Fortuna, California

Good evening, my friends. It's been a long day, made longer by the crappy weather we've seen so far on this trip. Thank goodness we've had some sun breaks, but mostly we've had drenching rain. Fortunately, the wind has died down from the first night of our trip. We had a quieter and better night of sleep last night.

Even though I'm calling it a long day, it was a relatively short day mileage-wise. When I planned this trip, I gave us much shorter driving days than we've done in the past. We decided to keep all our driving days under 300 miles. If memory serves, there is only one day over 300 miles, but that will come at the end of the trip. We'll be well ready to be home by then.

This morning, I had some time to spend on my slow-stitching. This is the first stitching I've done since leaving home.

I decided to move my hoop to the left, but I still can't capture the whole yarn ball inside. 

Okay, so heading south, we pulled out at this viewpoint just south of Gold Beach, Oregon. This is one of the prettiest areas along the whole Oregon coastline. Looking north, it looked like this.

Continuing on, we crossed over the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge

Here's what The Google tells me about this bridge:

The Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge, also known as the Rogue River Bridge and the Isaac Lee Patterson Memorial Bridge, is a concrete arch bridge that spans the Rogue River in Curry County, Oregon. The bridge was constructed by the Mercer Fraser Company of Eureka, California. The bridge carries U.S. Route 101 across the river, near the point where the river empties into the Pacific Ocean, and connects the towns of Gold Beach and Wedderburn. A bridge with strong Art Deco influences, the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge is a prominent example of the designs of the Oregon bridge designer and highway engineer Conde McCullough. It was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1982. It is part of a series of notable bridges designed by McCullough for the Oregon Coast Highway in the 1930s. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. 

And if you'll remember, Conde McCullough is the designer responsible for many bridges along the Oregon coast. We crossed over another one of his bridges on our way to Port Orford yesterday.

And here we go across the Rogue River. 

Moving south, we approached Brookings, Oregon, stopping at another turnout to appreciate the view.

Here's a pano of the area.

Just south of Brookings, we crossed over the Thomas Creek Bridge, which is the highest bridge in Oregon at 345 feet (105m). The Thomas Creek Bridge lies within the boundaries of Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. It is a Warren deck truss designed by Ivan D. Merchant. Built in 1961, it has a length of 956 feet (291 m) in total, and a deck width of 30 feet (9.1 m). The longest span is 371 feet (113 m). Crossing over, you'd hardly know you were on a bridge. Searching online for a picture, I found this one:

And shortly after that, we crossed the state line into California.

Almost immediately, we passed through the agricultural inspection station. I was smart for a change and gave all our fresh citrus to the neighbor before leaving home. They only asked about fruit. I had a few fresh vegetables, but no fruit, and so we passed through with no trouble at all.

This part of California has some ranches, and we saw a few barns far off the road.

When we decided to head south on Hwy 101, we worried about encountering road closures from mudslides after so much rain in this part of the world this winter. We haven't had to detour anywhere, but we have crossed through some scarily narrow areas where the road is under repair.

And, happily, we passed through the redwoods. It's always a treat to see these giants.

The weather made it impossible to get any good pictures.

I'm recycling the image below from our last drive through this part of the world in 2022. It was raining then too.

There were more beautiful coastal viewpoints to enjoy. Here, we were looking south toward Eureka.

Looking north, it looked like this:

There were white birds on one of the rocks you see there. I zoomed in to see what they were...all gulls, it appears.

Here's one more barn.

And, of course, we can always tell we're in California when we see the eucalyptus trees.

Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, but you can read about how and why they made their way to California right here.

Reaching Eureka, we were nearly to our final destination in Fortuna. As we sat at a traffic light, I noticed this building. This is the Sweasey Theater. 

Here's what The Google tells me about this structure: In 1920, financier Richard Sweasey built Loew's State Theater as a modern playhouse for vaudeville and movies. On April 5, 1929, "talkies" were shown here for the first time in Humboldt County. When a disastrous fire closed the State Theater five months later, its position as the only venue for "talkies" was eclipsed by the Rialto Theater. The building was designed by architects James and Merritt Reid of San Francisco. Their eclectic design combines Beaux Arts, Sullivanesque and Mission features.

And finally, our day came to an end here in Fortuna. Sadie snoopervised the folks who pulled in next to us.

As I write this, I have lasagna warming up in the oven, and we're going to relax for the rest of the evening before moving on to Petaluma tomorrow. Our stop in Petaluma will be for two days. Our plan is to see the Point Bonita Lighthouse, and then to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the street that inspired my Painted Ladies quilt. The forecast has deteriorated, sadly, but we can hope for some sunbreaks. If there is fog, we'll probably bag the whole effort and just relax for a couple of days. There's no way to know until we get there.

Okay, so that's all I have for you today. Get a good night's sleep because tomorrow's drive will be a little farther...just over 200 miles.


Barbara said...

The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn. ~ David Russell

kc said...

That Thomas Creek Bridge, hard pass from me! But thanks for taking me back through the Redwood Forest. First time seeing it was through your windshield, now again. If those bridges must be involved, apparently, I'm just not meant to see them in person. Nope, not happenin!

bcarlf said...

From here in the southeast all the weather reports make me feel like there is no safe place on the west coast. Being a first rate worrier, do I need to be worried about you? Will you encounter any of the horrible snow? The scenery is beautiful and those bridges are amazing. Your photos are great and the only way I will ever see them. Be careful and safe. Those kitties are oblivious to the dangers and are depending on you and hubby to keep them safe.

Christine said...

Bridges and tunnels.... No go areas for me..... Thank goodness I was with friends while crossing that trestle one!
Love the old barns.

Kate said...

The coastal scenery is just spectacular! Sorry the weather is so miserable, at least you missed the brutal snow in the mountain passes this weekend. Safe travels and hope the weather is conductive to your sight seeing plans.

Julierose said...

Just lovely photos along your way--sorry about your rainy weather--
Hope the next part of your journey will be filled with sunny days...
hugs, Julierose

Marcia said...

I am always so excited when you go off on a trip and love that you have invited us to go with you! This Massachusetts girl (is 67 stll a girl?) knows she'll never go in person where you are going and is so happy to be going with you! One quick question/request... is there anywhere or any way you could post a map of your trip on your front page so we can follow along? Thanks!!

Lyndsey said...

Love the coastal views, beautiful and I can feel the sea breeze. The redwoods are also awesome. There may have been very narrow bits on the journey so far but the from my seat the drive has been very smooth. My compliments to the driver. Stay safe

Vivian said...

Years ago the Point Bonita YMCA used to host quitters for two weeks in the winter. It was a very basic camp with beds from what looked like military bunks. Gang showers and cold in the winter. They prepared special meals for grown ups and not kids. There were two workrooms , one more arty than the other. We dyed fabric on the grass and in the evening was show and tell. I attended for many years. Most of us now are at a more solitary age and travel less. But have great memories of quilting there. The light house is a walk from that YMCA camp. Enjoy.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Of course you know I'm loving the barn pictures. I must admit crossing over that bridge might have been okay but NOT if I'd seen that picture first!! Scary.

piecefulwendy said...

I'd love to see the redwood forest someday, it's pretty even in the rain. And eucalyptus trees, who would think? Those bridges are really up there - yikes.