RVing “Caravan” Style – Part I

Saturday June 11, we were up early as we had a good drive yet to meet up with our SMART (Special Military Active Recreation Travels) Caravan group in Fortuna California. Camp was up Pacific Coast Highway 101 about 275 miles north. We arrived there with just enough time to get our 5th wheel set up, find a ride with another couple and head to the Samoa Cookhouse where we had reservations at 5:30pm. The Samoa Cookhouse has been in continuous operation since 1890 and was once a staple in the logging industry. The meals are served family style, with one or two entries, veggies, homemade bread, salad and dessert. I might add that it is really good. They also have a logging museum in the building. If you are in the area, stop in.

We had a “get to know you ” meeting and conducted a little business afterwards just laying out the guidelines for the caravan. There are 16 RVs/Motorhomes and about 34 people. Everyone is friendly and helpful and best of all we are not the only ones that are new to “caravanning.”

The next day was a free day so Dave and I drove the Avenue of the Giants and took a short hike among the redwoods. It is hard to explain how massive they are and most grow straight up. Redwood sorell grew abundantly on the damp ground even though it got little sunlight. Old fallen trees lay here and there and the whole thing was just magical. If I lived close by, this could truly be a new happy place.

That afternoon, we chose to go up the coast a bit to Trinidad to Endert’s Beach to look for agates. The Pacific was very rough with riptide warnings as the tide was going out. I found a few rocks, maybe one agate, but they are different than the Lake Superior Agates, that I’m familiar with – not nearly as colorful. The wind was chilly so we didn’t stay too long.

The next day, Dave and I drove up to Eureka and visited the harbor and a small lighthouse, did a grocery run (yes we still have “normal” things to do) and laundry in preparation for the next leg of the journey.

On June 15, we drove 81 miles up Highway 101 to Chinook RV in Klamath, CA and our last CA campground. It was right on the Klamath River and the first night we walked down there. I spotted a black bear a good ways down from us. He was on the beach in grass having a feast. We could hear the seals barking occasionally as well but didn’t see them at this point. I, unfortunately didn’t get a photo and it probably would have been too far away with the camera phone anyway, as I had to use binoculars to see it well. The “Bar” was a little restaurant called the Country Club Bar and Grill where several of us had dinner the first night in Klamath. A very low profile, but great food and service! Best Fish and Chips I’ve ever had! Another picture shows a “Tsunami Hazard Zone” sign – you don’t see those everywhere!

Below are more Pacific Ocean photos from an elevated trail near Klamath as well as some of the agates and other rocks I found.

On the 17th, as a group, we went to “Trees of Mystery”, and a really cool stop if you are in the area. You start with Paul Bunyan giving you a little intro, get your tickets and then into the woods you go. If you go, wear good walking/hiking shoes as it is uphill most of the way. The path winds around the base of the trees where you see the Cathedral tree, the Octopus Tree, the Trinity Tree and many other named trees. These include Sitka Spruce, Sequoia and other types of Redwoods and are counted among some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. Watch out for “Bigfoot” and the giant squirrels as you walk in the forest!

After awhile, you will reach the rope and plank bridges that allow you to walk about midway up through the trees and gives you a different perspective. Or, if unable, you can continue on the path. Both lead to the gondola that takes you above the trees and I’m sure, on a clear day, a spectacular view. Interesting note, it was raining the day we were there and the only place we really felt more than a mist was if we happened to find a clearing or really when we got to the top of the gondola and the lookout. The trees are so thick that you really don’t feel it much.

At the end of the tour, you follow the path down from the gondola into a section where some very talented people have carved a parody of Paul Bunyan’s life. These were all carved with a chainsaw. Then it’s into the gift shop and museum. A very enjoyable day if you like trees and woods.

Hope you enjoy the photos. We will see you in Oregon!

3 thoughts on “RVing “Caravan” Style – Part I

  1. I loved the trees of mystery and have never heard of that. I will put it on our PNW loop, The photos of the coast are breathtaking. I loved more the walk/ hike in the redwood sorrel. So lush. Probably smelled so good on that walk.


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