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Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Just because one can never have enough photos of your wife and yourself on the web, here’s another…
Sunset at Crater Lake - Hil & Me

Sunset at Crater Lake – Hil & Me

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This is a continuation of the series of blogs I was writing about the drive I took with my wife (Hil) and our youngest daughter (Sarah) back at the end of July.  The main point of the trip was to see Crater Lake.  Along the way, I wanted to see some redwoods, some light houses, some waterfalls and some covered bridges…
The day two drive seemed the longest.  We had to go from Crescent City – in northern California – half-way up the coast of Oregon to spend the night at Florence, Oregon.  We were going to Florence because a friend at work had  told me it had an “old town” with lots of little shops my wife would love.  I thought it would be the high light of the trip for her so I planned for us to stay in a hotel right in the old town area.
We did.  We stayed at the Old Town Inn which was directly off the bridge entering town and around the corner from the old town area.  The hotel was clean and friendly (if a bit musty smelling), but it was ideal for price and location.  There is a free “lite” continental breakfast and pretty good parking.  We also recommend it.  The particulars are:
Old Town Inn
Florence, Oregon
Just north of the Siuslaw River Bridge at 170 Highway 101
The AAA guide says you have to book for two nights – but you don’t.  I would recommend calling ahead for reservations as the hotel is so close to the sand skiing areas, it can get full earlier than you’d expect.
For dinner we went to “Mo’s” restaurant.  It was scenic if you can get a window table overlooking the Siuslaw River and we got a sundown view of the bridge.  The price was reasonable and the service was good, but the food was only average-to-good.
To be honest, we were disappointed with the shops in the Old Town.  I had browsed the web and got the impression it was a neighborhood.  In fact, it was more of a three-block strip.  It was kind of a miniature Fisherman’s Wharf tourist area with T-shirt shops and a few local restaurants and bars.

Oregon Shoreline

Mo’s Restaurant – Florence, OR

Me at the Siuslaw River Bridge Sign

Me at the Siuslaw River Bridge (Florence, OR)

Very cool, art-decco looking bridge

The Siuslaw River Bridge at dusk

The Old Town Inn

Another Shot of the Oregon Coast

Waves on the Oregon Coast

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The objective today was to see some lighthouses, redwoods, beaches, and anything else we could find between Crescent City, CA and Florence, OR – where we planned to spend the evening/night.
We started off with a trip to the local lighthouse, paid a visit to the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, and found our first covered bridge.

Battery Point Light House from Shore

Battery Point Light House from Shore

Me standing next to the lighthouse sign

Me standing next to the Lighthouse sign

Text about the light house…

Battery Point Light House Plaque

Battery Point Light House Plaque

Light House Keeper Cleaning off the glass

Light House Keeper Cleaning off the glass

A Whale Carved Into a Tree Stump

Fishermen carved into tree trunk

Fishermen carved into tree trunk

A closer look at the light house

A closer look at the light house

A tidal pool from the light house

A tidal pool from the light house

The low tide path back to shore

The low tide path back to shore

Hil and I heading back to shore

Hil and I heading back to shore

Hilary in front of wild flowers at the beach

Hilary in front of wild flowers at the beach

Beauty abounds my path...

Beauty abounds my path…

At the Feet of Giants

At the Feet of Giants

I like this one!

I like this one!

Even the stumps are photogenic

Even the stumps are photogenic

Sarah at Stout Grove

Sarah at Stout Grove

Hil Amongst The Redwoods

Hey, what's in here?

“Hey, what’s in here?”

Hil and me at Stout Grove

Hil and me at Stout Grove

Rolling mist over a river bed

Rolling mist over a river bed

Rolling mist on the hills

Rolling mist on the hills

Our first covered bridge... (Quick, pull over)

Our first covered bridge… (Quick, pull over)

Jedediah Smith Covered Bridge

Jedediah Smith Covered Bridge

Was this in "Lord of the Rings?" It looks Elfvish...

