We ended up with a couple of inches of rain off and on over four days...much less rain (and wind) than we'd have experienced in Brookings or other points north of Fortuna. Once free of rain we did some exploring...
The "Victorian Village of Ferndale, CA" sits just five miles west of Fortuna and is a fun place to stroll and admire some wonderfully preserved old buildings. In the late 1800's Ferndale was an agricultural and transportation hub, today it is a sweet tourist destination and an historic landmark.
|The Old Steeple/Music Store in Ferndale is owned by Paul and Sherry, friends of Hans.
We'll return later in the week for a concert in this wonderful old venue.
Let's take a stroll down main street Ferndale...
|The cemetery on the edge of town was as interesting as the buildings.
We found the hiking around Fortuna to be pretty mild, but interesting enough to get us outside. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge lies a few miles north of Fortuna and is an Important Bird Area, though the prime birding season is November through May. There are several Refuge units located around this huge bay and we visited two: Hookton Slough and Salmon Creek.
|Lovely fall foliage covered Hookton Slough.
|We watched several large flocks of Marbled Godwits fly past...the sound of hundreds of birds wings was mesmerizing!
|Egret in Salmon Creek.
|A fresh water pond at Salmon Creek Unit.
|Many flocks of a hundred or more Canada Geese flew overhead during our three mile walk at Salmon Creek Unit.
Headwaters Forest Reserve, located just south of Eureka, CA, protects the headwaters of the Elk River and an intact, old-growth redwood forest. We hiked the first three miles of the 5.5 mile Elk River Trail.
The first mile is paved and signs along the way describe the turn of the century mining town. Falk, that used to thrive here. Beyond the pavement the gravel trail continues through lush second growth redwood forest along the babbling Elk River, which was more of a stream in mid October. Had we continued to the end of the trail we would have seen the old-growth forest the Reserve is protecting.
|Morning dew enhances a spiderweb in deep, dark, damp redwood forest.
|A large leaf maple is fully engulfed in moss along the Elk River.
Hans played pickleball several times at Fortuna's Rohner Park, meeting some lovely folks who invited us to dinner...thanks Karen and Joe for your wonderful hospitality! Rohner Park also has a couple of miles of trails that we walked one afternoon.
|An old-growth redwood stump towers over Hans in Rohner Park.
|Karen and Joe gifted us some beautiful leeks and shallots from their garden.
We stayed an extra night in order to see Sierra Hull in concert at the Old Steeple in Ferndale. Thanks to Paul for introducing us to his lovely venue...a magical, intimate setting for live music!
|Stained glass windows in the Old Steeple, Ferndale, CA.
On Thursday we continued our slow meander towards San Diego, with a curvy drive (that was hard on Rosie) through redwood country. Lets see what kind of fun we can find in Ukiah, CA...