Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Salt and Fog Fish Festival - Eureka CA

Our first Short Leash Outing was to Eureka, California in Humboldt County. Land of fog, Roosevelt elk and very, very large trees. I love this part of the world.

This redwood tree was cut in the late 1800's. The lateral scar you see towards the top would have been carved into it first so two men could balance on a board on each side, then they pulled a really long saw through it back and forth to each other. A tree this size would have taken about a week to cut through.

The Samoa Cookhouse
No trip to the region is complete without a visit to the last remaining historical cookhouse in the west - the Samoa Cookhouse - where the loggers of days gone by used to take their daily meals. The cooks decide what to prepare each day, and you sit at a long bench and they keep bringing food until you beg for mercy. The meals always start off with biscuits and gravy and this weekend's selection was french toast and sausage. The old lumber mill is long gone but the Samoa Cookhouse remains as do quite a few of the loggers' descendants who settled in the area. Many have clung to their traditional garb and it's not unusual to see extended families in matching lavalava (Samoan skirts) relaxing or playing games together in Eureka's parks on Sundays after church.

This picture hangs on the wall at the Samoa Cookhouse and is a good indicator of the massive width of the logs cut down at the time. Huge... yeah, that doesn't even begin to describe these trees.

Beautiful farmlands just inland from the beach along the Elk River.
The fog is trying to creep in from the ocean just a few miles away.
Wood burl laying along the beach on Samoa Island. It's surely been rolled around in the surf, probably down the river before that, hundreds of years old.

Chloe running wild on Samoa Island
It's generally pretty cold here, this weekend it was about 60 degrees and that's generally what it's like all year around. In the summertime it's a welcome escape from the valley heat. Not many restaurants have outside dining because of the cold, though, and we struggled to find things to do with the dog. She did enjoy running on the beach at Samoa Island, all of which is dog-off-leash and also OHV friendly. We even saw one dude in a large pickup driving around on the sand with his dog running along beside. At first we thought the dog was being punished but before long we realized this was their regular exercise routine. After a few laps he was welcomed back into the pickup and hung his happy and tired head out the passenger window, tongue flapping in the breeze.

Azaleas in bloom at the Eureka Elks lodge, Loretta in the background on the cliff's edge

Yes you read that right. Cutten School.
*cue the puns

The local pizza specialty is Hawaiian with cashews.
Seriously good. Cashews... this might be a new permanent thing for me.
In years gone by we came to this area for the scuba diving and to freedive for abalone. This time we came here for the party; the Salt and Fog Fish Festival of course. The citizens of Eureka arrived too, decked out in their signature wild-hair, puffy coat and hemp-wearing finery to celebrate this moment of sunshine and to welcome Spring with us.

Eureka local enjoying the sunshine at the Salt and Fog Fish Festival

Typical architecture in Eureka, love these old Victorians
Mr. Toad's inaugural trip was successful; he followed along behind Loretta perfectly, although he's a bit heavier than the motorcycle trailer. The Blue Ox system is easy to work with and we are getting quicker with the connect/disconnect process.

It was Mr. Toad's first adventure and he did great
Our next Short Leash Outing will be Monterey, another California favorite.


  1. Love Eureka with all it`s oddities. Very much CA at it`s finest. Beautiful forests, amazing ocean vistas and unparalleled Wildlife. That does`t include the four legged kind either.

  2. always an adventure in CA. We are so large that we have a myriad of cultures to enjoy.

  3. Internet Speed Comparison @ Elks Eureka CA
    Sampled 4/24/19 at 9:33pm
    AT&T - 9.3 down, 3.9 up
    Calyx (Sprint) - 2.0 down, 1.4 up
    Jetpack (Verizon) - 13.3 down, 13.1 up