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Author Topic: California trip....  (Read 1768 times)

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Offline Dewey

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California trip....
« on: October 22, 2014, 06:17:21 pm »
The wife and I are planning a trip to Cali...  she wants to go to wine country.... me...... I'd like to see The woods and mountains....  a bonus would be to see a sawmill or two..... We are planning on flying into up state or possibly Oregon....and driving to LA and flying home.... We are going to do the coastal route for a bit too ....taking 2-3 weeks..... Any Ideas  for woods and mountains ????

Offline RandyMac

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 11:39:25 pm »
Got your message.
Fly to Portland, Orygun, head for Astoria, then South on 101. Lots to see along the coast. Or fly to Seattle, take the ferry to Bremerton, 101 goes all the way around the Olympia Peninsula. A trip to the PNW won't be complete without a ferry ride. If all that is too much, Portland, I-5 to US 199, which hits 101 just South of the OR border. One of the best drives anywhere is from Crescent City to Eureka, be sure to cut through the Redwood Park North of Orick. South of Eureka is the Avenue of the Giants, an excellent side trip is the Bull Creek Flats, look for a road sign that says "South Fork, Honeydew". For true adventure, continue over the hill to Honeydew, then East to Garberville. Another good side trip, would be to visit Ferndale, go over the Wildcat to Cape Mendocino, on to Petrolia, turn left at Honeydew which will take you through Bull Creek and The Ave. Keep in mind our roads are crap, even 101 and the further you get from 101, the worse they are.
Have you heard about the guy who claims to have felled 2 million trees?

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2014, 12:36:54 am »
I never made it there but plan on it some day.  Philips Brothers Mill in Oak Run, California is (I believe) the only steam powered saw mill.  And they give tours by appointment.  Google them.  Unfortunatly, they are east of I-5, near Redding, well east of the coast.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline justallan1

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 08:26:43 am »
Anywhere you fly into in Oregon doesn't really matter, that is one beautiful state and you should definitely see it.
If it were me I'd fly into Medford or Grants Pass and head down (I believe) HWY 199 towards Crescent City, Ca. stopping in Cave Junction to see the Oregon caves. They give tours through some beautiful caves showing all the stalagmites and stalactites and how they are formed, well worth the stop.
Leaving there keep going west you start into the Smith River National Forest and follow the Smith River down to Crescent City and to HWY 101. Have no fear you'll see the redwoods, plus somewhere along there is Trinidad, Ca. which you'll find Agate Beach. If you catch it at low tide folks of all ages are there to hunt for agates, every new tide brings in another batch. If you're lucky it's a good place to see whales also.
South of that a bit is Santa Rosa and Napa where the little lady will find the wineries. Whether that's you're thing or not it's beautiful country and not to hard to get distracted by the architecture used in the wineries and million dollar homes. It seems kind of funny that all the years I was a dedicated drinker that I never did one of the wine tasting tours. CRAP, there was a perfect excuse that went un-used. :D
South of that is San Francisco. Some like it, some don't. Other than the Golden Gate Bridge it's just another big crowded city and easier to go right on by.
Next is Santa Cruz and Monterey. I'm a little partial to Santa Cruz because I lived there for several years, but I think it's about your last chance to see more redwoods. Monterey has the Monterey Aquarium, which does tours and is just a really cool place.
Anything south from there I've mostly just drove through, so someone else may help you on that.

Allan

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 08:49:52 am »
I am located 1 1/2 hours south of Los Angeles . If you make it down this far , swing by and say hello....
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Offline clearcut

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 10:47:12 am »
RandyMac has some good ideas for the North Coast. Include the Pacific Lumber Company mill and museum in Scotia (Humboldt County).

If you have never been, Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon will give you your woods and mountains fix, and then some. If you do get over to the the Sierra Nevada, find a Giant Sequoia grove and be amazed.

California has lots of different wine growing regions. The Napa and Sonoma valleys are the most famous and best developed, but there are lots of gems in the foothills. I find them just as good and often friendlier.

For cities, I like San Francisco - it has character. I avoid Los Angeles. The traffic is a nightmare.

