2019 - West Coast USA - Day 5
This mornings breakfast was courtesy of the microwave in our almost finished room. Today I think the chef did well given the tools at his disposal. The tea was not too bad, nor the porridge and the banana was just fine. Not a bad effort all in all. I passed on my compliments to myself.
We were soon packed up and on the road for the 269 mile drive to Crescent City. It was a slow start with a reasonable amount of traffic and lots of traffic lights. The roads which was a continuous theme throughout the day was very up and down with sharp bends as to be expected with a coastal highway. It made for slow going.
After about 20 minutes the views became fantastic. We were reluctant to start stopping as we had only just set off and still had a long way to go. The sun was out and everywhere looked so pretty though. After a further 20 minutes we gave into temptation and pulled off the road to visit Yaquina Lighthouse that was signposted. It was in a State Park which cost $7 to enter. Instead of paying that we purchased the $80 Annual National Park Pass which covered this entrance and all other National Parks and we plan to make full use of over the remainder of this trip. Only another $73 value to find!
We parked up at the visitor centre and walked the 10 minutes out to the Lighthouse. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful walk. There were seals basking on the rocks below us and all sorts of seabirds flying around. We spoke to another couple who told us that many whales had been spotted out to sea from here in the last 24 hours. Karen was most excited as she has always wanted to see Whales in the wild. Because this would normally involve a long boat trip in rough seas, I am quite happy staying on land and then perhaps seeing them in Sea World instead.
We looked hard out to see but there was nothing out there whilst we were there. Perhaps it would help if someone left some large beach balls floating out to sea for them to play with, or if someone coordinated everyone on shore chanting - Shamu?
Our time there went quickly as we wanted to put some more miles on the clock. We drove on through some pretty villages and some not so pretty. For a while the scenery was still lovely. Then the coastal road took us inward and although it was still nice through the trees it was not as spectacular. By now Karen was in desperate need for a coffee. We drove on and and not finding anywhere suitable to stop. Around 12.30, we came to a place called Florence which sounds much nicer than it actually was. We resorted to stopping in a Safeway which had a Starbucks inside to get drinks and some bits and bobs for lunch. It was not the picturesque setting which we hoped for though.
Driving on, we kept losing the radio so listened to another podcast and then Karen played some music through the bluetooth connection. Then eventually the road took us back to the coast and it got all rather lovely again. The scenery was now very reminiscent of the PCH between San Francisco & LA. We stopped again along the route for a break and to admire the views.
Whilst sitting there we got chatting to a guy who it turned out was doing a drive on his own from Seattle to San Francisco. Rather than fly there and have the weekend on his own he thought he would spend the time seeing his own country. He was a civilian working for the Army as the Chief Engineer on some pretty big programmes. He had developed the weapons systems for the Black Hawk Helicopter and the same for the worlds largest unmanned drone. He was very unassuming for an American and these facts just came out in normal conversation. He was based in Alabama which is apparently the second Silicon Valley. He also told us what a big fan of Poldark he and his family are.
We hit the road again but stopped briefly maybe a couple more times to admire the scenery before stopping yet again for drinks at a place called Gold Beach which again actually was not as pretty as it sounds. Everything in the town seemed to be owned by someone called Jeffrey who even ran the mail boat.
It was around 6pm when we finally got to the Hotel called Lighthouse Inn at Crescent City. This had a real high rating on Trip Advisor but we were not sure why. Karen gave it a 7.2 rating, which was just OK. We did get an enormous suite though which had a big faux fireplace and had a sea view from which we saw a beautiful sunset. It was just all rather dated.
We headed off to eat at Crescent City Number 1 restaurant on Trip Advisor. The trouble was that so had everyone else from miles around. We were told there would be a hours wait for a table so we decided to try elsewhere. We found a couple of other likely looking places but neither of them were accepting orders after 8pm which meant we were in danger of going hungry. So instead we headed back to the first place called SeaQuake and decided to wait the now reduced 25 minutes to get a table. In the end it only took 12 minutes. The place was very busy but it was also very well staffed. I had a delicious Pizza whilst Karen had the Caesar salad which was enormous. We enjoyed the place and as it was a Brewpub Karen also sampled some of the beer made on the premises.
Back in our room I published the previous days blog and without thinking thought the noise I could hear in the room meant that Karen was already in bed and asleep. When I looked up and saw her pottering around I realised the snorting and oinking was actually coming from the Sea Lions that were on rocks not too far from our window. Funny how I got the noises confused.