The corn moon rose, peaking above the sillouhette of the trees, as we cruised along 101 in the pitch black. Full and yellow, it cast a faint glow on the forest and on our path. The gentle smell of salt water signalled our approach towards the coast.
The next foggy morning revealed an industrial town on the remnants of its glory days as a fishing port and lumber mill, extravagant Queen Anne Victorians contrasting with the slightly dilapidated landscape. (This included some of the buildings themselves.)
Strolling through the downtown, I did, however, find many fun and local boutiques, including that of a local engraver. In true Victorian fashion, the buildings sported at least two colors each, usually bold and bright. To my surprise, there were also many murals and street artwork down the back alleyways.
We also spent a day wandering farther up the coast, stopping on the Hammond Trail and at Patrick’s Point State Park, which features a beautiful view of the ocean, fog rolling in, and plunging cliffs. The sun graced us with its presence in the afternoon, making the walk fairly agreeable as we waddled, skinnied, hiked, and huffed our way up and down the trails.
What to do in Eureka & Humboldt Country
- Patrick’s Point State Park (park entry fee: $8)
Sights to see: Wedding Rock, Agate Beach. The beach requires a quarter-mile (approximately) hike down the hillside on an unpaved path. Wedding Rock is also unpaved but has some lovely views.
- Hammond Trail
Part of the trail runs through Mckinleyville, which is where we walked. It’s peaceful and lush, but not many views.
- Downtown Eureka
- Land of Lovely
- Just My Type: A letterpress and engraving store run by a local artist. Postcards from local artists, art knickknacks, and of course the artist’s work. You can even mail your postcards right in the store. The mailman (or lady) comes and picks it up from the mailbox by the door. Vintage stamps are available, or you can get a regular postcard stamp.
- Carson Mansion
Not the most impressive, but I loved the pink Queen Anne victorian right across the street. Because the mansion is a private club, you can’t actually get very close to it, but I had my fun with the pink house.
- Jack’s Seafood
On the marina with views of the water. Recommend: Fish tacos, scallops, fried prawns. Not recommended: Clam chowder. There was a want of clams.
- Chapala Café
Authentic Mexican food downtown. The plates are generous and the staff are very kind.
- Shamus T Bones
Steak and other barbecue. Recommend: Brisket, pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked beans. Personally I think one plate can feed two people. Depends on how hungry you are (and/or how many boys are with you).
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