2015-06-15 Eureka to Fort Ross

American Goldfinch - Spinus tristisThe images on display here were gathered while driving south from Eureka to Fort Ross via the Mattole Road in Humboldt County, California. The Mattole Road which leaves then rejoins US-101 south of Eureka and north of Weott in the ‘Avenue of Giants’ in Humboldt County California. It passes the westernmost point in the US (except Alaska & Hawaii). This route is definitely not on the fast track. It winds, climbs and meanders through some beautiful coastlines and coastal mountains. As I wandered through this wild country, it dawned on me that this area was also known for its pot farming outlaws and a shoot first and ask questions later attitude. I stayed close to the roads.

The south part of this road enters into the Humboldt Redwood Forests, especially as it nears the US-101 again. Once back on the 101 it was back to hustle-bustle driving conditions. Further south route 1 or the Shoreline Highway leaves US-101 for the coast. I had hoped that by taking this road I’d lose some of the heavy traffic … I did not. I did trade a four lane high traffic road for a two lane high traffic road. I learned that this would be my fate the rest of the days to come.

No complaints by me about the scenery though. On this point it would be hard to beat. The Redwood forests that we wound our way through were fine indeed. And when we finally reached the coast the rugged views were worth a stop once in a while to take it in.

This day had a lot of driving … way more than I realized until I’d passed opportunities to make it more manageable. Had I to do it over again, I’d have stopped in Fort Bragg for the night where affordable gas food and lodging was plentiful. I thought there was too much day left to stop there and passed it by. I later learned that these necessities would become scarce and expensive as I made my way further south. Had I not been carrying extra gas I’d have been in a real bind at Point Arena. I pulled into the onliest gas station for many miles to find it had closed 5 minutes earlier and the operator refused to pump any gas. He was counting his money and must have been independently wealthy. I emptied the gas I carried into Sami’s tank and took me a few towns down the road where I was able to fill up and replenish my reserve. Finally at Timber Cove I found a small motel, that though overpriced, was at least more reasonable than some of the $400-$800 rooms that came to my attention.

Subjects in this set include American Goldfinch, Common Murre, Hermit Thrush, Marsh Wren, Mule Deer, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Steller’s Jay, Turkey Vulture, Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s Warbler and scenery.

Images Below

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