Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ancient Redwoods to Brookings, Oregon

After a relaxing week visiting the Ancient Redwoods, we headed north along the coast on Hwy 101. Through towns like Eureka, meaning "I have found it", which was the cry of the gold miners of long ago, and Fortuna,  so named because people felt "fortunate" enough to live there, we continued north. Entering into Oregon we decided to spend a couple of days at the Elks' Lodge in Brookings.

Leaving Ancient Redwoods RV Park takes you directly onto the Avenue of the Giants. Eventually there's an entrance ramp onto Hwy 101. Just north of the park is a vegetable stand that is fantastic. If you don't like their vegetables they have on display, they'll go pick some fresh ones off the vine. We loaded up with excellent tomatoes and squash.

Downtown is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland and has the distinction of being the westernmost city of more than 25,000 residents in the contiguous U.S. The entire city is a State Historic Landmark and has hundreds of beautiful Victorian homes. "Eureka", or "I have found it" is also the State of California's motto, found on the State Seal.

Heading north, U.S. Route 101 travels alongside the Pacific Ocean. Parts of this highway is divided but most of it twists and winds its way along cliffs overlooking the sea. Traffic was light and the weather, perfect!

Redwood National and State Parks are old growth rainforests consisting of the Redwood National Park and three State Parks. These four parks protect 45% of all remaining coastal redwoods. In the 1850's redwoods covered over 2 million acres. Today, these parks protect a mere 133,000 acres. They are co-managed by the National Park Service and the California Parks System. In recognition of its rare ecosystem, the United Nations (UNESCO) has designated the parks as a World Heritage Site.

One of the many inlet lakes along the coastal region. These lakes teem with wildlife and consist of brackish water, which is a mixture of salt and fresh water. Most provide excellent fishing opportunities.

As U.S. 101 continues north, you'll notice many places to pull off to enjoy this area. The Pacific Ocean is just over the small berm you see on the left of this picture. During the hot summer months this large pull off area is full of beachgoers. Surfing, shell searching, kite flying and beach combing are all popular activities to be enjoyed by everyone.

Brookings is the southernmost city along U.S. 101 in the State of Oregon.  Originallly settled as a logging and shipping port, it holds the distinction of the first site in the continental United States to suffer wartime aerial bombardment. In 1942, the Japanese sent planes to drop incendiary bombs in an attempt to start massive fires in the dense forest areas along the coast. Their attempt only caused minor damage and was abandoned.

Today, Brookings is home to many retirees, mostly from California. It is home to many who work in the Pelican Bay State Prison about 20 miles south of Brookings in Crescent City, California. 

We stayed as guests at the Elks Lodge facilities in Brookings. Our site was as nice as any we've visited.

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