|Woody Island, Crescent City, CA|
Right now I am in what Fradkin labels "The Land of Water." Uh, yeah. Fog and ocean definitely define my hometown of Crescent City. I believe it averages at least 75" per year of rain and this year it may have been higher. I know that the river is high right now and that a lot of good beaches at the swimming holes are under water. A friend out in Gasquet, 20 miles from town, diligently recorded the daily rainfall at her home for many years and the average out there was 100". That's what the redwoods love! In the summer the rain turns to mist and it hugs the coastline, especially when it's hot over in the valley. When my trip began in LA on July 10th, I started reading the Crescent City weather report every day . The highest temperature recorded was 63 and the average was 61. I knew that meant fog most of the time. Sunny, southern weather was feeling pretty nice.
|Surf, CA - Amtrak stop for the Surfliner|
|Russian River at Healdsburg, CA|
|fork of the Eel River near Garberville, CA|
I did not check out the next morning until noon, soaking up the sun on the balcony with coffee and paper and then practicing in my room. And it was still sunny all the way into Eureka but you could see the fog bank hovering out on the horizon. I picked up my sister-in-law, who lives on the south side of town, and told her it would be foggy when I brought her back from lunch and I was right. I put on a jacket, rolled up the windows and drove north. I got to my cousin's near Trinidad very late afternoon. What would take my cousin 4 hours, took me about 20 but it was so worth it. Since that afternoon, I have only experienced one day when it was sunny at dawn but each day the fog burns a little earlier and the sun feels a little warmer. 20 miles inland on the Smith River it is really starting to warm up and I have been swimming four afternoons in a row. Tomorrow I head east to The Land of Fire and am expecting 100 degree temperatures.
To get back to the Fradkin's book, The Seven States of California, I started in the Profligate Province (LA and surrounding desert); took a train to The Fractured Province (central coast San Luis Obispo to Point Reyes); drove up to The Land of Water and tomorrow start my journey through The Land of Fire (Shasta, Lassen) to The Sierra (Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes) via The Great Valley (Redding to Bakersfield) That's six out of seven. I will save The Deserts (Death Valley, Barstow, Palm Springs) for a winter vacation.