Alfred A. Loeb State Park Campground
Before entering California I decide to follow the suggestion of the lady at the entrance booth at Harris State Park. She says that Loeb SP has magnificent specimens of redwoods and it’s only about eight miles out of Brookings.
The road follows the course of the Chetco River.
The park is pleasant enough ($20 a night, no discount, electric only), if a bit antiquated with 15 amp electric. For some reason my big, bulky 30 amp adapter doesn’t do the job. Jim the camp host lends me one, and bingo, I’m in business.
Bushes of ripe blackberries border each campsite.
Oh well, a slight detour. We’ll only stay one night.
It’s a pleasure to be in forest again where the air is clear and at room temperature, not to mention . . .
. . . dry toilet paper!
Exploring the Oregon coast was fun, but when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and find that the air is so damp that the toilet paper feels like it fell down the hole . . . well, I say it’s time to move along.
We enter California for the first time!
I don’t need the welcome sign to sense a difference. Whereas other states have signs suggesting “Headlights for Safety,” California orders you “Turn on headlights next 12 miles.” Several other directives follow in quick succession. . . . “Check headlights” “Speed monitored by air surveillance” and so forth. I remember being told to watch my speed in this state which is hard-up for money.
This sets up my nerves for the checkpoint.
Maybe I watched too many WWII movies, but checkpoints make me nervous. The uniformed lady with a clipboard is no-nonsense. She looks at my plates.
“When were you in South Dakota?”
“Um, late June. No! No, it was early July.” Whew, almost messed up the first question.
“What part of South Dakota?”
“The Black Hills.” She flips up a page on her clipboard and studies something.
“Okay. Are you transporting any fresh fruits or vegetables?”
“Well . . .” I try to bring up a picture in my mind of the dark interior of the fridge. “I have some lettuce and . . . uh . . . radishes.” Again she checks her clipboard. Oh dear, please don’t kick me out of California. Why am I always so dang honest?
A moment passes and she waves me through with “Thank you. Have a nice trip.”
Whew! We made it.
I breeze on down the highway and then it hits me.
“Oh my gosh, I forgot about the zucchini!”
I have one zucchini somewhere in the back of the refrigerator. Now what do I do? I could go back to the clipboard lady and confess my sin. Naw, that’s dumb. Well, I suppose I could eat it. No, that’s no good either. Judging from the condition of the zucchini the last time I saw it, it’s probably so rubbery now, it can be bent into a right angle without breaking. Jeesh, I’ll just have to haul the dang thing all the way back to Oregon.
Inexplicably the road widens into a massive, multi-lane thoroughfare and then narrows again.
I pull off for some gas. Ooh, ooh, Wal-Mart. Before long the crew and I are sitting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle chomping our jaws on some groceries, when a guy of retirement age swings his car around in front of us and parks so his driver’s side window is near mine. He brings his window down.
I know what’s coming.
“Nice trailer! Mind telling me how much it cost?”
This is the second time I’ve heard this question in a week. I’m proud of my Best Little Trailer so I’m happy to answer. “Well, over a year ago, it was around fifteen thousand base, and around eighteen with the options.” I explain the options. We end up talking about ten minutes. He says he’s waiting to retire so he can collect full retirement Social Security.
“None of my business, but don’t wait too long!”
Further down the road, I spy a gas station. The big red sign (red with embarassment maybe?) proclaims the price of $4.45 a gallon, regular unleaded. I park and climb out of the PTV. I ask a lady on the other side of the pump, “Is gas always this high in California?” I see she has Arizona plates.
She smiles wryly. “Yeah, it is. Especially around here.”
Oh well. Welcome to California!
I’ll catch up the blog very soon, including a report on Bridget’s visit to the vet!