Monday, August 13, 2012

We decided to explore the area around Klamath since this was the first time in this area for both of us. Outside the park, a loop road runs from where we are, to where the Klamath River meets the Pacific Ocean. We saw the remnants of Hwy 101, discarded after the flood of 1964, and several other interesting sites. See the pictures below. After the loop, we headed south into the City of Orick. There really isn't much to any of the cities along this stretch of the California coastline. We exited Hwy 101 and took the scenic loop drive between Klamath and Orick. This is a drive not to be missed if you're southbound on Hwy 101. It is certainly doable in a big rig and you miss several large 6-7% grades on 101...the fog began coming in so we cut the day short and returned home early....

This was the south side of the US 101 bridge that crossed the Klamath River leading into the City of Klamath. This bridge and the entire City were destroyed by torrential rains and flooding that occurred in 1964. The roadway was moved almost 2 miles east and a new town was built there. We toured the old site across the river but there is nothing left but the foundations of a few structures.

Here is the California Coastline, shrouded in fog at the mouth of the Klamath River. The sand spit you see in the foreground is covered at high tide and connects the main portion of the river with the Pacific Ocean. There was a small and very well kept, cemetery here but no markings as to whose it was or who was buried there.

We found this to be the most interesting and intriguing part of this loop. These "farm" buildings were situated on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, Japanese submarines were discovered along the coastal areas of California and Oregon.  As this threat was real, the US Army built these buildings disguised to look like a typical working farm found along the California Coast. This building was constructed entirely of reinforced block. The dormers you see on the roof were fake, as was the porch and outbuilding.

These buildings actually housed an early warning sophisticated radar system, a communication center, and 50mm machine guns. You can see the portals in the windows of this building. They were secured so we weren't able to go inside but we did get to peek in the windows.

This picture is not of good quality but it was the best I could do through the narrow screening on the windows. Using a flash only made the pictures worse. This is the inside of the main building that housed the 50mm cannons.

Here is another picture of the main building from a different angle. If you look closely, you can see the concrete blocks through the fake windows.


More of the awesome coastline in Del Norte County in Northern California. This ever changing coast is battered by storms and heavy surf so sections continue to fall into the ocean far below.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a scenic drive that parallels Hwy 101 through the California Redwoods. Exit 753, Southbound, or Exit 765, Northbound, will take you through some of the largest redwoods you'll ever see. This scenic corridor is actually the old Hwy 101 before its being located east of here.

Here's Debi surrounded by some of these beautiful but monstrous trees.

This was aptly named "The Big Tree".  It is reached via a short path from a trailhead off the scenic bypass. It is 304 feet tall, 21.6 feet in diameter and 68 feet circumference. It is estimated to be in excess of 1500 yrs old !

Sheer beauty, looking up through the huge redwoods....

We encountered this herd of Elk grazing by the side of Hwy 101. While some leisurely grazed, others thought they would try their hand at begging from some of the cars that had stopped. Of course, this led to cars stopping on both sides of the road and many of the elk wandering around in the middle of the road. They finally moved aside and we were able to continue our journey back to our campsite. All in all, a pretty relaxing and interesting day.

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