January 1, 2012
The first day of 2012 was kind of uneventful. We started out just North of Crescent City and headed south. The drive was beautiful as the coast of Northern California is strikingly similar to the coast of Oregon. I suppose I might say, at the risk of offending my California friends, that the northern California coast is very Oregonesque. Or is the Oregon coast very northern Californiaesque. Either way, they both provide spectacular views in Oregon or vistas in California.
We had lunch at a place called Samoa Cookhouse. It is on a little sliver of a peninsula in a community called Samoa, just west of Eureka. It was like a logging museum. The food is served family style and they only have one main entrée and soup and salad. We opted for just the soup and salad as we were not very hungry. The main entree was BBQ ribs with mashed potatoes and corn. It was an all you can eat meal. My problem with all you can eat meals is that I feel obligated to eat all I can eat. I can eat way more than any human should be eating, so I avoid those meals when possible. Actually the soup and salad was also all you can eat, but I did not make a pig of myself. It was very good food and the walk around the place looking at the old logging tools and photos was also fun. I recommend it. I was going to write a separate food blog about it but Lucy told me that everyone already knew about the place, except for me, so this paragraph will suffice. See photos below.
We did our first laundry stop at Fortuna. The people were looking at us kind of strange when we walked down to the beach and Lucy set up her tub and washboard and began to scrub. We wanted to go native but could not find any big flat rocks at the river to pound the clothes on. So we settled for the beach and tub and washboard. We were about to get started when a policeman came by and told us we couldn’t do that here. So, being the law abiding citizens that we are, we ended up at a laundri-mat. As we waited for the new fangled washers and driers to do their thing, Lucy struck up a conversation with a very pregnant lady with two small children. She had a boy and a girl about 5 or 6 years old. She told us that she and her husband and children lived in the mountains near the Mad river and it was quite primitive and they had to drive an hour and a half to Fortuna to do the laundry. I was going to ask her if there were any big flat rocks on the banks of the Mad, but I restrained myself. She was dressed in what we used to call a peasant skirt and blouse like the hippies used to wear. Lucy informs me that now they are just called earthy. The little boy wanted to sit up on the table where his mom was sitting, but she explained to him that she couldn’t lift him up for fear of straining too much on her belly. I think her midwife must have told her to be careful. Anyway Lucy picked the little boy up and set him on the table. The lady was appreciative. Anyway she was very pleasant and her children were very well behaved.
We finished the laundry and headed for another casino nearby in Loleta, CA for another free night of parking. Lucy went into the casino to register and they gave her a token for $10 worth of free slot machine play. In order to get that you have to put in some money and start playing. Lucy put in $5 and so she had $15 to play with. I was waiting in the lounge with my book when she popped in with a smile on her face and $100 worth of winnings. So in effect, they paid us $95 to stay the night in their parking lot. They are very nice Indians.
Speaking of those Indians, they are the Wiyot people. The Wiyot people have lived in the Humboldt Bay region for thousands of years. The North Coast of California is rich with abundant terrestrial, estuarine, and marine resources. Wiyot people lived in permanent villages along the waterways which also served as travel and trade routes. Seasonal camps were made on the tribal lands and prairies, and mountainous regions provided berries, acorns, pine nuts, wild game, and basketry materials. Wiyot people actively managed their resources, burning for open grasslands, cultivating edible bulbs, and following strict hunting and fishing protocols. In recent years they have discovered another resource that seems to be serving them well. They have discovered that certain humanoid species are willing to risk substantial sums of money on the slim chance that they may win even more substantial sums of money. The Wiyot people are more than willing to satisfy that need and pocket the proceeds. A very intelligent people indeed.