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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Coffey

Chasing Balls in Crescent City, CA

We woke up, packed up, drove up (north), filled up (with breakfast), saddled up (on bikes), drove up (farther north), laced up (hiking boots), drove up (even farther north), laced up (tennis shoes), played pickleball up (and down the courts), drove up (finally to Langlois, OR). We had no more up in us, so we fell down on the bed!

We are early risers, as in 5 am early. After we packed up the 4Runner, and said said our "Bye bye" to the Obsession sailboat, we drove just a short distance north and ate at a restaurant called Samoa Cookhouse. If you are in to history, or how the lumber industry worked when enormous trees were abundant, and how trees and trains helped to create an economy, this is the place for you. The restaurant/museum's walls are lined with lumber tools and old photos of the area and historical documents on the interesting business financials of the primary lumber company in the area.

Breakfast is served family style and their and biscuits and gravy and lots of other good stuff is all so very tasty. I couldn't eat that way every day, because if I did, Peppy the Pickle by Aspen Kern would likely get another swollen eye from me ;-)

Thanks Aspen - that one made me literally LOL!

Big trees needed big saws!

When you're traveling in northern California, you don't want to miss the coastal redwood trees - and they would be hard to miss. They are off US Highway 101 between Eureka and Crescent City, so it's easy to visit, even if you only stay a short time. The Redwood Highway drive is one of Northern California's most scenic by-ways. At Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park you can see Roosevelt elk grazing in the meadows, hike or bike for miles and miles and gaze up at the enormous trees until you have a crick in your neck. Prairie Creek which is part of the Redwood National and State Park system protects almost half of California's remaining old-growth redwoods, trees whose average age is 500 to 700 years. Its importance has resulted in it being named a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

We did a scenic bike ride through old growth forest, where we had to stop frequently to gawk. Next we drove a bit and then did a short hike to Big Tree Wayside - who could resist with such a name. The trail name was quite appropriate.

This one was just a typical size for one of the old growth trees.

After driving a bit more, we had just enough energy to pull off the road in Crescent City where Places2Play informed us that there would be pickleball at just the right time for us to join in as a break for our drive! What are the odds of that?

If you plan to visit Crescent City to play, be sure to take a look at the photo below. There are several buildings on the Del Norte County Fairground site, and none are marked to give a hint as to which one might house pickleball, as opposed to the one where grandma's home made pickles that she enters in the county fair are displayed. This building in the photo is the one you want. When you arrive you have to knock on the door and one of the people waiting for a game will let you in. You don't need to know a special secret word or anything, but the door is locked. The folks there were quite friendly and we worked right in to some fun games.

Three are four nice courts with a great surface, divided by nets

After a couple of hours of playing, we headed to our latest Airbnb "home"in Langlois, OR, and we barely dragged in our bags and ourselves. It was all we could do to shower and fall in to bed and fall in to a comatose sleep.

Sometimes I think we might be too old for days like today. But then ... we wake up the next morning and ... most days... we're ready to do it again. The life of nomads - wouldn't trade it for anything in this season of our lives.

If you go:

Del Norte County Fairgrounds 4 indoor and 4 outdoor courts (which we didn't see)

Google+ Code: QR63+5G Crescent City, California

Contact Leigh Freneau at (707)218-5558 for current times

Cost: $5 per person donation

Happy Ball Chasing from Crescent City and Langlois, OR!

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