Was this in “Lord of the Rings?” It looks Elfvish…

For those of you interested in additional information on lighthouses, check out this site: LightHouse Heritage
The lighthouse (referred to in the “Lighthouse Inn”) was literally right outside our window that night and though it looked to be far out at sea, it was actually on an island only about 150 yards off the mainland and we could walk to it during low tide.  It’s name is the Battery Point Lighthouse.
The best thing about the Lighthouse Inn was the convenience – right on 101, across the street from the restaurant and pier, blocks from the lighthouse and only a few miles from the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
While in the park we stopped at Stout Grove  and on the way out we saw our first covered bridge (Jedediah Smith covered bridge).
Many of the parks and their paths are described at:  Redwood Hikes
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The first evening we ate at the Fisherman’s Restaurant & Lounge, located at 700 US Highway 101 S, Crescent City, CA 95531.  I had calamari, Hil had fish & chips and Sarah had a burger.  Maybe it was the long drive or the sea air, but we all really enjoyed it.  I personally thought it was some of the tenderest calamari I’ve ever eaten in my life!  We highly recommend the restaurant.
After dinner, we took a stroll around the pier and then went back to the hotel:  Lighthouse Inn, at 681 Highway 101 South, Crescent City, CA 95531.
It was very clean and friendly and had these cool little miniature houses around the reception area.  They also offered the best of the “free” continental breakfasts we had on the trip.

Fisherman's Resaurant In Crescent City

Fisherman’s Resaurant In Crescent City

Close-up of Inn entrance

We were on the top floor with the balcony in front of our window

Lighthouse Inn

The Lighthouse Inn in Crescent City

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There wasn’t an easy way for me (that I know about) to link the photo of the poetry signs to the actual words of the poem.  The solution was to look up the poem and add it to my poems page.  Enjoy “The Redwoods“…

Redwood Poetry

Redwood Poetry

The interesting thing is the connection between the author and San Francisco.  The author was the designer of the Golden Gate Bridge.  (It really is a small world!)  And yes, I noticed the poem has an extra verse – and no, I don’t know why.  Maybe, you can look it up and let me know with a comment (hint, hint).
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The general plan was to wander our way up to Crescent City by the end of the day.  We were to try to see as many trees and shorelines as possible.
Our main stop this day was to see the drive-thru Redwood named: Chandelier Tree, located in Leggett, CA.  The Chandelier Tree is one of only three remaining “drive-thru” trees still standing.

A little more of the tree

A little more of the tree

Chandelier Tree Sign

Chandelier Tree Sign

A litte more perspective

Perspective…

Me holding up the tree entrance

And the crowd goes wild…

Redwood Poetry

Redwood Poetry

Driving thru the tree

Driving thru the tree

Sarah sitting on a fallen tree trunk

Sarah sitting on a fallen tree

Close-up of Sarah

Close-up of Sarah

Hil and me sitting in a tree stump

Hil and me sitting in a tree stump

Me showing off the VFF-KSOs

Me showing off the VFF-KSOs

Hilary and me swinging

Hilary and me swinging

Now there are two interesting things here…  The first is the feeling you get when you actually drive thru a tree.  As much as I consider myself to be “environmentally aware” – it’s SO COOL!!  It really does just blow you away.
The second thing is, of course, this is a living thing which has been violated.  Imagine if you had a large section of your stomach carved thru so folks could see your innards.  And the tree is at least 2,400 years old!  For a little perspective, that’s about halfway between the founding of Rome (752 BCE) and the transition of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire (27 BCE).  And, of course, 400 years before the birth of Christ!
Next, evening one…
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Ok.  A little background first…
Our youngest (Sarah) did a report on a volcano named Mount Mazama about six years ago.  As it turns out, the volcano blew up and became what is today called Crater Lake.  Sarah is a Harry Potter fan and as you would have it, Crater Lake has an island – called Wizard Island – in it.  So, Sarah has always wanted to visit the lake.
Not knowing this, James and I went out for a cruise last year and ended up at Crater Lake.  This was my way to smooth the ruffled feathers…
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