. We went through the Avenue of the Giants, which I remember doing, too. We got to see the Immortal Tree, the Chimney Tree, and the Drive Thru Tree. Jenn actually got the Tribeca thru the Drive Thru Tree twice. I got pictures the second time, as I was in the car the first time. The clearance is 6'9" in height and 6' in width. We were okay on the height, and barely made it on the width. It was quite interesting.
So from there, we cut over to Highway 1, which is really the only reliable way for us to get to the Point Arena lighthouse. The first 22-ish miles were a hideous series of switchbacks and deadly curves that had me just about ready to puke within the first couple of miles. Needless to say, I slept thru that particular part of the trip. Jenn woke me up when she stopped to get gas and a few things for lunch/dinner for us. After that point, out of the woods, I was totally fine.
Driving along the coast was frakking beautiful, even as we wandered up and down in the mountains there. I fell in love with the Pacific Ocean all over again. Not that it really takes much, but this was a big deal for me.
We went over to the Point Cabrillo lighthouse, which is very beautiful and reminds us of the lighthouses in Washington a lot: the squat-ish buildings with the light coming up at one end. We'd missed the lighthouse/gift shop being open by about an hour or so, which sucked as this was one of the lighthouses that participates in the passport program. There was a nice half mile walk out to the lighthouse, where we saw marsh hawks, harrier hawks, and cormorants. And then Jenn saw the flumes. Yes, that's right. We got to see a pod of grey whales on their migration down to Mexico to have their calves. We even got to see a couple of tail flukes. They weren't quite regular enough for us to get any pictures, and they were quite far off the coast, anyway. So we got out to the lighthouse and watched the sunset, tracking the whales a little more. On the walk back up to the car, we saw more harrier hawks and some deer. Very nice, to say the least.
After that, we started heading over to Point Arena and the lighthouse we'd be spending the night at. The marine layer was staring to come in, and ended up being pretty thick. "Hi, ML!" [aka Mel, aka the marine layer] became our standard phrase for the rest of the trip. It was kind of trippy to be taking this windy road up and down along the coast in that heavy marine layer. If we could see 40 feet in front of us, we were doing well. Very eerie, but kewl, too. And then, we got to the lighthouse and had to drive forEVER to actually get to the lighthouse.
You see, Jenn surprised me with the opportunity to spend the night in the head lighthouse keeper's quarters at Point Arena lighthouse. The bedroom I was in was the closest to the lighthouse except for one, which was the little keeper's room. Tho' actually? The two bedrooms are next to each other, so… My room had two twin beds [Jenn to the other bedroom in our quarters with the full sized bed], and I slept in the bed closest to the lighthouse. It was very frakking kewl.