Eureka

I made it to Eureka, and will be here a week at least.

It took a long time from Fort Bragg on Highway 1. I cannot recommend anyone pulling a trailer take this road unless you need to check this route off your life list. There are a lot of 15 mph hairpins, I don’t think I got over 40 mph, and only the occasional turnout going northbound. Luckily there was very little traffic.

The Mendocino coastline is beautiful, though . Lots of rocks and haystacks with crashing flying surf. There’s a great RV camping spot that is almost above the high high tide line, but I doubt I’ll drive this route again pulling anything.

Who in their right mind would go to the extreme effort to build this road in the first place???

Fort Bragg, CA

Fort Bragg is along CA-01, the Pacific Coast Highway, in Mendocino County. I’m glad I finally made it out here, but the challenge of the roads here hints that it might be a while before I return.

When I sat down to update my blog, it wouldn’t allow me to log in. I did some obvious things, then sent a note off to tech support. Today it’s fixed, the hosting service updated my version of WordPress, which I wasn’t anxious to do, but now I’ve got the new version. It’s quite different, so we’ll see how it works.

All roads out here are slow and winding, figure an average of 30 mph; some curves are 15 mph. The surface is good, and there are passing lanes and turnouts, but it’s still a lot of work.

The weather has been unusually nice, clear without even a breeze along the coast, flat seas. I’m parked at an RV place in the center of town with a view to the west. And it’s Whale Festival time this weekend; supposedly it’s the best time to see migrating gray whales go north. I haven’t seen any, but I wasn’t really looking. I’ll be on the coast for a while and am sure I’ll spot some soon.

Ten miles south of Ft Bragg is the town of Mendocino, an absolutely lovely historic town overlooking a beautiful bay. They have a great book store, and the new retail pot shop overlooks the bay and features product from just down the road. Mendo living would be very nice. Well, until you needed to go somewhere. Best just to stay out here, Ft Bragg has everything you need.

I continue north on Tuesday, hopefully reaching Eureka unless the road is too slow to make it in a few hours.

Ukiah

Every year I make this trip north on 101, and always stay at the fairgrounds rv lot. Ukiah is a must-stop so I can visit the Solar Living Center, which is now called Eco Terra something.

The other reason I stop here is to do a weather and conditions check. I expect, and have experienced, forest fires, floods, mudslides, and road collapses along 101 in California and Oregon. This year conditions are great so I can finally move over to Fort Bragg on the Mendocino coast and explore that area. I’m aiming for Thursday, and really looking forward to it.

Washington pot legislation

This is an update on the bills being considered for cannabis in Washington state.

Rumor has it that politics stopped the attempt to allow homegrown cannabis in the state, potentially leaving WA as the only state that doesn’t allow it. It’s hard to discern why the reluctance. There’s always the moral objections to cannabis, some licensed growers might fear the competition from 6-plant grows in basements, and law enforcement complains they can’t enforce the law. Some lawmakers might be thinking of Colorado’s experience when they had a 99-plant limit for “homegrown”, which leads to supplying the unlicensed black market.

Personally, I don’t see the threat from amateur back-yard growers. The output can’t be sold, and won’t go anywhere but amongst friends and neighbors. Besides, the status quo might be the best approach: be discrete, share with friends, and don’t give the cops permission to search your premises.

One way or the other changes in the license ownership rules will be loosened a tad bit, but details are hard to predict right now. Anything would be big progress in Washington.

Cannabis testing protocols have passed the House and are in the Senate. WA’s current rules are quite rudimentary given current thinking, and this effort would be considered a “reform” measure, advancing the state to advanced techniques. That’s good, but no state has succeeded in completely implementing top-shelf rules yet. Keep in mind that no consumer product (except medical stuff) is subjected to such extensive testing as cannabis. And there cannot be any federal help in setting standards, which adds to the complexity. California is trying to implement their rules, but it’s still in progress. Interestingly, Arizona, which is totally medical, has no testing requirements at all. [Testing usually covers dirt, mold, insect parts, pesticides, fertilizers, and other things].

A bill which should pass sets up a state cannabis commission. These commissions (or boards) exist for almost all agriculture products in all states. The idea is to get a basis in law to collect a small fee allotted to growers to pursue common goals. The Washington State Apple Commission, for instance. Usually these organizations function as marketing or PR efforts, and distribute best-practice information. Cannabis growers want something else, though. Because of the federal law, Washington State University cannot assist cannabis growers, like they do for other farmers. All farmers benefit from their state’s ag-research universities, which in turn get funding from the feds. WSU can’t provide help or information to federally-illegal cannabis farmers. But, they can provide their services to a commission which doesn’t touch the plant. So a commission is a good move, albeit for goofy reasons.

And then there are a handful of bills I call “revenge” bills designed to reign in the Liquor and Cannabis Board and their aggressive enforcement policies. This issue has become severely political and there’s going to be a lot of fighting. Whether any of the bills will actually pass is unpredictable.

Those are the high points right now. There are only a few weeks left of the session; bills in progress but not passed or killed will reappear in the second half of the session in January.

Santa Rosa

A break in the storm allowed me to comfortably reach Santa Rosa, and highway 101. I’ll be here a few days waiting out the rain.

I’m at the fairgrounds, which still has a lot of the trailers supplied by FEMA for the wildfire victims well over a year ago. I didn’t expect to find so many still here, but apparently there’s another deadline on Monday to have them out. I don’t see anyone making any moves to leave, though.

Lodi

As planned, I made it through the central valleys and am now in a decent rv park waiting for the next storm to start. Flood warnings are posted, and I’ll be watching things in Sonoma county. Hopefully I can make it over there on Friday.

Meanwhile it’s books and video games here.

Hung up in Bakersfield

Bakersfield is not what you’d call a tourist city, but ahead of me is flooding and high winds so I’m sitting for a bit until the weather breaks. Maybe on Sunday or Monday I’ll make it to Lodi, then re-assess the situation.

I’m in a nice RV park, but there’s not a lot to do in town, especially in the rain.

Leaving Yuma

I’ve been hanging out in Yuma for a while, watching the weather systems go through. Arizona got everything lately, but all I really saw was some wind and a bit of rain. The outlook looks pretty good, at least enough so I can get to Sonoma county.

Just to mix up the scenery a bit I stayed at Pilot Knob, which I haven’t done for a long time. Good sunrises and sunsets, and not crowded.

I was about 1 mile from the border, and anticipated a lot of vehicle and air activity guarding the border from the hordes of illegal people. Instead I saw one pickup and one helicopter over the course of a week. There is nothing going on at this portion of the CA/Mexico border.

My trip is some one-nighters until I get through the central valleys and can get over to Santa Rosa to pick up 101. I’ve made this trip many times, and have it fine-tuned pretty well. It’s still a dull trip.

Back in Quartzsite

The storm passed through Havasu, so I looked ahead on my route west, through Barstow. High winds (40mph and higher) were forecast for the next few days. Then, snow was forecast for the pass at Tehachapi. If I continued as planned I would be battling weather for the next several days. The only safe spot until early next week was Q, so I’m sitting there again.

I’ll watch the California weather before trying again to head west.

Goodbye Q

I’m near Lake Havasu City right now, sitting for a few nights while a little bad weather passes through. I haven’t spent much time here over the years, but I was looking for something different.

I’m at Catnip Cove State Park alongside the Colorado, dry-camping in the overflow RV area. The big fireworks show is this weekend and places are full-up.

My plan is to check out Mojave National Monument, then aim for Santa Rosa, CA.