Sunday, November 11, 2001

Hello from Crescent City, California!

Start time: 0730

Start odometer: 24807

Weather: Scattered clouds in the morning, cloudy this afternoon, with some light rain.  Temperature 49 degrees F., up to a max of 62.

 

I had a nice day, and spent most of it at the Oregon Caves National Monument.  I then got back on the road and finally arrived in California, and Crescent City.  Yet another town supporting the tourist industry, it is also known as a gateway to the redwoods.  Speaking of redwoods, my lodging for the night, the Curly Redwood Lodge, has an abundance of redwood used in its construction.  According to the owner, this whole building was built using the wood from only one redwood tree!

 

I awoke this morning to another nice sunrise, and was surprised since rain and clouds were to have moved in overnight.  The weather was just to the west, and as I drove towards the southwest, I began to see more clouds and wet road surfaces.  My first stop was at the Illinois River Valley Visitor Center, which had cave tour information.  Again, I got to meet another nice person on this trip, Krystal, the Ranger working at the center.  She normally works at the cave site, approximately twenty miles east, but today, was assigned to work the visitor center at Cave Junction.  She provided much information on the park, and we also discussed several other topics.   

 

This holiday weekend, the park and forest service in the northwest canceled normal admittance fees, and a larger than normal crowd was expected.  Many staff members and volunteers that had left the caves after the summer season were invited back to work this weekend to assist with the extra visitors.  When I arrived at the cave site visitor center chateau, there were several people ready to assist.  I signed up for the 10:00 tour, then walked around the grounds.

 

The tour, given by Ranger Kira, was fascinating.  I have been on several cave tours on this trip, and including other tours previously taken, this was interesting in that there were many more obstacles to avoid and while it was not difficult, it was less maneuverable the others.  This made it more entertaining.  And I did not hit my head against the rocks!  Some very remarkable formations were in the cave, including a lava "vein" and an ancient fault line that was visible from below.  Also, we were able to see a bat resting on the wall.  It was about a two feet away from my head when I noticed it!

 

After exiting the cave, I took the slightly longer but prettier Cliff Nature Trail back to the Chateau.  Several vistas were provided to view the Illinois Valley and Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area.

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A street in Grants Pass, "It's the Climate"!

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The visitor center in the town of Cave Junction.

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Ranger Krystal.

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The visitor center at the cave site, 20 miles east of Cave Junction.

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The lodge at the cave site.  Though it was closed, a Ranger suggested I look in the windows to see some superb woodwork.

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This was the first entrance used to get into the cave.

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A balsam fir tree had roots that spread through the rock and entered the cave.

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An interesting formation.

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This formation was part of the draperies in the area called paradise lost..

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Our tour guide, Ranger Kira.

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The cave exit, created in the 1930s.

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Along the trail back to the visitor center.

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Visible in this view is the road that leads to the caves.

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In this picture, the administrative building and visitor parking lot, located 900 feet from the cave, can be seen,

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An interesting tree with its bark peeled away.

I returned to my car, and after preparing lunch, headed west along Route 46 back to the Cave Junction Visitor Center.   I was fortunate to meet Sarah, who was working with Krystal to deal with the possible excess visitation.  It was nice talking with them, and I was able to learn more about the area, and about the people.  Before departing, Krystal also showed me the website for government jobs!  It is getting close to that time!  Thanks for the help, Krystal!

Bidding farewell, I continued my southwesterly journey, and entering California!  I took U. S. Route 199 and found it to be a beautiful and fun drive!

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Sarah, working at the Cave Junction Visitor Center.

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Back in California!

Tomorrow I will tour the Redwoods National and State Parks.  Not sure where I will go afterwards, but may spend another night in this area.  Thank you for reading the page!

 

Routes traveled today: US 199 - Or 46 - US 199

Lodging: Curly Redwood Lodge - 111201.jpg (22052 bytes)

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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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