Mileage Driven: 368 miles
Points of Interest: Humboldt Redwood State Park, Eternal Treehouse
No!!!! We didn’t want to leave Crescent City and the beautiful weather but it was time to begin heading south and to move adventures! Today was a busy busy day, weaving in from Hwy. 101 to Hwy. 1 and seeing some great little towns and views. Not to mention we were all pretty excited to see the yacht Air B&B that I reserved for us to use as a home base for 3 nights while we explored the San Francisco area.
We traveled through Eureka, Samoa, Scotia and finally made it to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The visitors center is in Weott and this state park covers 50,000 acres along the Eel River. As soon as you arrive, you will turn on the Avenue of Giants, which is 32 miles of the old highway between Jordan Creek and Phillipsville. You can pull over and grab an auto tour pamphlet which will explain what you are seeing along the 32 mile section. Make sure you grab one because if you don’t, it will seem as if you are just driving through big Redwood trees again. Ha!
There are some great things to see along the way, and honestly we were ready to get down the road so we missed a few of the touristy things. If you have to been to any of the following, please write in the comments your experience as we would all love to know if they are worth the stop. In Phillipsville, which is also called Hobbittown USA, there is said to be a One Log House that exists, which is a mobile home style home carved from a single 32 foot redwood log! Also, at the north end of the park, there is the famous Founders Grove, where a.5 mile path leads you past a 362 foot tall, 1600 year old Dyerville Giant. This was said to be the world’s tallest tree before a 1991 storm felled it.
We decided to forgo the Shrine Drive Thru Tree located at 13078 Avenue of the Giants in Myers Flats since we already tried one of those in my truck, but did decide to stop at the Eternal Treehouse and gift shop along the Avenue of Giants.
When you arrive, make sure you snap a pic with Bigfoot before he becomes elusive again in the forest!
Now, I am going to be honest with you…if you aren’t looking for this good natured tourist stop, you may miss it! Look for this sign below for the Eternal Treehouse. It was a little anti-climatic, but worth the stop.
When you arrive at this very ancient tree, you will find this sign below that shows a picture of the tree when it once housed the gift shop and a little about the history.
And drum roll please……here it is…the Eternal Treehouse…ta da!!! Watch your head as you enter!
After a long side route following Hwy 1 and realizing that way was going to take us way to long to get the bay area, we decided to leave Hwy 1 early and jump back on Hwy 101. I have been on some windy roads in my lifetime but holy cow! Hwy 1 takes the cake! I am pretty sure I warped my break rotors on that section and I am not kidding! I was really disappointed though as we turned off before the town that I was most excited to see along Hwy 1…Mendocino! I was told that this was one of the prettiest towns along the California coast and is where they tapes Murder She Wrote! I loved when I heard it was an artist and writer’s community. It was recommended to me to eat the Mendocino Cafe located at 10451 Lansing Street if we got there early enough for breakfast and then Moossee Cafe located at 390 Kasten was the place to eat lunch or dinner. If you get to go, make sure you stop at the Ford House Museum located on Main Street and also is the visitors center for the Mendocino Headlands State Park. Let us know what it is like if you get to check out this cool town since we had to miss it regrettably.
It was late once we finally got back on Hwy. 101 after our little side trip and put the peddle to the metal to get to the boat to check in. As we got close to the Bay, we could see the bridges that around the area… but we couldn’t see the Golden Gate due to buildings in the way as we crossed into Oakland. San Fran was covered in fog off in the distance so we didn’t get to see much of the city either as we approached.
Sooo, this day was truly in line with our theme of Embrace the Journey as we didn’t know what we were about to drive into. I had heard Oakland was a little rough, but honestly I didn’t know just how much. Our Air B&B yacht was located near Jingletown across from Alameda and the US Coast Guard base and man, nothing could have prepared me for what we were to see. As we approached out exit off the HWY, there were homeless camps, not a tent or two, but literally plywood boxes with broken down RV’s, tagging everywhere and homeless camps that ran for miles in some sections. I had never seen anything like it before…I immediately started wondering how this was going to go with my brand new truck, curtains covering the inside back, just screaming that we are traveling and have gear inside.
