When we eventually snap and get up for a wee, we realise it’s nearly 8am. There was a car move earlier on and low and behold the father and son are nowhere to be seen when we emerge from our tent. There was a hell of a racket from weird sounding birds early on too but we managed to ignore them.
The bathrooms are not that great so we opt to give the showers a miss and just have brekkie and pack up. Re-threading the tent poles as we take the tent down.
Today’s drive should be leisurely and get us to our next campsite for around 4pm. We plan to come off the main road and go for a scenic bimble along “The Avenue of the Giants”, giant redwood trees that is. It’s a 32 mile detour but through lovely forest woodland.
Before the park we stop at a cafe in a little village for a coffee. It claims to have great organic coffee and well it has, but the guy is really really miserable, and downright rude. Example: couple come in, look at menu, enquire after decaf, he laughs and says he only sells coffee, customer somewhat embarrassed states Starbucks sells decaf. Which is met with repeated “Starsucks” in a somewhat sarcastic retort. Eventually the couple retreat from whence they came and are hailed all the way along the sidewalk (pavement to you and us) with Starsucks!!! Tee hee hee!
After this entertainment we carry on our journey and stop at the park visitor centre to pick up a few leaflets and then set out in search of a 100ft fallen redwood and a giant 57ft diameter redwood, in two different locations. We find the first but end up giving up on the second as our stomaches are squealing for nourishment.
After lunch we head further north leaving the park behind and stopping at Loleta Cheese Factory (for cheese) and the town of Eureka (yes that is what it’s called) for some more supplies.
Again we find a Safeway where we can assign our shopping against Angie’s clubcard and get a fat discount on our purchases. One last job and that’s a gas station (petrol station you and us). You’d think this would be easy right?! Wrong!!! Huw can’t get the “at pump” machine to take his credit card and when he goes in, cause he can’t get the pump to just give him fuel, he learns that you have to pay upfront for your fuel. Guess how much you want! Yeh, like that’s easy…. He guesses at $25, the guy says make it $28 then cause if you don’t take what you guess your card will just be deducted with what you do take! We get the tank barely 3/4 full again!!! Mad!!
Arriving at the national park campsite we were aiming for having driven through even more redwood forest and seen a load of elks (that’s deer to you and us) we find it’s full 🙁
The girl on the gate points us towards the Klamath river where we should be able to find some more options. We find 3 and head for the furthest away one first to check it out. It’s main reception house is a burnt shell which doesn’t bode well. The guy in the temp office let’s us have a map and allows us to drive around. It’s a bit scruffy and pretty empty so we agree to move on. One of the others we passed on the way was on the river front and initially looked like just an RV site (that’s huge motorhomes to you and us) but the sign said they took tents too so we stopped in for a look. It was near perfect except the toilet block was a million miles away from the tent pitches… We decide to check the 3rd out before making a decision. It doesn’t take long, it’s a barren waste ground with a huge neon “casino” sign in the middle. Riverside one it is. Bernice just needs to manage her fluid intake this evening to avoid middle of the night toilet trips!! Wine it is then, not beer!
No sooner have we put the tent up and cooked dinner when we notice something in the water near a distant bridge, and people on the bridge looking on. We ask some passing dog walkers and they tell us it’s a grey mother whale!! She’s been there 7 weeks, came in with her cub, which has since left (the open water seems to be a couple of miles away tops). Wah!! Well a job for the morning as we’ve both been drinking now. But it’s quite awesome watching the blow hole squirt water in the air from a distance.