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Sunday, March 6, 2011

DAY 52 - EUREKA - LOLETA - FORTUNA, CALIFORNIA

PLEASE SAY HELLO TO NAOMI.

NOT10MINUTES AFTER REPLYING TO KRAM'S COMMENT ON YESTERDAY'S LOVELY WOMEN, I WALKED FROM SPIA HEADING FROM LOLETA, CALIFORNIA TO THE TOWN OF FORTUNA, CALIFORNIA, ABOUT 6 MILES SOUTH ON THE ORIGINAL US 101.

WALKING AROUND A CURVE, I WAS SINGING OUT LOUD AN ITALIAN SONG FROM THE 1956 SAN REMO MUSIC FESTIVAL ...E QUESTA SERA IO VOLGIO PORTARE FORTUNANCH'E A TE...WHEN ROUNDING THE CORNER COMES THE ANSWER TO MY THOUGHTS BROUGHT ON BY KRAM...TO FIND LOVELY LADIES, ONE MUST GO OUT AND SHAKE THE BUSHES.

A LADY IN PINK WHILE STILL 100 FEET AWAY, YELLED "HI"...GETTING CLOSER "HI YOURSELF"... SHE STOPPED...I STOPPED...BOTH SPEACHLESS. FINALLY PULLED A SAM & ME CARD OUT AND INTRODUCED MYSELF. "NAOMI", SHE SAID...

YOU GO TO HIGH SCHOOL IN LOLITA...OH MY, I TAKE THAT AS A COMPLIMENT...MY HUSBAND AND I LIVE IN LOLITA WITH OUR TWO CHILDREN...
FOR THE NEXT 30 MINUTES, WE CHATTED. MOSTLY ABOUT RELIGION.

NOT TO GO INTO DETAILS...JUST WANTED TO SHARE WHAT HAPPENS - AT LEAST TO ME - WHEN I CONCENTRATE ON SOMETHING - I.E., LOVELY LADIES AND KRAM - THE UNEXPECTED EXPECTED ONCE AGAIN HAPPENS.

I TRUST I HAVE AGAIN MET A NEW FRIEND IN NAOMI.

IN FACT, SPIA AND I DID GET KICKED OUT OF THE SEARS PARKING LOT AT PRECISELY MIDNIGHT. GOT UP, DRESSED, AND DROVE SPIA THROUGH EUREKA AND ANOTHER MILE NORTH WHERE I HAD WALKED YESTERDAY...TO AN ISOLATED ROW OF COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES AT THE END OF A DEAD END STREET.

AT 5:00 AM, DROVE BACK TO SEARS PARKING LOT, ENJOYED A EGGS BENEDICT BREAKFAST SERVED BY KATE, WHO LIVES IN FORTUNA, CALIFORNIA, AND WALKED BACK NORTH ON US 101 TO THE SOUTHERN END OF EUREKA WHERE I LEFT OFF YESTERDAY EVENING.

RETURNED TO SPIA AND KEPT WALKING ANOTHER 3 MILES AND BACK TO SPIA.

DID NOT DRESS FOR RAIN. IT RAIN STEADILY 10 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTING SPIA. WAS DRENCHED AND SHIVERING COLD.

ONLY NOTEWORTHY EVENT TO PHOTOGRAPH WAS STEAM CLEANING THE DRIVE WAY OF A FAST FOOD - WENDY'S I BELIEVE.


PLUS, THE GOLD RUSH COFFEE - ESPRESSO - DRIVE THRU.


WE ARE STILL BEING BURDENED BY US 101 "FREEWAY" STATUS. POURED OVER "AAA" DETAILED MAPS TO FIND "ALTERNATE" ROADS AROUND FREEWAY SECTIONS CLOSED TO PEDESTRIANS. MOVED SPIA THREE TIMES TO SHORT STRETCHES OF "ALTERNATE" ROADS UNTIL REACHING A RATHER LONGISH COUNTRY ROAD CALLED TOMPINS HILL ROAD.
PARKED SPIA NEAR THE FREEWAY EXIT AND STARTED WALKING THE REMAINING 10 MILES TO FORTUNA, CALIFORNIA.
ALONG THE WAY, SOME INTERESTING THINGS HAPPENED.



