We set out for a new spot, this time the Big Island of Hawaii. We took three days to drive from Bainbridge Island, WA to San Francisco. The first day was full of tree-covered hills and interspersed with valleys of browned grass. We admired the feats of engineering that put a highway along this coast, carving huge roadcuts and constructing bridges across the Willamette, the Rogue, and other rivers. I chatted with my sister Paula as we passed through her home turf in Portland, and we ended Day 1 in Eugene, OR.
I managed a dip in the hotel’s tiny pool, and we got takeout dinner from The Taste of India on Villard St., a return visit. We enjoyed our food from this restaurant so much on our drive north a month ago, that we decided we wanted a second helping. It was as delicious as the previous visit.
We got an early start on the stretch from Eugene, OR to Eureka, CA. The drive was another day of hills and valleys, curves and dips, as we wound our way down the coast, thorugh a light haze of smoke from forest fires. We picnicked beside the beach south of Crescent City, CA, then entered Redwood Country, passing the Mystery Trees attraction with it’s statue of Paul Bunyan towering alongside the road. We admired the redwoods but didn’t stop at any of the named groves. We’ve visited a few, and wanted to reach Eureka. The Red Lion Inn is ordinary, but not too far from where Amanda and Jim live, and that was our destination.
With barbecue from the Humboldt Smokehouse, we went over for a visit. They were our final stop before the airport, and we off-loaded more boxes of things that we can live without, that Lily and Neil will collect when they drive from California to Illinois next month. After figuring out where to put the not entirely welcome boxes, we settled down to pet the dogs, have dinner and watch some LA Dodgers baseball. It was a relaxing evening.
Jitterbean is our morning coffee spot in Eureka, but they don’t serve food, so we made one last detour before leaving Eureka to Ramone’s Bakery and Café. We’re shifting our morning loyalties to Ramone’s now, as their croissant was the best we’ve eaten in a long time. Driving around the downtown area, I realized that we spent a month in Eureka last October when most businesses were closed. I appear to have missed out on a lot of interesting shopping, antique shops, and the Many Hands gallery. Now it would be fun to spend another month in Eureka, looking at all the places we missed during lockdown.
Near the San Francisco airport (Harvey Milk International Airport), the El Rancho Inn (Millbrae, CA) is a sprawling motel with a special twist—they offer a parking package. We can leave the car for a week for each night we stay, or 2 weeks for a night at each end of our travels. In this way, we can leave our Prius to be picked up by Lily and Neil on Sept. 20. They will take it on their California travels and then back to the Midwest. We will collect our boxes from them next month. We were happy to have a quiet evening of last minute rearranging. Tomorrow Hawaii!