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Welby Family On Fleek – Pacific Northwest Fall 2017 – Day 9 Eureka to Gualala CA (9/30/17)

October 9, 2017

The weather was near perfect for a costal drive. We did take detour via the Avenue of the Giants. This is a pretty amazing drive: a narrow winding road cutting through a grand redwood forest – where many of the trees were in excess of 3000 years old. When you pull over into one of the many groves (a little parking space and some amenities: picnic tables, restrooms, fire places and access to Eel River) it is like entering a cathedral. Allow a couple of hours to meander through this heaven on earth.

Once out of the forest we were back on the coast. If you have never experienced Highway 1 on the coast of California, it deserves to be on your bucket list. First there is the drive – be prepared to average under 30 MPH, experience hairpin turns on a harrowingly narrow two lane, close to the edge of cliffs with no guardrails and some of the best ocean views on the planet. It is not for a meek driver. Learn to pullover at the many turnouts to let the experienced natives drive by, rather than having them breath down your neck. You will get nice little horn toot thank you for getting out of the way in a timely fashion.

We stopped in Fort Bragg at North Coast Brewing for beverage and some snacks. The clam chowder was top notch. I did not realize it, but I was familiar with this brand and I am a fan of their Brother Theloneous Ale. We picked up some beers for the evening – one of my new discoveries was their take on a dark Mexican beers like Negra Modelo called Laguna Baja. Their beer is some of the best we experienced on the trip.

We arrived in Gualala at the home a our family friend Uncle Paul – our final destination. Paul is a great fisherman and cook. He prepared us a great meal of fresh French Fries, deep fried cod, grilled salmon and a salad. We devoured the meal and Paul topped it off with a dessert of vanilla ice cream topped with local huckleberries and maple syrup. It was a grand meal and great conversation as we all caught up, told stories and belly laughed.

An added bonus is Paul’s house, which is beautiful. He now has a second house that is about 90% renovated and is right next door. Laura and I stayed in the main house and the kids stayed in the second house – it was nice to have the extra breathing room.

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