PHOTOGRAPHED AN UNUSUAL BIG TREE



TOOK A "CLOSE UP" OF A TREE COVERED WITH A DENSE COVERING OF MOSS.
YES, THE PACIFIC COAST - EVEN INTO CALFORNIA - IS A RAIN FOREST.





CAME UPON A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED WHITE BUILDING TRIMMED IN RED.
THE HUMBOLDT SWISS HALL.
YOU MAY RECALL CHRISTIANE AND I WERE MARRIED 16 YEARS. CHRISTIANE'S HOME WAS IN THE TINY VILLAGE OF "ASCONA", SWITZERLAND IN THE TICINO CANTON, NOT TOO FAR NORTH FROM MILAN, ITALY. WE SPENT MANY HAPPY TIMES IN THE TICINO AND IN ZURICH, WHERE HER AUNT LIVED.
YOU MAY ALSO RECALL THAT FOR THE PAST 12 YEARS, I HAVE CO-HABITED WITH ANOTHER SWISS LADY - WHOM I HAVE KNOWN FOR OVER 40 YEARS.
I HAVE A LONG MEMORY OF MANY PLEASUREABLE YEARS IN SWITZERLAND. I SIMPLY HAD TO CHECK OUT THE HUMBOLDT SWISS HALL.
THE FINAL TOUCHS WERE BEING APPLIED TO A DINNER TO BE HELD FOR THE IRISH COMMUNITY LATER IN THE DAY.
MET "PAT" AND THEN HANS. HANS GIOVANOLI, WHO HAILS FROM THE EASTERN MOUNTAINS OF SWITZERLAND - A HAND-SHAKE AWAY FROM THE ITALIAN BORDER, HANDED ME HIS BUSINESS CARD..."WILL YODEL FOR BEER !"
WE CHATTED FOR A HALF HOUR OR SO...I TOLD HIM OF MY PRIZED SWISS BASEBALL CAP BEING SWEPT OFF MY HEAD BY A STRONG GUST OF WIND WHILE PHOTOGRAPHING FROM A HIGH CAPE OVERLOOKING THE OREGON COAST SOME WEEKS AGO.
WELL, SAYS HANS...HERE TAKE MINE...AS HE PLUNKED HIS RED AND WHITE SWISS BASEBALL CAP ON MY HEAD.
ANOTHER THING I HAVE LEARNED, KRAM, IS TO ACCEPT GRACIOUSLY GIFTS OFFERED.
I HAVE MANY OTHERS, HANS SAYS, AS HE PLUCKED IT OFF MY HEAD AND ADJUSTED THE HEAD BAND FOR A BETTER FIT.
PAT EARLIER TOLD ME THAT HER FATHER WAS A CHARTER MEMBER OF THE HUMBOLDT SWISS HALL, BUILT IN 1927.

HANS, WHILE STILL OWNER OF HIS RED AND WHITE SWISS BASEBALL CAP.



YOURS TRULY...AFTER ACCEPTING A GIFT MORE PRIZED THAN EVEN HANS PROBABLY UNDERSTANDS.
THANK YOU, HANS...I KNOW WHERE TO FIND YOU WHEN I NEED A YODEL.


HUMBOLDT SWISS HALL, ALL SET UP FOR THE IRISH.

ANOTHER MILE OR SO SOUTH ON TOMKINS HILL ROAD, I FLAGGED DOWN THIS TRUCK TO ASK DIRECTIONS...ONLY TO MEET JOE AND DIANE RENNER. JOE'S PARENTS HAIL FROM NORTH CENTRAL SWITZERLAND (ANDERMAT, WHICH HAS A LANDMARK CHURCH KNOWN TO MUCH OF THE WORLD...A CHURCH I HAVE PASSED BY AT LEAST 50 TIMES)
I CHATTED WITH JOE, DIANNE AND THEIR TWO BOYS FOR 15 MINUTES OR SO. WAS SUGGESTED THAT I NOT CONTINUE TO THE TOWN OF FORTUNA ON THAT ROAD BECAUSE OF A BEASTLY MOUNTAIN STARTING A MILE OR SO AHEAD.
AT JOE'S SUGGESTION, I RE-ROUTED MY WALK TO THE WEST SIDE OF US 101 FREEWAY, ENDING UP IN THE TOWN OF LOLETA, CALIFORNIA (I.E., NAOMI...)


