Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trinidad, California

Our next stop was the little seaside town of Trinidad, California. To get there we once again opted to drive inland, thereby avoiding the tortuous turns of coast highway 1. Once again, we suffered through the mountains, taking our turns in the hills instead of along the shore. Making it to the 101 the driving got easier for a while, and when it narrowed again it was through towering stands of redwoods where many of the trees' trunks are like slalom poles that the road weaves between, and the sun filtered through the canopy splashed patterns of light on the roadway.

Emerald Acres campground in Trinidad is in a stand of redwood trees - younger ones, maybe only 100 feet tall or so. At their roots the stumps of their parents slowly decay; massive 8 to 10 foot across reminders of what was here before man felt they would be better served cut up into boards. Is there nothing the white man hasn't tried to destroy? Anyway, we squeezed into our site which, although narrow, got some late afternoon sun, and enjoyed a nice view of a grassy meadow from our rear window.

We took the dogs down to the state beach right at the base of the cute little town. Toby loved running on the hard sand below the high water mark, scurrying up the beach when a rogue wave caught him off guard.

We walked among giant boulders common to this north Pacific coast and admired the sea life living there; barnacles the size of your thumb, mussels as big as your fist, starfish in purple and orange.

We braved the ferocious winds and launched the kayaks in Trinidad harbor, taking care not to disturb this sandy, grumpy old guy:

We kept close to the lee shore and had a nice paddle, looking at all of the sea life. A seal or sea-lion, not sure which, surfaced near us with a large fish in its mouth, munching and crunching its wiggly lunch. Several pelicans loitered on the town dock, eyeballing us condescendingly, dis-inclined to move no matter how close we paddled:

The next morning, at low tide, we went over to Patrick's Point State Park, which was highly recommended by our friends Tommy and Danielle. It did not disappoint - a beautiful place. We spent most of our time down on Agate Beach, ambling along at the surf line, scanning the beach for colorful stones and agates:

Then we went back to town where throngs of people had gathered for the annual Fish Festival. Rather than search for a space to park Gigantor we took her back to camp and hopped on our bikes to check out the festival. We shared a dinner of fried whitefish, beans and slaw, enjoyed the sounds of a local band, browsed several vendors' booths, and stopped for a tasting at the local winery, Moonstone Crossing.

I got in a mountain bike ride down in Arcata which was nice in the sense that the trails were through lush forests of redwoods and ferns, but not my favorite because the map that I was steering by was really misleading, and I ended up feeling like my ride was all climbing and very little singletrack. It redeemed itself at the end, however, when I found a section of trail built up with lots of jumps and berms, so I got to rip on those for a little while.

Lastly, another visit down at the town beach was rewarded by meeting a great couple, Mike and Lois, from Weaverville, CA. They were camping in their 31' class C on the weekend of their 42nd anniversary. Mike is 5 years cancer free and he and bubbly Lois are trying out RVing as they live their lives with renewed energy. We enjoyed the great conversation and wish them both continued health and happiness.

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