My daughter and I left Crescent City this morning to celebrate her birthday with a bit of shopping for art supplies and some fantastic sushi in Eureka in Humboldt county, just south of Del Norte County.  It’s 160 miles round trip, about 4 hours,  the roads can be narrow and curvy. The wild Tiger Lily in full bloom for miles along the way south.

One of thousands of tiger lilies.

And then, there is Orick.  Orick is a tiny town with a population of about 350 people, a number of redwood burl shops, fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and beaches, and massive old redwoods.  Roosevelt Elk are common here, on both sides of the busy Highway 101.

We went in to one of the shops and talked, or, mostly listened to the owner, who secretly told me that he’d wished that his largest furniture pieces didn’t sell so early in the tourist season, because he’d now lost his “WOW” factor!  On my next trip through Orick, I’ll explore the redwood burl shops more thoroughly.

One thing though –  there used to be 12 shops in little Orick, there are now 5, thanks to the California State Board of Equalization.  The Board of Equalization’s function is to oversee tax and fee collection.

Since we decided to stop, we were able to see Orick in a way we’d never seen by just passing through.

Residence in Orick and low lying fog.

The fish purchased from local fisherman tastes so much better than anything farmed!

We buy fresh fish from the docks, or at the local markets, brought in by local fishermen. 

Small herd of Elk

This relatively small herd – very relaxed on a warm summer day.

Gateway Garden. Each cross had a rhododendron planted in back of it.

Redwood cross

We got back to driving and a minute later, we saw this beauty.  She was on the west side of the busy highway, alone, and was thinking about crossing.  We stopped on the same side, put the hazard lights on, and hoped drivers would slow down.  You can hear them speeding by. 

I was in a panic, watching the vehicles, full speed ahead, as she moved toward the road, I was crying. She made her way to the edge of the roadway, and the vehicle coming toward us and her, slowed.  I cried more as I watched her trot gracefully and safely across the Highway.

There are signs everywhere “ELK CROSSING” and I wonder who holds awareness of life beyond the busy roadway.  This wasn’t the first time either of us has seen elk ready to cross or crossing.

With tourist season in full force, I shudder…

I wonder if anyone scans the road edge for beautiful, majestic Elk, ready to cross, while speeding to their destination.