Logged lots of miles on my third day – saw incredible scenery, crazy wood art, a gray whale, feasted on food made with heart and soul and met lots of friendly folks! It’s been such an eventful day that I’ve covered it in two posts. This being part II with pictures at the bottom… Having left the wacky Burl Gallery in Kerby, Oregon I headed towards my first seaside destination – Crescent City, California! The beach is as pretty as I remember it but not very crowded possibly due to the cooler temperatures that hit the coast this weekend (just my luck) and small surf.
The next thing along Hwy 101 that caught my eye was a pair of gold lions on the Klamath River Bridge over… you guessed it, the Klamath River! As I posed for a picture with one of the lions I noticed a crowd at the other end looking over the bridge. My curiosity got the best of me so I hoofed it over to the other end. The sidewalk is so narrow you have to walk single file and the not so co-ordinated people hung on to the bridge railing. The police patrolled back and forth on the bridge to ensure the crowd didn’t step off into oncoming traffic. On the water were some speed boats and jet skiers that I didn’t think much of as it’s a daily view from my apartment. I stayed to enjoy the valley view just the same but the surprise came in the second video – a gray whale we figured was at least 30 feet long!
I made one more stop on the way to Eureka where I would rest up for the evening. The Redwood National Park is one of very few places inhabited by Roosevelt Elk and Elk Meadows in the park is a popular place to view these majestic beasts. I spoke with a couple who witnessed a herd a few minutes into the trail and said it was worth my while to take a walk. Unfortunately, it was not my day for elk. That’s okay, I was happy with my gray whale.
Once in Eureka, I secured a crappy motel room that had nothing in it after vacating a slightly better, cheaper one with cockroaches. I don’t know which was worse but I’m on somewhat of a budget so cie la vie. Now off for a late supper.
One of my favorite things about travelling is eating – eating to experience the local culture whether in a different country or just a neighboring city – so I prefer to visit local, independent restaurants over established chains but it’s a crap shoot whether you end up with a gastronomic experience or a gaseous one. lol Once in awhile you come across a place you are instantly drawn to. Bless My Soul Cafe is another one of those places.
It is in an old home with a garden converted into a restaurant nestled amongst plain jane businesses. It was 10 o’clock and closing time when I peered in the doorway but a woman working a table invited me in to have a seat. Yay! The place just has that warm, friendly soulful feel both inside and out. It’s not a guarantee but it is a good sign when people are passionate about their food, customers and their business. And when the blues legend Taj Mahal touts it as having the best food in the world, well, you pay attention.
Bless My Soul Cafe is run by Sweet Mamma Jannise, her daughter and son-in-law. The cafe sources organic and uses local producers whenever possible in order to return money back into the local economy. They make their own delicious sauces and dressings and bottle five of them for sale in stores. Mamma is a sweetheart personally visiting and chatting with each table. Oh! And you know Mamma Jannise is alright because she has friends in Vancouver and tried to move her family here in the 70′s
The Sticky Love Sauce Chicken Breast is a house favorite. It was tender and moist and topped with the homemade mango fruit mustard sauce. The organic house salad is also served with a homemade dressing, a little tangy and unfortunately not for sale. Mamma’s corn muffin is light not dense and slightly sweet just the way I like it. I haven’t had Soul food this good in Vancouver. The closest I remember having is Big Al’s from a long time ago but maybe there’s others now? Point me in the direction if you know of any in Vancouver!
Well that concludes my evening in Eureka, California. Tomorrow I’m heading for the 32 mile Avenue of the Giants through redwood forests!
Here’s the link to Journey to Eureka! Part One if you missed it.