Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Entering California and Traveling Inland [7/18]

We have reached the most southern part of our recent road trip. After leaving Oregon behind, we entered California, a familiar state, which we had visited three years ago. In this post we will cover the one day we spent in California as our drive quickly went inland, back into Oregon and the cities Jacksonville and Ashland. This part of our drive also meant saying goodbye to the Pacific Ocean, which has been our guide for the first leg of our journey. Though it was sad to leave behind the wast spaces of the seemingly never ending sea, inland Oregon did have a lot to offer. I think it's a bit more developed, there are more lively towns, not burdened by seasons, and the weather is much more stable, even in March. So let's take a look...

Entering North California

The drive took us finally into North California. We stopped at the "Welcome to California" sign to take a picture, and after a fairly quick drive entered Cresent City, the only town in California that we visited in this road trip. Our first stop was the big city beach with a rock formation that overlooks the town lighthouse and harbor. The city center is nothing spectacular, in fact most of it seems to be left standing in time, with a lot of the architecture stemming from the 60s and 70s.

Much of the city was destroyed by four tsunami waves generated by the Good Friday earthquake off Anchorage, Alaska in 1964. More recently, the city's harbor suffered extensive damage and destruction due to tsunamis generated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake off Sendai, Japan. A memorial bench could be found on the overlook which we were climbing. Several dozen vessels and many of the docks they were moored to were destroyed as wave cycles related to the tsunamis exceeded 8 feet (2.4 m).

Inland Oregon

It's fascinating how quickly the landscapes change once you drive away from the ocean and into the land. An amazingly thick forest greeted us first as we drove high up towards the main highway. Now we were seeing mountain rivers, mountain ridges and evergreen trees as high as the eye can see.

A midday stop in Jacksonville

Before we entered the small town of Jacksonville, we stopped at the entrance of the town Selma. Nothing of importance here, but of course Selma had to take a picture in Selma. Then our drive took us to the main highway, which we luckily quickly left to be back on open country roads. The regions around Jacksonville are known for agriculture and big ranches can be seen everywhere with impressive houses and expensive looking estates.

Jacksonville is named for Jackson Creek, which flows through the community and was the site of one of the first placer gold claims in the area. It includes Jacksonville Historic District, which was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1966. You can see how well maintained the town is, and it's truly a hidden gem of south-central Oregon. We made a stop at a coffee shop in which I could have stayed forever. It was so cozy and inviting, just like the town itself.

Jacksonville was founded following discovery of gold deposits in 1851–1852, which would explain its growth at the time. As the gold deposits were worked out in the 1860s and the railway bypassed Jacksonville in 1884, the city's economy slowed. This had the unintended benefit of preserving a number of structures, which led to Jacksonville's being designated a National Historic District in 1966, covering over 100 buildings.

An Evening in Ashland

Only a short drive away from Jacksonville, Ashland served as the first major town in inland Oregon that we would sleep in. After we settled into our motel room, Selma and I went into town. Ashland also boasts a well kept and maintained historic city center. We had dinner at the Standing Stone Brewery. We ate one of the best burgers of our trip there, served with sweet potato fries.

The city is the home of Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Shakespeare Festival is the most known event here and it lasts for many months, during which time the town population triples. Unfortunately it was not being held during our stay here in late March. Ashland's economy also depends on restaurants, galleries, and retail stores that cater to tourists. Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail provide additional visitor attractions.

As the night came to a close we went back to our motel, ready to continue our journey the next day. This time things would change in our trip as we were headed for this first big city of our journey: Portland. But more on that in the next part!

End of Part Seven
To be continued...


  1. Wonderful to see again--- made me want to visit the wineries in Cave Junction and in the Applegate Valley. That hamburger is killing me! I want one right now! Great post, Mersad.

    1. The burger is killing me as well, now that I look back at it :D
      Thanks for your visit Bill.

  2. You come to places…. feasts for mind, body and soul

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  3. So Beautiful. Thanks for your travel post.Awesome pics.

  4. Mersad,

    Fabulous photo essay of your travels along the west coast. I hope to visit that part of the country some day. Mmm, that burger and fries look heavenly!! Happy WW!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    Angel in the Clouds & Hodgepodge Q&A

  5. great shots, but ESPECIALLY the nature shots

  6. The shots of the lighthouse at Crescent City are wonderful. And I love the portrait of Selma at the overlook of the creek. The long shot down the street in Jacksonville is beautiful, and the little house with the picket fence was a great find. As always, your night photography astounds me. The burger and fries do look delicious, but the fries don't look like sweet potato fries. Usually, they're more orange looking.

    1. That surprised me as well, since they are more orange usually, but they really were sweet potato fires. Maybe some other kind or they just turned more yellow. Delicious either way.

  7. Wonderful photos! I love NorCal, I lived near San Francisco for a year and that place stole my heart!

  8. Selma in Selma is my favorite. love it. we have a Jacksonville here in FL but it looks nothing like this old town. i like all the old buildings.

  9. I love the old towns and buildings with character. Beautiful scenery, too.
    That was one giant burger--LOL! :)

  10. Beautiful photos! I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit, and I thank you for sharing your memories at

  11. I continue to enjoy your travel photos, and get to learn about towns I have not visited. Another fine post.

  12. I've loved following your travels! Your photos seem to have a special glow about them. And of course Selma had to have her photo taken with the Selma sign! Who wouldn't want that as a souvenir of a wonderful trip? Fascinating story of the lanterns, and I can never resist a waterfall photo. Thanks for sharing.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  13. Wonderful photos! How cute of Selma at the Selma sign! :-)

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  16. I love traveling, constantly learning something new, new people, places and culture. This is always very inspiring and energizing. Thanks for sharing!
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