Who knew that far north California was filled with Victorian architectural splendor? Ferndale, just south of Eureka, is known as Victorian Ferndale and is a delightful village filled with pastel-colored homes and businesses with contrasting touches of gingerbread woodwork. The abundance of such architecture helps the city to live up to its title. The entire area around the city is pastoral. Cattle graze in green fields that gently roll across the landscape. Tall white wooden farm homes are surrounded by rust-red barns that have a distinctive Scandinavian feel with their off-centered and steeply-pitched roofs that fall almost to the ground.
The old town of Eureka is also a Victorian gem. Along the harbor are imposing Victorian mansions. A Victorian garden is a well-tended park near the city zoo. On the other side of the zoo is the entrance to a wonderful city park given by a landholder who decided that, rather than cutting the magnificent redwoods on the property for profit, it would be better to preserve “God’s most wondrous handiwork” as a protected park. It is an inspirational feeling to step into the shadows of the redwoods. You immediately realize how small you are since the massive girth of the redwood base is itself made small by the towering height of the tree. It is an immediate feeling of smallness, and yet, awe at the same time. So, right in the middle of Eureka is a valley park with tended trails that weave through 300 plus tall trees and along a stream the follows the valley floor. We had a joyful and peaceful walk.
The man-made Victorian blends well with the God-made surroundings in Northern California.
On a different note, this year’s long journey was prefaced by my statement that Kathy and I were also on a quest to reinvent ourselves. So far, she has not been too keen on some of my ideas. Since we have seen several tattoo parlors recently, I suggested we get one. I had persuasive rationale. I noted that I didn’t want to do the spa thing, but went ahead and did a couple’s spa treatment with her. I let strange women crawl all over my body for her. She still had a flat out answer of “No!” I have dropped it for now. The journey isn’t over yet and there is reinvention remaining to do. WEG