As we pulled up to the Embarcadero Cove Marina that we were staying in, there was a mini van and a mustang GT with freshly busted out windows and I immediately called the host on the phone ready to tell him we would just get a hotel as there was no way our gear and my truck would make it out with intact windows by morning here. Hubby said just go get a hotel but I wanted to see what the host said as we only stayed at 5 star Super Hosts on Air B&B and not one review mentioned the crime of the location as I read all reviews in all houses we stayed in.
I was so disappointed and a little freaked out as we weren’t planning on taking all our trunks out on the boat, knowing the boat would be smaller and space would be an issue….not to mention the walk from the parking area to the boat was not close. We were tired after a very long day of driving, so this was not a welcome sight at all.
The host was extremely friendly and came out to meet us as he lives on another yacht that is moored a the marina. He saw my truck and I expressed my concern and he said that I could park off the main street and in a parking spot kinda hidden to help deter opportunistic thefts. I didn’t feel personally threatened for my safety but it was definitely threatening to our property. His advice was to bring EVERYTHING in with us and leave nothing in sight at all inside the cab and to take down the curtains in the back so that if someone looks in, then they would see that there was nothing inside. Ugh! Then he proceeds to tell us about the meth lab that blew up and caught fire one block away in the neighboring homeless encampment….oh crap ya’ll! This will truly be an adventure! He assured us that we were completely safe and as long as there was nothing in the vehicle in sight, that the truck “should” be fine. Oh my!
Ok, those that know me know that I am not very materialistic and at any other time, I wouldn’t stress so much about my truck, but this was our transportation for another 16 days on the trip and we were still 2,000 miles from home so if anything happened to the truck, then we would be delayed for a day or more. After we had a family meeting, we decided to stay and see how night one went. Live what we preach right…Embrace the Journey and this was part of the journey we had planned so I wanted to give it at least one night shot! Plus I wanted to sleep on the yacht….I haven’t been on a yacht since I was a kid at sailing camp, Camp Seafarer, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 🙂
So, after we carried all 5 trunks, 3 camp chairs, about 10 random bags and a large cooler, we were finally all unloaded and settled on the boat. It was a pretty nice boat and Sam was having fun in the bow of the boat while Josh and I took the two twin racks on the stern of the boat. Can you find Sam? Ha!
Here is the complete boat so you can see it. There was a sweet sitting area in the stern and you could see the city lights from there.
One of the things we were grateful for was that there was a nice restaurant at the marina called Quinn’s Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub with a full bar, great appetizers, steak for Josh and some yummy options for us vegetarians and it was literally out of our back door. I knew this is where we would grab dinner one or both nights since we now know we didn’t want to drive in Oakland at night. You can check out their menu here…I am just not sure I would want to park there while I ate the nice dinner: http://www.quinnslighthouse.com/
The yacht beside us in this picture below was also the same owners Air B&B rental so he had a few all together he was listing and they were all booked every night we were there. I just hate the crime that surrounded this little marina. Not sure why I thought being close to the Coast Guard base would mean it would be a better park of Oakland. Ha!
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well this night and went out to check on the truck with Sam. Of course everything was fine but was still anxious. Ha! The host was super kind, a great communicator and ready to help me feel comfortable because I was about to walk on this reservation, the boat was nice and comfortable but I can’t recommend this Air B&B due to the unsafe feeling we had for our property and the uneasiness we felt as we left our truck in the parking area. There was talk of the host moving the boats to another marina in the future which if that happens, then that would be all it would take to change my rating on this reservation. I wish him all the best as we really enjoyed the boat!
Coming up tomorrow: Now, using the marina as a home base, tomorrow we spend the day exploring the beautiful Muir Woods and the local scene there. Then the next and last full day here, we will take the ferry into San Francisco, take the much awaited for Alcatraz Tour and explore the busy and famous Pier 39! I can’t wait for the Alcatraz tour as I have always wanted to go there ever since my Dad and I flew into San Francisco and drove north on Hwy. 101 when I was a young kiddo. I saw that island off in the distance as we drove across the Golden Gate bridge and became instantly mesmerized…i began reading about it’s past inhabitants and history. So cool!
But, first we had to survive the night and have a non vandalized truck in the morning so we could continue to the Muir Woods. Hahaha! We all agreed that whatever happens is part of this journey we are on…so we will have faith that it will play out the way it is meant to be since none of us felt unsafe personally. Here we go!
Make sure to read the next post to find out what happened in the morning! 🙂
Thanks again for coming along this journey with us. Happy trails and safe traveling…until next time!!
— Owl, Hi-Five and Eagle