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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

End of Vacation: Crescent City

Crescent City's Battery Point Lighthouse at dusk

The last few days of vacation took Barbara and I driving from Klamath Falls, Oregon to a favored destination, Crescent City, CA. The drive there was uneventful other than a 'Zambini Sisters' U-turn so we could visit a rock shop. We were thrilled because each of us found our birthstones. Barbara bought a beautiful silver set turquoise pendant, while I got a natural pink star sapphire (corundum ruby) which I all but snatched off the shop keeper's neck.

In sunlight, the rough sapphire
shows a fantastic six-rayed star

How wonderful to squeeze in a visit to Crescent City! Barbara and I were happy not only to get our usual motel room on the beach, but we got to visit with our friend Inez too.

We started out early our second morning, Inez volunteered to drive in her faithful car Ivy, so Barbara and I could stare out the windows and take in the towering redwoods. Inez is fun to tour with. From the time she was a child, she gathered ferns, Salal and other wild plants for the florist trade down in San Francisco. Growing up in the redwoods means she learned loads of really cool stuff. For example, she pointed out to us what I never would have noticed at all; red disruption of soil on a slope. Inez told us either deer or bear slid down the slope, accessing the road below. Is that cool or what?

Bear or Deer slide

Bear Berries

Inez also really knows her redwood forest plants. She was good at pointing out little snacks for me as we wended our way through the forest too!

Red Huckleberries

Mid-morning snack; Red Huckleberries

Redwood burl

Wee Barbie deep in the woods

I was pleased to realize I've known Inez for more than ten years now. We met at a Passports in Time event called "Follow the Smoke" in 2001. On that week event we both helped the Karuk elders collect several different plants for basket weaving and dying. We ran across one of our favorite such plants, the Five-finger Fern, whose stalks make the shiny black roving in Karok and Yakut Indian basketry.

Five-finger Ferns

Five-finger fern's shiny black stems

Inez hiked downhill to look at the river rocks

Inez at the river bottom

Nice fat Banana Slug

I was tickled to hear Inez call the fungus below a 'conk'. I haven't ever heard such tree hugging fungus called that before. Cool!

A redwood forest 'conk'

After our driving tour with Inez, Barbara and I hung out in our beachfront room at the Crescent Beach Motel. Neither of us were inclined to actually go out and walk on the beautiful beach, but it has been a long vacation and we were at the vacation point where your brain is focused more on home than seeing anything else. Oh well, we had a fun couple of weeks!

Quite mysterious, when we arrived in town on Monday afternoon there was nothing along the shore by the piers but gulls. Two afternoons later, Barbara and I saw this incredible sight; a ship wreck on the beach!

Ship wreck by the Crescent City Pier

Maybe this is one of the boats destroyed by the recent Tsunami that hit Crescent City. And how amazing it should decide to wash ashore during our visit.

Ship wreck at high tide

After behaving ourselves for most of our trip, eating humbly, and mostly buying and eating groceries, we ate out every chance we got in Crescent City. We adore the local Thai House Restaurant which has my favorite food in the world, bar none - Thai chicken lemongrass soup. We also had one of Barbara's favorites, Thai Vegetable rolls. Oh yum! We also have a favorite breakfast spot, which is new and the decor celebrates Plains Indians.

On the morning we left, heading out, we saw this local Crescent City car parked outside the breakfast restaurant. The back of this little car was so wonderfully colorful and interesting to read, it made a nice good bye before heading down the coast, through the Avenue of the Giants and on home to Fair Oaks.

The tilts a bit to the left

Along the Avenue of the Americas

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