Day 23: Ferndale to Garberville

9 October 2011

In the morning, I walked around Ferndale for a bit to admire the architecture, then had a delicious greasy breakfast at Poppa Joe's downtown.

Victorian house in Ferndale; Francis Crick Inn


Out of Ferndale, the route would head inland, staying away from the coast for most of the next two days. Heading east out of town, I passed by a cemetery built into the hillside in a forest clearing.

Cemetery in Ferndale

And cows, lots of cows!

Cows outside Ferndale

I hurried over to Scotia, hoping to be able to see the 2x4 factory! lumber mill. On the way into town I saw an advertisement for a water storage service. I was really baffled and tried to think about who actually would use a water storage service. An advertisement in a liberal rag I picked up the following day suggested to me that people growing marijuana might need just such a thing.

Water storage!? ("6000 gallons for $550")

Scotia is one of the last company towns in the US and is nearly totally owned by the Pacific Lumber Company. There is a lumber museum there, but it was closed today (Sunday), so I was out of luck. I satisfied myself by looking at the outdoor exhibits, but there was not much to see. One building there (the museum itself, if I recall correctly) was built in the Greek style, but was made out of wood. Rather incongruous-looking and very cool.


The road out of town takes you past the lumber yard.

Lumber yard

At the junction with 101, I saw the first signs for San Francisco!


After a few (flat) miles on 101 I reached the turnoff for Avenue of the Giants. The road immediately goes into a Redwood forest. The forests felt so majestic, especially since the road was quiet (it being a Sunday). In some places the forest was so thick that I lost my GPS fix.

Avenue of the Giants

One roadside fruit stand had homemade blackberry popsicles! I bought one.

Blackberry popsicles at a roadside stand

Avenue of the Giants passes into and out of the forest for many miles. The road is peppered with man-made tree-related attractions. Come See The Invincible Tree, or the tree of this or that… I didn't stop at any of them.

Avenue of the Giants


After Phillipville, the forest abruptly ends, yielding to the archetypal California scenery. The route returns to 101 briefly, and I headed towards Garberville.

Garberville was not a very interesting or fun-seeming town. I found a room at the Sherwood Forest Motel. My room smelled of smoke, but after reading a review of the place that claimed ants spewed out of the shower when it was turned on, I didn't think a smoky room was all that bad. (Astonishingly, despite that review, the place seemed like the best motel in town that was within my budget. Think on that for a bit.)

I had a low-key dinner at a nearby restaurant.

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