By Dr. David Gross
Part 8: Redwoods and More
Stayed in a fancy RV park in Fortuna, Calif. the night of Feb. 5. We had the full hookup at our pull-through space; water, power, TV cable, a dump station. The next day we stayed on U.S. 101 until Leggett then hooked up with Highway 1. It became very slow going, but extremely scenic. We stopped at many vistas and a couple of tourist traps. Lunched in a tiny place in Fort Bragg that featured a Wizard of Oz theme and a tasty salad loaded with Dungeness crab. Worked way south, but the road was full of 15 to 20 mph curves, switchbacks and steep grades.
During the day we stopped at three different groves of redwood trees. Only relatively small, protected groves of what were once massive forests. Steinbeck ascribed almost god-like attributes to these 3,000-plus year old behemoths and when Charlize and I were alone, walking amongst them, I did experience feelings similar to those I felt visiting old-world synagogues whose congregants were annihilated. Charlize was subdued, watching me closely as she mirrored the emotions I was feeling.
At 3:30 we started looking for an RV park. The only ones seen were after we passed and the road was too narrow to turn and go back. Stopped at a grocery store in Gualala to purchase some fresh vegetables for dinner and was told about the Salt Point Campgrounds owned and operated by the state. There were no hookups for water, power, cable, no Wi-Fi and no cell phone connection, no sewer dump. The advantage was that, except for two senior ladies living in a RV as “hosts” of the campground, Charlize and I were the sole transient occupants. There was a friendly Park Ranger at the gate talking to a young couple that didn’t stay. He told us that if we walked down to the beach, about a half mile jaunt, we might get a cell signal. Not worth the effort.