Top Five Destinations of Eureka, CA
Three things come to mind when I think of the word “Eureka.” Second is the legendary (emphasis on “legend”) quote attributed to Archimedes when he connected water displacement with his own volume when stepping into his bath. I would bet that’s the first thing for most people. However, my first thought will always be the town in Missouri, southwest of St. Louis and home to the most fantastic place possible when in junior high and high school: Six Flags over Mid America.
I can’t fight that leftover feeling of excitement that built inside me and made a permanent theme park campout in my soul from the times I anxiously waited to ride the Screaming Eagle or any of the other rides. No matter if I later visited Eureka to run cross-country or watch baseball or met people that actually lived in that city, Six Flags dominates. It doesn’t matter if I have discovered the third thing that comes to mind and all the wonder that it entails: Eureka, CA.
The first time I passed through Eureka came on a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. The next time came as I darted over from Redding as I once again made my way to the coast for ocean views and seafood on my way north. My third time will include these five things.
Eureka sits between Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the south and Redwood National Park to the north. Just driving along the roads that wind in and out of these forests gives you a chance to bask in all their majesty. Driving to every pull out so you can pop out of your car to stand beside and walk among them makes it even better. In Humboldt, I think I’ll try the four-hour Bull Creek Loop and in Redwood, probably just enjoy the Coastal Drive where motor homes and trailers are prohibited.
If I want to know more about how this city came to be, I think The Clarke Historical Museum will fill my desire. There’s an exhibit that runs until the end of June on the history of power generation in the area appropriately titled “From Sawdust to Uranium” for the fuel used.
Speaking of filling my desire, after my brain comes my stomach and Bless My Soul Café seems to fit the second. Deep-fried okra, deep-fried pickles, hush puppies and crab cakes are all here, and that’s just the appetizer menu. Collard greens, black-eyed peas and red beans and rice populate the sides menu. So, before I even bite into the fried catfish or fried chicken, I expect I’ll probably be stuffed.
South of Eureka, in an area too rough for roads, there’s a long hike along the beaches and ocean called the Lost Coast Trail. It runs 24 miles in one direction from Mattole to Shelter Cove and is impassable in spots at high tide. For all those miles, since it is wilderness, all you’ll see are other hikers, be they human, bear or sea lion.
Only after finishing three days in the wilderness will I then come back to Eureka for the Old Town Haunted History Ghost Tour. Do I want visions of spooky miners and dead pirates haunting my dreams as I toss and turn in a tent? Nay, I say.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.
About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."