Labor Day 2012 : Eureka, College Cove & Crater Lake

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Labor Day 2012, and the National Lampoon holiday to Portland, Oregon via Eureka started on the Friday before πŸ™‚ Plan was very simple: drive to Eureka really early Friday, spend night there, drive next day to Portland and party it out there and gun it back to the Valley on Monday. Simple, right?

Well… except we left Sunnyvale on Friday around 2pm — and got to San Francisco about 3pm or so — via the glorious Golden Gate Bridge:

Quick stop on the side of the road to have a look at this exquisite corner of Pacific:

We reached Eureka though Friday night and next day we’re off to discover the College Cove — which seems to piss off some of the local who thought of it as being a secluded (and sometimes nudist) place. D’errr, it’s on Google Maps, innit? πŸ™‚ Either way, we had to endure a rather steep trek down to the beach:

Though once you touch down on the beach, it reveals itself into a heavenly place:

 college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean  college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean  college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean

Even had a mysterious corpse still rotting on the beach — figured out must be some sealion of some sort perhaps? Kinda freaky — and intriguing at the same time:

 college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean corpse sealion

Probably responsible for the dead crabs around too? πŸ™‚

 college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean crabs  college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean crabs

Ocean was bloody cold though πŸ™

 college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean  college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean  college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean

Though luckily the sun started to shine shortly after we turned up — so this is pretty much the last photo from there as once the sun was out we’re necking beers and wine and playing some sort of baseball. Below is the “entrance” to what I called the Pirates Grove as it looked like a little grove of its own and the dead tree made it quite pirate-y πŸ™‚

 college cove near trinidad northern california pacific ocean

Having drunk all the wine and beers we had we set off to visit Redwood National Park — not far from where we were actually.

There’s some awesome vegetation, looking very fluffy growing off the trees.. which by the way are bloody humongous:

 redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california

 redwood national park, orick, california

The idea was to take one of the shortest treks there (“The Nature Trail“, which I think it was about 1.something miles) — however at some point took the wrong turn and found ourselves by the river… an hour later we decided to turn back — so about 6 miles later on we got back to the car πŸ™‚

 redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california

 redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california

 redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california

 redwood national park, orick, california  redwood national park, orick, california

Next day saw us leaving Eureka and driving (on a rather sunny day!) through the forests and over the interstate border with Oregon to Crater Lake — with a quick stop by a river which was packed with white water rafters:

oregon usaΒ  river, oregon, usaΒ  river, oregon, usa

 river, oregon, usa  river, oregon, usa  river, oregon, usa

 river, oregon, usa  river, oregon, usa  river, oregon, usa

Finally, got to Rim Village and the lake revealed itself — totally blue and awesome:

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

Remember this is about 7,000+ feet above ocean level (air was actually quite rare, reminded me of going snowboarding in Tahoe)! The colour of the lake actually made me think of the Mediterranean Sea:

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

The little island and the colours around it added to that Med feeling:

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

In the end I had to trek down to the lake through all the volcanic rocks (the “Falling Rocks” warning sign omnipresent did give me shivers quite a few times):

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

Despite the 6 miles across and over 1,500 feet depth, the water was actually perfect for a dunk in — and many did so:

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

Getting back up was a killer (easily about 2-3 mile trek I’d say but upwards!) — and then a final drive around the lake:

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

 crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa  crater lake, rim village, oregon, usa

Finally for the night time driving where I have experienced for the first time a “storm” of bugs — and here’s what the car had to endure:

 oregon night time drive, bugs  oregon night time drive, bugs  oregon night time drive, bugs

End result: arrived back in Santa Clara around 3am Monday morning, about 1,300 miles round trip on the clock — and about half of those were mine πŸ™‚

mileage

 

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