Dateline: Emerald Hills, 4/2/08
I'm sure that, like Jocelyn, all of you are wondering if I made it home, or whether I'm lost somewhere between here and the Oregon border. I got home at 9:30 last night after driving all the way from Crescent City, about 350 miles. I decided that I just didn't want to spend another night at a motel. Jim had been hinting on the phone that he wanted me to come home, and any such expression from him is rare and needs to be listened to.
Monday was a bumbling day. After leaving Florence in the morning, I stopped in Coos Bay, OR and spent about a half hour trying to find a yarn store. Turned out that I had the wrong address, South Broadway instead of North Broadway. The GPS told me that the South Broadway address didn't exist. I tried to go there anyway, but South Broadway was very industrial; not a store of any kind in sight. Finally I used the iPhone, my omnipresent internet access, to find the right address, and then the GPS had trouble getting me there. She seemed to find Oregon and way northern California confusing. Often she would tell me, when I put in an address, that there were "unknown roads" and she couldn't give me turn-by-turn guidance. In other words, I was on my own. I stopped in a quilt store and asked about the yarn store. When I finally got there, it was closed Mondays. I continued south.
I had decided to stop for the night in Crescent City, the northernmost city on the California coast. It was good to be back in Cali (as the young man who checked me into the motel in Florence called it). The first thing I saw in Crescent City was a sign that said "YARN", so I made an unscheduled stop at a small but friendly yarn store. The owner, when she heard I was from Redwood City, knew where it was (most people think it's way north, where the redwoods are), and knew about Amazing Yarns and Creative Hands. I bought some Kraemer Yarns glittery brushed mohair, a bargain at 560 yards for $7.50.
Then came some more bumbling as I tried to find the Best Western and the GPS was no help at all. I circled around and around, and finally gave up in disgust. I couldn't decide on a different motel, so I decided to drive another 77 miles to Arcata, even though it was already 5 and I was tired of driving. I started driving south, and saw the Best Western about a mile down the road, not at all where the GPS told me it was. This just proves what my grandmother always told me when I lost something -- you'll find it when you stop looking for it. I checked in for the night, feeling that I had accomplished almost nothing all day.
Yesterday was better, even with the 350-mile drive. The weather was finally warm and sunny. I spent a nice few hours in Humboldt County, known for its marijuana growing and laid-back atmosphere. On the way to Arcata, I saw a sign about elk viewing and took a little detour. Right off the road was a field where I saw one animal that looked like a horse to me, but could have been an elk. I didn't get very close. In Arcata, home of Humboldt State University, I walked around the main square, visiting a bead store and a fiber/quilting/yarn store. Then on to Eureka, a relatively large town for which I had a list of 5 or 6 bead and yarn stores.
After lunch in Eureka, I took a short detour to visit Ferndale, a nearby small town with lots of Victorian houses. I really felt as if I had "stepped back in time", as the sign says. To get there, you exit from Route 101, cross a bridge over the Eel River, and drive through a few miles of bucolic fields (in the literal meaning; they are full of cows). I spent only about a half hour there, walking on the main street. I passed a yarn store, but it was closed Tuesdays (an unusual closing day for a yarn store).
My last Humboldt stop was in Garberville, a funky small town, where I visited Garden of Beadin'. I've seen this store at several shows and wanted to see it in person. A lot of their stock was not yet unpacked from the Portland show, but I managed to buy a few tubes of seed beads anyway.
It was at this point, leaving Garberville around 4:30, that I made the decision to drive all the way home, another 230 miles. I thought I could always stop if I got too tired, but luckily, I was alert for the entire trip. Up there, Route 101 alternates between stretches of freeway with a speed limit of 65, and winding mountain stretches where you have to slow down to 30. You never know what's coming, but the scenery is always beautiful. I stopped for dinner at the Hamburger Ranch in Cloverdale. Soon after that I passed Santa Rosa, and from there the trip was just like coming home from Sebastopol, a drive I've done many times.
I enjoyed my northern adventure, but I'm also happy to be home. I think I'll stick around here for a while. I don't have another trip planned until the end of June, when Jim and I are going to London to help my cousin Jeffrey celebrate his 60th birthday. To answer Jocelyn's question, I definitely bought more beads than yarn, although it's hard to tell because the beads take up less space. I've already incorporated them into my growing bead stash.
I'd like to thank my small group of faithful readers for keeping up with my blog and for all your comments. I owe you a post about my Bead Expo projects, and I'll do that, but since it involves taking pictures (which I still think of as a chore) it'll be a little while.