MANY OF THE FARMS IN THE VALLEY I WAS WALKING WERE DAIRY, A PART OF THE HUMBOLDT CREAMERY COMPANY.
THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE IS A "CHUTE" USED TO GUIDE ANIMALS - IN THIS CASE, MILK COWS - FROM HOLDING PENS INTO TRUCKS.

NEXT TIME YOU SEE A TRUCK LOAD OF COWS, REMEMBER EACH ONE GOT ON BOARD THAT TRUCK THROUGH A CHUTE SIMILAR TO THE ONE ABOVE.




YOUNG HEIFERS...NOT YET OF MILKING AGE...WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN EAT AND CHILL.- HANG OUT.



WALKING PAST THE MANY PASTURES AND MILK COWS, I IMAGINED I WAS THE CRITTER ON VIEW...MANY WALKED TO THE FENCE TO GET A CLOSER LOOK AT ME.


BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF RAIN, THE FEED LOTS FOR THE YOUNGSTERS IN WAITING ARE NOTHING BUT A MUD HOLE WITH LOTS OF MANURE MIXED IN...POOR BABIES DON'T EVEN HAVE A DRY PLACE TO LIE DOWN.



TOMPKINS HILL ROAD IS NOT MUCH OF A ROAD - CONSIDERING THE ULTRA NEW ENGINEERING MARVEL (US 101 FREEWAY) NOT MORE THAN A FEW HUNDRED YARDS AWAY.



A TRUCK IN A BARN.

A FARM HOUSE ON A BIT OF A HILL...AT LEAST OUT OF THE RAIN SOAKED FIELDS.



SHUT-OFF VALVES FOR THE MANY GAS LINES BURIED UNDER THE PASTURES.


AH...WE COME TO LOLETA, CALIFORNIA. QUITE A NICE TOWN, ACTUALLY, WITH A MODERN SCHOOL AND MANY NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOMES...ALSO SOME BUSINESS BUILDINGS APPROACHING (OR PERHAPS PAST) 100 YEARS OLD.



LOLETA, CALIFORNIA...HOME TO NAOMI.



WALKING THE OLD US 101 HIGHWAY FROM LOLETA TO FORTUNA, CALIFORNIA, I CAME UPON THIS "HOME"...PICTURES SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS.

DAILY UPDATE: WALKED - DOUBLE AGAIN - 16 MILES (32 TOTAL MILES)
SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: CREDIT 16 MILES @ $0.02 - $0.32 FOR THE DAY.
HAVE WALKED TO FORTUNA AND BACK TO LOLETA. DROVE SPIA INTO FORTUNA, FOUND AN EXCELLENT "GOOD SAM" RV PARK, SPIA IS SETTLED INTO SPACE # 45.
IN THE MORNING, I WILL WALK A "WALKING TRAIL" ALONG THE LOCAL RIVER SOUTH PARALLELING US 101 FREEWAY FOR A FEW MILES. THEN, WALK BACK TO THE RV PARK AND DRIVE SPIA SOUTH.
OUR GOAL TOMORROW IS THE HIGHWAY OF THE GIANTS...AN "ALTERNATE" TO US 101, BUT CLOSELY PARALLELING THE FREEWAY. THE HIGHWAY OF THE GIANTS WAS OLD US 101 - THE ROAD I DROVE MANY TIMES 50 YEARS AGO. IT TAKES US THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE MOST MAGNIFICENT OF CALIFORNIA REDWOOD TREES.
WE WILL BE TRAVELLING THE HIGHWAY OF THE GIANTS FOR THE NEXT 3 - 4 DAYS.

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