Tuesday, May 21, 2013

West Coast

May 8 - 19, 2013 (12 days) - Azalea Glen RV Park, Trinidad, CA
We decided to venture into the little town of Trinidad. Really not very large and not much to see. There is a museum which we did not visit, there's a couple of seashore gift shops, a small but decent grocery store, and a few restaurants...oh and a Post Office.
We stopped at The Lighthouse Grill for lunch. This is the same place that was set up at the Arcata Farmer's Market selling their Mashed Potato cone.
The Lighthouse Grill, Trinidad, CA
Our rating 4.5 out of 5
Very casual little restaurant with no waitress service & clean up your own table. Also there is just as much or more outdoor seating as inside. Unfortunately, dogs were not allowed at the outside seating. So much for the "dog friendly West Coast". They have baskets with blankets available in case you want  to eat al fresco when there's a chill in the air.
Inside there were art pieces for sale, both paintings and handmade jewelry. Scott especially liked this painting.
I liked the light wall sconces.

Scott was in the mood for fish and chips. The fish was your typical batter fried. Typical not meaning blah. They were very good and what we were hoping and expecting. It came with homemade fries which is always a treat.
I knew I wanted to splurge on the homemade fries, so I opted for just a Greek Salad, plus a side of fries.

Excellent salad with homemade croutons. Unfortunately the idea of homemade croutons is nice, but they were so hard, I couldn't bite into them.

The fries were above average, but somewhat soft & saggy. I prefer mine crispier.
The next day we returned for their home made ice cream. They only have a few flavors and it changes day to day according to what they make.
I chose French Vanilla and Dark chocolate in a home made waffle cone. Scott had Banana Cashew ice cream. The waffle cone was excellent. The ice cream flavors were great especially the Banana. Fresh banana flavor with just a touch of cashew. I think walnut or pecan would have been a better choice, but it was still excellent. The vanilla had great flavor but was a little grainy/icy for my preference. The texture reminded me of ice milk instead of cream. The chocolate was very chocolatey. Yum! The chocolate has a better texture also.
I would definitely return for both a meal and desert.
Katy's Smokehouse, Trinidad, CA
Our rating 4 out of 5
Very expensive, but this is a small business run behind their home. The seafood is all caught locally and they smoke it all themselves.

We haven't tried everything we bought, so difficult to rate. So far we've had the maple smoked salmon which was delicious.
We also had their canned tuna. Do you remember when you could get the fancy tuna in cans and it actually looked like fish meat? Well that's the way this is. At $7.99 for a 7.5 ounce can, it's pricey, but I think it's worth the splurge..
The man behind the counter was very informative, but also a little gruff. I asked if the smoked fish means I don't have to cook it. He looked at me as if I was stupid. Maybe it was a stupid question, but he shouldn't have shown it. But he did answer my question. Then I asked about the canned tuna and he told us how it is canned and the quality and care taken. He was very passionate about his products. I would definitely buy the tuna on a regular basis if we lived around here.
When we arrived at Azalea Glen RV park, we were given a nice cheat sheet of things not to miss in the area. This sheet stated how far from the park the sights were & also if dogs were allowed off leash, on leash or not allowed. We had a number of items checked to explore. We started with the closest spots with the dogs and the next day we would venture further without the dogs.
First day was Dry Lagoon, Agate beach and Redwoods. Second day was to be about 20 miles away in a forest where you have a good chance of seeing Roosevelt Elk. Roosevelt Elk were on the way to extinction with only a couple of hundred left. With conservation efforts, they are now in the thousands.
So off we go to Dry Lagoon...
Stop! STOP! LOOK! Roosevelt Elk are in the field!

I love the way they lay down with their necks all stretched. Reminds me of our Setter, Devin.
After seeing this herd of Elk so easily, I started wondering if they were here all the time and this was not a big deal. When we passed by a couple of days later, the field was empty. So we were very fortunate to see this large herd of over 50 Elk so close. I was surprised at how relaxed they were. There did come a point while I was taking photos that a "bull" took notice of me and kept a watch on me as I walked back to our truck across the street.

Check Elk off our list for the 2nd day. Been there, done that!
Arriving at Dry Lagoon, I was again car sick. Bleck! I can't handle these curvy roads.
We had a great time at Dry Lagoon beach. Totally different than New Jersey beaches. There are flowers growing all along the beach in the sand.

There are huge pieces of driftwood. They are beautiful! I would love to have some in my backyard.
This inspires me to plant flowers in the crevices of this beautiful chunk of driftwood.

Well, if only I had a permanent yard! I'll just keep that garden idea in the back of my mind for potential future use.
Isn't this grain gorgeous??? 
I have no i imagination but this sure looks like it would make a beautiful piece of furniture or art piece. Just imagine it with a layer of poly on it to make it glow! I almost would like to frame this photo above.

Of course, Scott had a couple of geocaches to find while on the beach. You lead Honey, I'll follow. Oh Sweetie, did you plan this ahead of time?
I wonder what the story behind this is.
No Scott didn't plan this, but he did find this stone and gave it to me.
Can we all say Awwww?
There are rocks and stones all over the beach. Ever since New Mexico, I've really gotten into collecting pretty rocks. What's nice about the rocks and stones on this beach is that the sand and Ocean have already started the finishing process.

What kind of rock is this?
Did I fool you? This is actually a smoothed out piece of driftwood, not a rock. It fooled me until Scott picked it up.
Wouldn't that green stone make a beautiful pendent? Hmmm. I wonder if I'll ever get into simple jewlery making and get some use out of my collecting. That would be a great way to use tokens of our travels.
Here's my rock stone stash I collected.
My favorite is the black & white speckled stones.
Check Agate Beach off our list since we got our fill at Dry Lagoon.

While visiting the town of Trinidad, we stopped along the beach. In order to get down to the actual beach we had to go down a slew of stairs.

But if we go down, that means we have to climb back up. Ugh!
Don't worry about me Honey, I'll catch up.
My trusty Setter, Devin who loves to pull on a leash will help me up. Don't you know, he did not pull at all! So much for help. I'm so out of shape.
We all had a great time exploring the Trinidad Beach. I'm so glad we took the dogs along. They had a blast with all the smells and rocks to climb.
Both dogs were fascinated with these long things.

But they must taste pretty bad, because Devin would start to carry it around and then suddenly spit it out and look at it like yeck!

At this beach we also saw some animals.
Sea Lions and Seals


All in all, we've had a really nice time in Northern California. I was definitely prejudiced against California. I generalized it and threw all the bad parts of Southern California to all of California. Northern California is definitely a nice place to visit, but still wouldn't want to live there because of the taxes, government, etc.

May 31 - Jun 13, 2013 (2 weeks) - Diamond Lake RV Park, Diamond Lake, OR

June 14 -23, 2013 Armitage County Park, Eugene, OR

WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214

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