Yesterday I reached the Northern tip of California and cruised into Crescent City, so named because of its sweeping crescent bay. With only 8805 inhabitants, the ‘city’ part is a bit misleading. Although to be fair, it does have a Starbucks and a Big 5 Sporting Goods store. There is a slightly desolate air to it, the way that nicely spaced out small towns do when there’s no sunshine and few people on the street, but I love that it is unapologetically functional and not a cutesy tourist attraction. THIS is a tiny city where we get shit done! That’s what it says to me. Also the people were super friendly.
I spent a couple of hours in the library, enjoying their wifi and the unexpectedly long toilets, seriously each one is about 30 ft by 5ft. Walking down to the actual toilet feels like you’re journeying down a tunnel – don’t go into the light, don’t go into the light!
From there I was determined to find somewhere to sleep before it got dark, so I headed past Jedediah State Park (I would have loved to stay there for the name alone) because frankly the state park camps are a little on the pricey side – $35 a night… there’s a motel going for $42.99 down the road, do you have cable TV, state park, do you?
Anyway, moving on from my stingy ways. I drove into the Six Rivers National Forest where they have several campgrounds off highway 199, that are situated right on the river, and I found one …before dark (barely but it was dusk so it counts)… with hot water!!! Winner. (Funnily enough the host at this campground has a Direct TV dish.. so they do have cable TV here.)
It really does make a difference arriving when you can still see stuff, like the trees that you might drive into, and the rocks that you could fall over.
Every morning I’ve woken up in beautiful places, but this morning was the best so far. The camp is next to a section of the river that combines smooth flowing water with deep green rock pools, small cliffs, stony flats, and a back drop of green and gold trees. One of those places where you get the urge to take a running leap into the water… but you don’t because you know it’ll give you hypothermia. There were even trickles of water running down the cliff that in Los Angeles would have a two mile trail and a sign post designating it a waterfall. This place is so stunning I’ve even take a photo. If I can figure how to upload it, I will show it off.
Obviously I’m not giving you the name of the campground – that would be silly!
I have discovered a small stumbling block in my life as an outdoorsy person. I don’t know what poison oak looks like. Or poison ivy. Poison anything actually. Don’t eat the red berries: that sums up my knowledge. This morning I was gambolling/plodding about happily in the forest with a multitude of green leafy stuff all around me. “That looks a bit oaky, is that poison oak? I know there’s something about ‘leaves of three, leave well be’ but they’ve all got 3 sodding leaves. Hmmn that’s ivy, for sure… but is it poison ivy, or regular friendly ivy. Bloody hell literally, everything is in groups of 3.”
I happily wandered on, confused, but glad to be wearing long sleeves and trousers.