Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 20: Eureka and the Redwood Forest

Hi there!

Let's continue the road trip towards Bead Fest Portland and show you folks some of the "fun" we sometimes get to enjoy on our trips.

All work and no play is simply not in our vocabulary.

We left Redding, CA in the early morning with the agenda of driving through Hwy 299 then onward to Hwy 101 towards Eureka, CA.
Nick shares my fondness for architecture and found out Eureka had some pretty nice Victorian landmarks/homes. Armed with our trusty GPS which we have since fondly nicknamed "Roxanne", we were on our way. Hwy 299 is a historic scenic route and you can really drink in all the beauty that is Mother Nature. Hwy 299 was a winding and curving road. We kept ourselves entertained by singing along to our favorite CDs, stopping at as many vista points along the way as we could.
And then we arrived...

Some of the fine samples of Victorian architecture we were fortunate to partake in ... the most beautiful being the Carson Mansion!! From the Eureka Heritage's website on the Carson Mansion:

One of the most written about, and photographed Victorian houses in California, and perhaps in the United States, the William Carson Mansion epitomizes the range of possibilities for eclectic design expression that created a peculiarly American style of architecture. Derived from many sources, but unique enough to represent none predominately, this much discussed and debated property stands today in virtually the same condition as when first constructed. The designers, Samuel and Joseph Newsom, were well respected San Francisco architects who heartily embraced the concept of the "picturesque", a quality that continues to fascinate all who see the Carson Mansion's intricately composed interiors and exteriors.

Prominently sited [143 M Street], the extensive grounds provide a substantial pedestal for this sculptured edifice. Eye-seeking and shadow-producing surfaces showcase the use of wood as a building material. This three-dimensional "pattern-book" took over one hundred men over two years to construct. Its influence on the design of subsequent buildings in Eureka is readily apparent even today. In addition to the abundant use of redwood, Mr. Carson imported 97,000 feet of primavera or "white mahogany" from Central America, along with other woods and onyx from the Philippines, East India, and Mexico. The elaborate interiors include stained glass, plasterwork, and carved ornaments in exotic woods.

The Carson Mansion was owned by the descendents of William Carson until 1950, when it was sold to the Ingomar Club.


Unfortunately the Carson Mansion is a private property and not opened to the public for tours. This is to ensure the integrity and beauty of this historical landmark. But, Oh... I would have loved to stroll down the halls and seen the interiors personally. If the building is this pretty on the outside, I can only imagine how breathless it may be inside. You can view the interiors though from the Ingomar Club website. Simply marvelous architecture and interior decor! Ain't history grand?

Now here are other fine samples of architectural delights around Eureka I would like to share with you...

The Pink Lady:

The Arkley Center for the Performing Arts...

with a Deco influence.

Uhmmm....I'm drinking up the facade at the Carnegie Free Library...

Look at the angels! We even found a rare antiquarian bookstore! Of course I HAD to stroll in. I found a lovely book on the history of Cartier jewelry design. Uhmmmm.... I love rummaging through a used bookstore and finding something that wets my appetite to create. Then again, I can't enter any bookstore generally without buying a book or magazine.

This was not the only book I bought on this trip. (Eeek...bitting nails!) but more on that in a later post...
No time to diddle daddle so we got into our car and hit the road along Hwy 101 to check out some of the Redwood forests along the way to Oregon. We have a habit of stopping at as many vista points as possible. At one of the vista points, we saw a swimmer training in the cold waters and spent a few moments speaking to her.
Earlier we had seen people on the highway near some bushes. I thought that was odd since it was close to a freeway entrance. After speaking to the swimmer, we strolled around and realize why those people were in the bushes.
No it's not what you think...
or maybe it was? haha
I'll let you know when you view the next set of photos that I had NOTHING to do with encouraging Nick to pick wild blackberries and posing for these photos.
Do you believe me?
I too was guilty and acting like a kid, having fun running about picking berries. There were so many wild bushes full of berries.
Only pick the black berries as the red ones are not riped yet.
And here is "Mr. Guilty One" in action. I happened to have brought some ziploc bags (how convenient) along on the trip. And here is "Ms. Guilty One" with two ziplocs full of wild black berries on her lap. (grin) We would have some of the berries sprinkled with Splenda. They were a bit tart but half the fun of it was picking them. We left a bag for the hotel staff to enjoy. We got back into the car and continued our drive up the coast towards the Redwoods. With the Pacific Ocean to our left, we were eatting up the view. Then we spotted a nice beach area at another vista point!

So we had to stop!

Then someone had to go have an adventure... and it wasn't me.

See the lovely rocks in this beautiful picture?
The lovely rocks had some lovely barnacles...
With intent and a mission, the Adventurer thought he would go explore the lovely rocks with the lovely barnacles... So what is Mr. Traveler not a Tourist going to do? He decides that it would be fun to climb around the lovely rocks with the lovely barnacles.

He then slips...

On the lovely rocks with the lovely barnacles...

All I can say is... OUCH!!!
It was time to drive through the Redwoods ... to forget the pain above...
This way to the Big Tree!
Nick versus the Big Tree. See how small he is?
We continued on our route and arrived at our next stop, Medford Oregon after picking up some first aid. OUCH! What a sport to not have complained about the pain and to drive all that way.
More to come on the continuing road trip and adventures to Bead Fest Portland...
Always the Traveler, Never the Tourist
Lisa and Nick
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