This morning I went for a 40 minute run through Grant's Pass which could more accurately be called Bear Town USA. There are statues of bears in all shapes and sizes throughout the center of town.
People began passing through Grant's Pass in the 1820s and it was eventually settled in the late 1840s. The city was named after General US Grant's success at Vicksburg. Today the city's population is over 30,000 and it is one of the fastest growing cities in Oregon.
We had breakie in the motel, packed up and set off for Redwood National Forest down 199S.
Along the way, we called into the tourist info center to pick up some maps and drove along Howland Hill Road through Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park. The road was tiny and very narrow in parts but the views were absolutely amazing.
In 1850 Redwood Forest covered over two million acres of land. The northern most part was originally inhabited by Native Americans. But during the gold rush many eager miners traveled to the region. When most of them could not strike it rich with gold, they turned to harvesting the giant trees and enjoyed several decades of unobstructed tree logging. Beginning in the 1920s several small parks were created in an attempt to preserve the remaining trees and in 1968 the
Redwood National Park was created. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been cut down by that time. Today the parks cover more than 130,000 acres of land and protect 45% of the remaining Coastal Redwood trees. These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on the entire planet.
Eventually, we emerged back on 101 and went north a few miles to Crescent City. We stopped and had lunch in a nice little cafe called Harvest Grove.
Then we continued south on 101 into Klamath and stopped for a look at the Trees Of Mystery. As tempting as it was, we decided not to do the tour as we weren't really bothered but we did have a look around and checked out the gimp shop.
Trees Of Mystery is an attraction located in the Redwood Forest that has a one mile trail through the trees. Much of the trail is devoted to the myth of Paul Bunyan and can either be walked or seen from above in a lift called the Sky Trail. At the entrance to the attraction are giant statues of both Paul Bunyan and his faithful blue ox Babe. The statue of Paul is nearly fifty feet tall and weighs 30,000 pounds!
After the awe inspiring fifteen minutes looking at Paul and the gimp shop, we fueled up the car and then stopped for a game of golf in a nearby RV park. It was an absolute disaster for me. My head has been all over the place for the last few days and I totally cracked on the course. I missed putts all day long and despite two holes in one I just couldn't get it together. I made a charge on the back nine with a roll of twos but Paulo matched every one of them. In fairness, he could do no wrong today - he shot well and I ended up falling back five strokes. He now leads the competition by seven strokes and I think I may have lost the trophy today.
We got back on to 101 and took the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway through Prarie Creek Redwoods State Park. Along the way we stopped to look at some more trees and even spotted some elks crossing a path.
While we were there, Paulo tried to figure out how he was going to get a proper picture of the massive trees with his compact little camera...
We rolled into Eureka around 6:00 without any coupons for a hotel. We parked up in a Travel Lodge to get a rogue wifi signal and I found a few places that took coupons. After talking to several of the places, nobody was willing to give us a discount and we had to settle for an America's Best Value Inn. It was bitter really. But what can you do? We got a nice room in the end in the middle of town so it was all good.
We walked down the street to Lost Coast Brewery for a bite to eat and a beer. I had a really good burger and a couple of 8 Ball Stouts which really hit the spot. Paulo struggled to find a beer he liked - no to the Pale Ale, no to the Guinness ('muck!' he shouted with a twisted face) and no to the Lager. It was a cool spot though and we enjoyed some chats and watching all of the peeps rolling in.
As we were making our way back to the motel, I spied with my little ear some AC DC playing across the street in a pool hall. Well, we had to go have a look didn't we? It was a place called Ragg's and there was nahbody there. We got a beer (more 8 Ball for me) and settled into some pool at a table near the jukebox. Quality tunes - rock & roll all nite. Unfortunately, I played pool as well as I played golf earlier so Paulo kicked my arse. In fact, you could call the day 'Paulo's kicking of Dave's arse' day. He beat me in pool (about 5 or 6 games) and then he beat me in video golf as well just for good measure.
I hung my head in shame (or perhaps slight drunkenness) as we walked back to the hotel. Once there we hit the scratcher straight away - there's a lot of driving tomorrow to get to San Francisco.