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Monday, August 2, 2010



I have just spent three nights in Eureka in a cottage in my friend's backyard. This is the second year I have stayed there and I guess I've been a good tenant because she gave me my own key this time to keep. It's so nice to have a kitchen and I can walk down to Old Town, where I seem to spend a lot of time. Eureka was a bustling lumber town when I was young and it was a very hip place to shop. Those days are gone as are all of the clothes and shoe stores that I haunted. Old Town, however, if full of interesting shops including some great used book and clothing stores. Yesterday I walked down at 9:30 and didn't get back to Vicki's until 4:00. I had halibut cakes and eggs at the Waterfront Grill where there was live jazz. I found a lightweight sweater because I was COLD in the jeans, turtleneck, socks and jacket that I had at the bottom of my suitcase for a month. Of course, as soon as I put the sweater on the fog burned off but it was back a few hours later.
On my way back I stopped at the Morris Graves Art Museum in what used to be the Eureka Public Library, a beautifully restored building up by the Eureka Inn. Morris Graves lived in Humboldt County during his final years. He donated a great deal of art to this organization, some of which was his contemporaries that he collected and some of his own. Two other exhibits were equally interesting and I came away with new list of artists to explore.
Hwy 101 north of Ukiah is a very fun ride: lots of hills and curves and it was probably built for a 75 speed limit originally before the energy crisis and all. The Jetta proved to be a great vehicle up and down and around. It was early evening so it was balmy from the afternoon sun and I had the sun roof open and the music playing. Every mile north I grow happier as I near the Humboldt County Line. I got a call from a friend just as I was coming out of Richardson's Grove so I pulled off at the Benbow Inn to have a good chat. Naturally, I hung out there for awhile to enjoy the surroundings. It has been restored since the 70's, when I might have stopped by before, and I was very impressed.
My first day in Eureka I drove over to Arcata and Trinidad to visit my cousin and stopped at two different beaches, Moonstone and the dunes at Manila. Both times I was in full sun, at least for awhile, and it was glorious. There are 4 dune areas between Eureka and Arcata on the coast that are being preserved. An incredible number of plants thrive there and several were in bloom. When I can't identify a plant I photograph it so Bill and tell me later. He has quite a collection to go through from this trip.
In Eureka I have had some good visits with dear friends and three times have sat down and showed them my pictures, which total almost 1,000 at this point. It has given me a chance to review where I've been, who I've seen, what I've done - I'm at the halfway point of my trip and I can only hope that the second half is as good as the first because this trip has been fantastic so far. In my sights are Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Missoula, Harlowton MT (where my father grew up), Dayton and Sheridan WY (near where my grandmother and great uncle homesteaded), Minneapolis (where my mother grew up), Milwaukee and Columbus. And, don't you know, I sometimes wish I was on that last leg home to D.C. except, then I have to go back to work! We'll see if I can wash the road off and get back to it.
My photos are reversed from how I chose them this time. The top picture is at the dunes in Humboldt and you know where the other one is. As soon as I drove across the bridge I was in full sun and got off at Sausalito to explore houseboats and marinas. Bill...... I have a new place to share!

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