Mount Angel, Oregon and Redwoods

Rain Wednesday and Thursday, all day. Things to do on a rainy day while living in a trailer: write, exercise, clean, do laundry, get the oil changed and tires rotated, back-blog, and go to cool places where you can stay dry, like the Mount Angel Sausage Company. To add a bit of spice to my travel, I started going to restaurants that have been on TV. The Mount Angel Sausage Company was on the Food Channel back in 2011. I remembered their Fire Haus Brats, so I tried their Level 2 Fire Brat on a bun topped with sautéed onions. It was very good, might have step it up to level 3 before I leave the area.

Mount Angel is a delightful little town. I drove past the Sausage Company and had to circle around through side streets, which worked out because there was parking across the street out back of the restaurant. Off the highway, the houses and yards were neat and trim. With the flowers blooming in front, I thought, for the first time since leaving Michigan that this would be a nice place to live. Once I stepped inside the Sausage Company, I understood, call it, the “lage-geist,” by which I mean the spirit of the place, because the Mount Angel Sausage Company specializes in German cuisine, offering schnitzels, spaetzle, and other mainstays of German foods. German music plays in the background and, of course, a selection of German beers.

As for back-blogging I mean writing about some earlier event. In this case, the Redwood Highway, Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Crescent City. The Redwood Highway, CA 101, runs inland from the coast, through the Redwood Forests, and at last along the coast before turning inland towards Grants Pass. The coastal portion is relatively mild driving compared to other sections, although there were sections where the ocean-side lane had collapsed. At the top of a rise, a spectacular view of sea stacks dotting a bay shortly south of Crescent City is laid out in front of you.

The Redwood Highway (CA 101) runs through the land of Sasquatch and Ewoks, of which I saw none. The trees are tall and dense enough that road signs order to turn on the headlights. At several points, the Highway twists and turns through giant trees, passing so closely that divots have been taken out of trees by those not paying attention.

Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park is the state counterpart to the National Redwood Forest south of Crescent City. It has several differing sections. The Howland Hill Road runs along the Smith River before turning to follow Mill Creek. The Stout Memorial Grove of old growth redwood trees is the highlight, although there are several other trails to explore, such as the Mckerson Ranch Trail, which peters out above Mill Creek to which one can descend on a slippery mud path down through tramped down green plants. Back across the River and lower down is a redwood rainforest.

Leaving Jedidiah Smith Park, one reaches the 101. Proceed straight across to enter Enderts Beach Road and the Crescent Beach Overlook, which provides an excellent view of the Crescent Bay. Unfortunately, the trail south to the bay with the sea stacks was closed, I imagine due to the same slide that had taken out the western lane of the 101 above.

Crescent City is a working harbor town with many hotels, motels and RV parks near the water. At the harbor in town, I ate fish and chips and a local beer, 5 pieces of fresh fish, mid-west portions mid-west prices. After eating I walked out to the end which was capped by a rise of rock. Along the way, I stopped to watch the numerous sea lions on floating docks they had taken over, or were they planted to divert the sea lions from other locations? I climbed the rock for the view. Across the way, a jetty was topped by what, at first, I took to be sea lions – the largest motionless sea lions I had ever seen, but from the rise, I could see they were constructions of some sort. Later, I learned that they were wave breakers intended to undercut tsunami and other large waves, thereby disrupting the energy driving their unified orderly assault on the town by injecting chaos beneath.

The pics are of breakwater, the beach next one south of Crescent Beach Bay, and redwoods. Look closely, one is the trail, one the roadway, and the third has two kids stretching out their arms to provide scale for the breadth of the tree.

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