There is something about Humboldt County that equals relaxation for me. Somewhere past Willits the cares of the day fall away and I am breathing more deeply and slowing my pace. And no it is not aided by medicinal marijuana–although if you are into that sort of thing I am pretty sure by the smell that you can pick some up if you make a pitstop in Garberville.
I decided at the last minute to get out of town. Saturday nights are noisy in my neighborhood–add Halloween and daylight savings so bars can stay open until 3 a.m. and I knew my dog Lulu and I had to scamper. I jumped on the Internet and searched Google for “Pet Friendly Hotels in Eureka.” There were quite a few to choose from and they are all located along 4th or 5th Streets where Highway 101 splits into one-way avenues through town.
I chose the Quality Inn and it was sufficient. I will probably not stay there again but for this weekend Lulu and I enjoyed walking past the private Ingomar Club at the Carson Mansion, along the wharf, and past the other victorian houses in the upper end of Old Town Eureka. One challenge of traveling with a dog is that you cannot leave them in your hotel room. Fortunately Eureka is almost always cool enough to leave your dog for short periods in the car wtih the windows well cracked.
Lulu and I unwound and enjoyed the time away in the relative quiet. Most of it was spent further north in Arcata and Clam Beach in McKinleyville. Sunday morning before we left we met Harriet and Brian to check out a new restaurant for breakfast. The Greene Lily is named for the proprietor’s grandmother. The menu is focused on breakfast and lunch and inventive with a bacon stuffed waffle, omelettes and lots of “Bennies” or variations on Eggs Benedict. It’s Humboldt County so Brian knew the person at the next table. As I asked him how he liked his crab bennie I realized he had almost licked his plate and the answer was fairly obvious. He said the foundation crab cakes were especially good. It was also a bit pricey at $18.95. We did not try the Candy Bar Waffle–next time.
The Greene Lily is also adjacent to the Romano Gabriel sculptures. They are like a two dimensional version of Disney’s Small World ride. The paint is faded but it is still impressive. He originally had it in his Eureka house garden. Apparently not all of his neighbors appreciated it. But then it was illegal for Italian immigrants to go close to the Eureka coastline during World War II. Fortunately, it was preserved.
It is a six hour drive from San Francisco or Sacramento–a real damper on tourism. With Ferndale and the Redwood National Park it is worth the drive.