And well off of your intended route - Mt Shasta, and Mt Lassen- not too many active volcanoes down east.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 10:49:25 am »
<<snip>>
South of that is San Francisco. Some like it, some don't. Other than the Golden Gate Bridge it's just another big crowded city and easier to go right on by.
<<snip>>
Allan

IF you are going to be in the SF area, we've gone several times (free ;D) -

On the north side of the GG Bridge, get off at the overlook and when you are done, go west on that little paved road.  Stop at the first spot and walk out, you will find the first of the WWII gunnery battlements where they had huge guns to reach 7 miles out.  Lots of old concrete and some brickwork.  From there, you can continue and stop at several other sites.  Google map and you might see them.  Also, wonderful views of the city.  If you time it right, they do a re-enactment where they still have one of the big cannons further out.  An easy way to spend most of a day.

On the south side of the GG Bridge, turn off to the right as soon as you can.  Park and start walking south.  You will find a few more installations.  Finally, down at the west end of GG Park, there is a big windmill (very interesting in itself), down on the beach is a smaller artillery setup.  They have one gun (under tarps) that they do a demo on certain Saturdays.

If you feel like spending a few bucks (state park, I think), back Under the GG Bridge is Fort Point (IIRC).  Parking is a problem on weekends. A huge brick fort (3 or 4 stories) loaded with all sorts of cannons and history plaques.  Way cool place that most people don't see.  Takes a couple/three hours to see it all.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 10:52:29 am »
<<snip>>

And well off of your intended route - Mt Shasta, and Mt Lassen- not too many active volcanoes down east.

Did the Mt. Lassen area last summer.  Spent 4 nights there and was able to see most of the sites.  One of the few places that has all 4 types of volcanoes.  LOTS of hiking but what you see is well worth it!  Note, you are running around in the 6,000 to 8,000' elevations - tires you out right quick!
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline BradMarks

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 01:20:45 pm »
The Hull-Oakes mill in Bellfountain, OR is still steam powered. They cut large dimension lumber/beams. It would be a side excursion of about 60-70 miles round trip from I-5. Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast is beautiful, depending on time of year - traffic is either heavy or very little. Lots of small towns to pass through, lots to see. And the Hwy 199 out of Grants Pass down the Smith is georgeous, some of the clearest water you will find in a river. Unless very rainy like the past week. Eureka,CA is a historic fishing and logging town. Crescent City got hit with the sunami a few years back. And Scotia is the classic "company town". Don't know if the hotel still operates, but if it does, stay there. Way first class in it's day. Anyway, tons to see, you will probably have 100 places to see, from all the members!

Offline RandyMac

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 10:22:54 pm »
I live in Crescent City, was born in Scotia, 3rd generation employee of Palco. I travel 101 and 199 often, scenery never gets old.
I know Humboldt and Del Norte Counties very well. If you make it this way, send me a message, I can line out a tour.
Have you heard about the guy who claims to have felled 2 million trees?

Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 02:06:24 am »
I'm going to start with the premise that you are going to need to fly into a fairly major airport coming from Maine.  So if you are looking at Oregon and Northern California, that is going to generally restrict you to Portland, Sacramento, Oakland or San Francisco. 

If you have enough time, then flying into Portland and taking the Coastal roads all the way down to LA is a beautiful trip.  However, I would not want to do it in less than 10 days, (14 would be better).  That trip is going to take you through sea side villages, cliffs, beaches, mountains, redwoods, rivers, and a lot of history.  It is NOT a fast trip though, and most of it will be on two lane, twisty roads where you are going to want to stop frequently to see all of the different attractions.  There are also a few wineries along the way, though most of the "wine country" is actually more inland.

The other thing to keep in mind, (and I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me), but the whole "Napa Wine thing" is way over blown to me.  It is crowded, the people are snobs, the wine and accommodations are way overpriced, and unless you are wanting to drop a whole lot of money, its just not worth it.  For my money, I would recommend two distinct "wine areas" in Northern California.  The first is the Mendocino/Lake County wine district.  While Napa is what gets the press, most of the California wine grapes in "good" California wines are grown in this area.  Red Wood Valley, Ukiah, Hopland, Clear Lake, will all give you good information on the internet of the various wineries and varietals available.  The second "wine area" I recommend, is the Eldorado Wine Area, East of Sacramento.  Fairplay, Plymouth, and a host of small micro climates here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada make for some great wine and many different types of varietals.  I don't drink, but act as the "designated driver" on several wine trips a year for my extended family.  My wife's favorite winery, Vino Noceto, is in the Shannondoah Valley in the "Plymouth" district, and has some fabulous choices. You literally can't go more than 2 miles in any direction in this area without running into a different winery.  Best part is you can spend several days traveling and wine tasting in this area, and it won't cost as much as a single day in Napa, (better wine too).

