West Coast Trip Part II: Pacific, Redwoods & Eureka

I already opened a post about the West Coast exclaiming how beautiful it is, but I have to do it again. Because that’s all I could do as we drove from Eugene, OR through the Redwoods to Eureka, CA. “It’s so pretty” and “it’s so beautiful” came out of my mouth more times than I can count. I told Sean just as many times that I needed to find a new phrase to say but it never happened.

To get to Eureka, we wanted great views. So we drove two hours west of Eugene to pick up the Pacific Coastal Highway (PCH), which we then took, eventually, all the way down to Napa (almost). I tried very hard to perfect the art of taking pictures from inside of a moving car. It’s not easy but I got a few decent shots.

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Including this one which kind of shows you how foresting works in Oregon. In groups, mature trees are chopped down but new trees are quickly replanted in their place. You can easily see on these hills the various levels of tree growth.

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At Coos Bay, OR we finally got on the PCH and saw a scenic overlook opportunity wiz by our window. We thought we’d come across another, so no point in turning back. They called it the Pacific Coastal Highway for a reason so we were bound to see the ocean soon. We drove and we drove and not turning back seemed like a big mistake. Where is the ocean? Sean offered to find a small side road to figure out a way to see the ocean, but I declined. We wanted a view from a high point. Finally, after an hour (which seemed like forever at the time), we came to Port Orford and right in front of us was a road painted with the message “OCEAN VIEW” with an arrow. “Well, you can’t ask for more of an invitation than that,” Sean said, and we came face to face with this!

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I wish I were a better photographer because I just don’t know the tricks to doing this scene justice. In person it reminded me of a lagoon from Peter Pan. I’ve never seen giant rocks jutting out of the ocean! So beautiful! (I know I need another word but you’ll just have to get used to it.)

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It’s so beautiful!

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Oh my gosh it’s just so pretty!

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How have I gone this long in life without realizing how beautiful it is on the other side of the country!

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And we’ve only covered the ocean!

Between the beauty there were little California towns. Little towns are funny. Where else would you find a smokehouse AND laundromat in one? Or a Confusion Hill? Or giant statues of Paul Bunin and Babe the Blue Ox? Or so, so many motels? Each town probably had about five motels. The classic kind where the parking lot is enclosed on three sides with 1-2 levels of rooms. Where are all these people coming from that each town needs five motels? I guess the Redwood attract quite a crowd? That wouldn’t be too surprising to me because they are…beautiful. (Really, if you can find a better word to describe please share.)

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I don’t normally assess scenes in terms of Disney movies, but after seeing the Peter Pan lagoon the Redwood Forest reminded me of a forest in Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. Beautiful tall trees in the daylight that could easily become spooky at night.

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Look there’s even a dragon! (And I don’t mean Sean…I mean the eye in the tree.)

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All of the trees are big but they’ve dubbed one as THE Big Tree. Here are its stats:

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It’s so big I had to take a video to capture it all, which I just can not figure out how to rotate. So you’ll have to tilt your head but hopefully still gives you the idea of how big it is.

We saw some elk on our way out!

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We finished this day in Eureka where we stayed and had a tasty meal at a cute inn

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carter house

and enjoyed some of the town’s architecture.

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Next up, Napa!

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