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Friday, August 11, 2006

Crescent City Quest

Our time in Crescent City was not what I expected – it went perfectly as usual but it had surprises for me.

We woke reluctantly at the Crescent Beach Motel which is where I always stay when I'm there - I can fall asleep there to the sound of the surf and wake up for a peek out the window at the beach.
My trips to Crescent City are to visit my friend Inez who is a dear. On this visit she decided to treat Barb & me to a day without us having to drive. We got a ride in her pretty new car which she calls Lily.

Inez picked us up at 8AM and we drove out on Highway 97. We stopped in Hiouchi for the best Mocha Coffee I’ve ever had; pure Mexican chocolate was shaved into it - yummy.
Then we drove on to Patrick’s Creek Motel where I have never stayed as a guest but where, some 5 or 6 years ago I had a Sunday Morning Brunch that could not be beat and an experience I have always wanted to repeat. Oh and repeat we ; nothing like a brunch of fresh oysters on the half shell washed down by champagne.

Barb at Brunch and an embarrassing overview of my oyster strewn breakfast.

Inez and Barb at Patrick's Creek pond

After breakfast Inez drove us to a botanical trail that has a lovely swamp patch of Darlingtonia Cobra Lilies like the ones Barb & I usually see when we drive up to Oregon. I did not know there were Cobra Lilies in California, and so conveniently located. Cobra lilies are carnivourous plants that feed on insects and are rather spooky as plants go.

Following that we drove into a redwood forest where I found some alphabet rocks on the railing of a bridge and had to leave my mark.

The eye-0pener of the day was we drove past a little one acre property and we decided we might as well have a look-see. I’ve talked about retiring in Crescent City ever since I started driving up to visit Inez back in 1999. The acre has an ancient house which Keven, the owner let us tour.

The property is slightly sloped at the foot of redwood forest and on a back road, but still only about a 15 minute drive – tops - out of Crescent City. Inez loved the house but the only thing that initially caught my eye was the brickwork in the kitchen, otherwise the house was just too eensie to consider actually living in. I mean, my own home is small, just under 1,300 ft2 and I refuse to make do with less footage, especially where the rain & fog can keep you holed up for days at a time.

The twee house on Keven's property - includes a humongous garage and enough room for a horse corral and tack room (which astoundingly enough I imagine building for myself - HA!)
Inez looking a tad startled; didn't want to block my shot of this brilliant kitchen brickwork in Keven's house
Also on the good side is hard wood flooring which Keven is working on. He is also working on the single bathroom (one bathroom? Yikes!).
Barb liked that the property has a humongous garage which includes what realtors like to call a ‘bonus room’. Keven uses the extra room for incubating turkey eggs. He also has four emu next door where he lives taking care of his 90 year old plus father.
The point is the property sort of kicked off a two day property hunting spree. Barbara and I checked out numerous properties in Del Norte County and found a second property too, that was zoned for horses and had a coral and a tack room but no garage (no garage? No way!). We couldn’t tour the horse property house though it looked decent from the outside.
The horse property - only a couple of miles from the beach via car, horseback or dog walk.
So, suddenly my retirement seems not so very far away at all. Decided I’ll check out my retirement options as soon as I get home. There is a distinct possibility that between the resale value of my home and the purchase property of land in Crescent City, I may be able to retire and even possibly have enough money to nurse along for vacations. Mind, I still would try find some work up there, perhaps writing grants or something else I can do via computer. I’m pretty good with grants having been on the review & award end of them for the State.
So for what it is worth, I’m thinking retirement, a pair of horses and a dog. So Barb helped me check out homes and lots on properties with a minimum of one acre to them. Will it work out? Have no idea but what the hell, might as well give the idea a go.