If it were me, and I wanted to cram as much as I could into a single trip, I would fly into Sacramento.  Take your rental car, and go North on Interstate 5, (the airport exits right onto it).  Drive north about 60 miles until you get to Highway 20 (just north of the town of Williams).  Head west on Highway 20 and it will take you through the coastal range into Lake County.  You will want to stay in the "Clear Lake Area", (there are numerous little towns along the shore).  There are lots of very nice B&Bs and a few hotels, (as well as Indian Casinos), for you to stay at.  Again, these are small towns, but there are so many wineries in the area that you could spend days going to all of them.  Then continue West on Highway 20 until you reach Highway 101, (about 45 miles).  Go south 5 miles into Ukiah.  Ukiah is in the middle of one of the most under-rated but outstanding wine areas of the world.  On the north from Red Wood Valley, all the way down 101 to the Sonoma area are winery after winery.  I would suggest staying in Ukiah and using that as your base to explore the wineries of the area.  Red Wood Valley (just north of Ukiah), down to Hopland, (30 miles south),  have incredibly dense wine vineyards and tasting rooms.  The people are friendly, the wines are reasonably priced, and chances are you will end up doing business with some of my family, (my great-great grandfather brought the first 4 wheeled wagon into the Ukiah valley, so its hard for me to throw a rock in that area and not hit a relative of some degree). 

After you have your fill of wines, head back north on Highway 101 35 miles to the Town of Willits, known as the Gateway to the Redwoods.  From Willits, take Highway 20 West, to Fort Brag.  It is a very twisty road, but the scenery is beautiful and it will take you right over to the Coast.  Fort Brag has many motels, hotels, resorts and B&Bs to choose from.  Check out Glass Beach, where the ocean has turned the former town dump into a beach of beautiful polished glass beads, (the remains of all of the glass bottles that were dumped there), (recently featured as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world).  Take a ride on the Skunk Train, which goes through miles of redwood forests and wonderful scenery, a great half or full day trip.  Lots of touristy shops, and very good charter fishing if you care to try that.

From Fort Brag, head south on Highway 1.  This is the Pacific Coast Highway, (PCH) and will allow you to see the beauty and grandeur of the California Coast.  Further south, at some points Highway 1 will rejoin Highway 101, but just keep following the signs for Highway 1, and Pacific Coast Highway and it will eventually lead you to Los Angeles. 

You will want to check out San Francisco for sure, (The Golden Gate Bridge carries the PCH).  Further south, make sure to check out Monterey Bay, (don't miss the Aquarium, it is one of the best in the world).  Santa Cruz, Pebble Beach, Big Sur.  If you like history, you will also end up for parts of the trip along the El Camino Real, or Royal Road, that was established by the Spanish Missionaries in California.  So lots of opportunity to visit the missions and other historic land marks.  Hearst Castle is a fascinating spot.

While I am not nearly as knowledgeable about the PCH in Southern California, there are lots of resources on the internet to help you plan your trip. 

I hope this helps.  Have a great trip.

Dave 

Offline Dewey

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 09:16:07 pm »
Thanks For all the replies !!!!  The trip is in  in the planning stages .... I told my wife I was going to ask on here... I really didn't think I would get all these replies !!!! I will post Our intend route once we figure it out...

Offline thecfarm

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2014, 09:28:56 pm »
I googled Glass Beach,CA. That takes all the fun out of looking for sea glass.  ;D
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: California trip....
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 04:19:16 pm »
Just returned from 5 days in Portland.

If you start in Portland Hull Oaks Sawmill is about 100 miles south easy trip. I did not make that stop.
There are a ton of Micro-wineries in the Willamette Valley to Visit. 

I suggest a run to the coast to Tillamook and a little farther (10 minutes) to Mears Point. Visit the Lighthouse and the
Largest Sitka Spruce in Oregon.  5 minutes apart.

This would be two full days.

Then run south on 101 or 5 to Crescent City Ca.  The north end of the Redwood forest starts there. You can also be at the
Battery Point Lighthouse to watch the sunset.

We also made the run to Mt Hood along the Columbia.  We stopped at the Bonneville Hydro,  if you make this direction
stop at Multnomah Falls  its right along the highway, its spectacular.

I will not add pictures here in this post but will in another.  I don't want to spoil any potential awe inspiring opportunity
you may be expecting. 



The rest going south I cannot speak to.

Travel safe and enjoy.

Best
DGDrls