Crescent City, California, to Home

Today is the last post about our recent trip. It's time to tell you about Crescent City and its lighthouse at Battery Point. As we drove out of Fort Bragg, we saw this huge railroad trestle. This serves the Skunk Train. There's a story behind the railroad, and as far as we can tell, it isn't operational at this point in time. Mike road the railroad its full length when he traveled here as a child. It was his Dad's sole purpose in visiting the area.

We drove north along California Highway 1 until we reached US Hwy 101. Both roads were winding mo-fo's. Highway 1 is plagued with landslides all along the way. In some places, the entire oncoming lane has dropped into the ocean, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the remaining lane of traffic.

It was Sunday, and so we didn't see any road construction, but we did encounter plenty of one-lane sections where temporary traffic lights had been set up to control the flow of traffic. Did I mention that the road was winding?

Mike calls it a "whining"road. Eventually, we moved into the land of huge California redwood trees. It's hard to get a good idea how big they are without standing beside them, but in the image below, you can use that SUV for scale.

Eventually, they were growing on both sides of the road. It is truly inspiring to be in the presence of these huge old trees...some are over 1,000 years old.

We passed more than few barns along the way. This is one of the more unusual ones. Sorry for these crappy iPhone pictures.

The one below isn't a barn, per se, but I liked it anyway. The paint was peeling badly.

Before leaving the California coast, we saw some more beautiful beaches. This is one of Mike's favorite viewpoints for stopping. To the south it looks like this.

To the north you see this.

We camped in a private campground near Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Had it not been the weekend, we might have camped inside the park, but we needed a guaranteed spot. Most of the state parks are first come-first served. There were redwoods all around. Here's another shot with the fire ring for scale. Look at the girth of the trunk on that big boy.

Then look up and be amazed.

There was no time to waste because we needed to get to the lighthouse during low tide. The Battery Point lighthouse is on an island at high tide, and it's connected to the mainland by an isthmus that is under water when the tide is up.

It was an easy walk across, but a fair distance. I wouldn't want to have to wade through the crashing waves to get back to the mainland after a visit to the lighthouse.

Once there, it was a beautiful spot. The Battery Point Lighthouse has an interesting history. You can read about it right here. If you're old enough to remember the Alaska earthquake in the mid-60's, then you might remember that Crescent City was hit by the resulting tsunami. (We were living in Hawaii at the time and got up in the middle of the night to evacuate to high ground.) The lighthouse is still in use, and it was then. At the link I've given you, the keepers give a harrowing account of watching the tsunami roll in while stationed at the lighthouse.

Fortunately, we weren't aware of any tsunamis rolling in on this day and so it was very pretty with its ice plant lined trail.

Here's the view from the lighthouse.

The lighthouse is in use and a private residence. There were tours, but it required waiting, and we didn't feel the need. Here's the view of the back of the structure. Notice the big water tank that supplies water to the home.

The sign was quite weathered, but I still think you can read it.

There is a jetty extending out into the bay from here. If you look closely, you can see some structures at the far end of the jetty.

Here's some information about those.

While standing in front of the lighthouse, I noticed the curtains hanging in the basement. 

Before leaving Crescent City the next morning, we drove back to the lighthouse. We were curious to see it at higher tide. High tide wasn't until around 10:30 a.m., and we were there at 8:30 a.m. It didn't look so different. We would have loved to wait around for another couple of hours to see it, but we had miles to go before reaching home and didn't wait.

And that was the last of our trip. I've already told you about the drive home. And now we're here and things are pretty much back to what passes for normal. We've unpacked everything. Yesterday we picked up a week's worth of groceries and then I unpacked all my sewing crap. That took around two hours, but the sewing room is back in order now, and I'm ready to get back to sewing. I'm getting my eyes checked this morning. If I can see with my dilated pupils, I'm hoping to get back into the sewing room this afternoon.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Arlene Adams said...

I gasped at the sight of those ice plants! My daughter, granddaughter and I visited Battery Point about six years ago but there were no flowers then;What a colorful sight. We enjoyed out time in Crescent City and visiting the redwoods. There was a marine facility that rescued seals at that time; very interesting to visit. Wonderful memories of visiting Northern California.

Andee said...

Thanks for sharing...such beauty!

Julierose said...

Oh, just a lovely road trip; when I was a teenager (now eons ago !!)--I visited my Mom's sister in Fresno, and we took a trip through the Redwood Forest...I can still remember those awe-inspiring trees..and Battery Point....thanks for the trip down memory lane for me...hugs, Julierose

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your travelogue posts are just the best! I walked among the redwoods as an 8th grader - they were totally awe inspiring and now they are 50+years older and even bigger.

Lana Ku said...

Those redwoods are magnificent! And how interesting about the tides and the lighthouse. Love the ice plants. Too bad about the highway. Kinda scary. Thanks for sharing.

crazy quilter said...

Very interesting! Those wonderful Giant Redwoods, I do hope I get to see them in person sometime. I adore the pretty color of the ice plants. I lived in Cali for a short time but I do think I ever saw an ice plant. The story of the lighthouses has been very fun. Thank you for sharing these. Glad things are getting back to nornal or rather the new normal now that Mike is retired. Enjoy!

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm so in love with those ice plants and that blanket of them at the lighthouse is gorgeous.

Ioleen said...

Thanks for taking me along on your first adventure with the new wheels. The ice plants are breathtaking. I grew up in Nova Scotia so I'm very aware of high and low tides. The ocean has lots of amazing creatures that you can find at low tide but you sure don't want to be too far away from shore when the tide starts to come in. Thank you again for sharing all the sites you, Mike and the kitties visited.

Lyndsey said...

The blanket of ice plants are so beautiful and the redwoods are amazing.

piecefulwendy said...

I agree that the ice plants are stunning; however, I'm equally stunned at the size of those trees! Wow. Thanks for sharing the fun pictures with us. Welcome home!

Quilter said...

Gosh I feel like I have been on a wonderful vacation too. Amazing places to see & learn about
Thanks for the great visual vacation. Always look forward to your post of life's happenings.
Glad u made it home safely

Brown Family said...

That is a beautiful beach. That is one of the stops we made in 2008 with our son's family. We did not go to the lighthouse because of the pets. I am sorry we missed such a beautiful spot!

quiltzyx said...

I'm glad y'all didn't slip & slide along Highway 1! I wonder if they are planning to remediate the road? I'll have to look that up.

The Redwoods are amazing! I have learned that a tree size is determined by its DBH - Diameter at Breast Height - about 1.4 meters above the ground. I looked up how long 2 different SUVs are for an idea of that tree's DBH. A Suburban is 224" long and a Subaru Outback is 190" long, so that tree would be between those sizes I would guess. WOW!

The Iceplant is beautiful! You don't see as much along the freeways down here as you used to, but we've been planting a bit of it at some of our properties at work. And was lovely views from the lighthouse. Interesting how many of the lighthouses were shut down for a time and are now back "online" again.

Kate said...

I'd heard about the land slides on Highway 1, glad you were still able to travel it. I thought they had shut large parts of it down. Gorgeous views with the redwoods and the beaches.