Wednesday, April 25, 2007

North Coast Travelogue: 4/22-4/24

Headed yet again to San Francisco on Sunday. We'd had some rain and I the forecast was for scattered and diminishing showers. I checked doppler radar as I usually do. It showed what seemed to be scattered, but heavy showers, the way I saw it. The also appeared to be limited to Humboldt County.

To my surprise, there was hardly enough rain to bother turning on the windshield wipers, until we got to Garberville. I found the rain there rather pleasant, as it was relatively warm out. I told the wifey they should taper off as we headed south. That didn't happen.

We kept hitting shower after shower. It became rather annoying because it wasn't heavy rain, for the most part, and I had to keep adjusting the windshield wiper speed as they seemed to being going either too fast or too slow.
Stopped at the Moss Cove rest stop between Laytonville and Willits. I noticed a couple madrone trees with some branches that looked like they had some sort of blight on them. We'd parked in the same spot nearly every time we stop there and I'd never noticed that before. I wonder if that was some variant of that Sudden Oak Death, or whatever it's called?
Best gas prices, once again: Safeway in Willits. $3.22 a gallon, if you use your Safeway card.
Just north of Santa Rosa the rain really started coming down. Visibility was greatly reduced. It was good to see other drivers slowing down due to the conditions. I've seen people up here flying along as fast as they can during heavy rains, even in the safety corridor between Arcata and Eureka.

The rain petered out after Santa Rosa and that was the last we saw of it.
Get to the Cathedral Hill Hotel. First thing I do, after unloading some stuff and sterilizing the room, is try and check my e-mail. I try and connect to ATT Wifi and seem connected but my browser keeps saying Page Not Found or some such.

It's not unusual to have such a problem so I try again, checking my wifi program. It says I'm connected, with a strong signal but I still can't get anything with Firefox. Finally, I notice my wifi program says something about authenticating my IP address or something along that line. I let it do it's thing but it keeps saying it's failed to authenticate whatever.

I disconnect and try again numerous times. Nothing. I wonder to myself if maybe ATT WiFi might be down. Nope. It can't be. It says I have a strong signal.

I start wondering if the problem is with one of my wifi connection programs and start screwing with them, disabling one or both of them numerous times while screwing around but manage to enable them again.

I'd left the laptop with the wifey while she was in the hospital a few weeks ago. My brother- in- law brought it back to Eureka with him when he went down to pick her up. I'd wondered if he tried to use it and messed with some settings? Nope. Everything seems ok.

Maybe ATT WiFi is down? Nope. I have a connection. It's just not letting me do anything.

Finally, after pulling my hair out for forty five minutes trying to connect, I decide to finish unloading the truck. As I pass by the front desk I ask one of the clerks if there's been any complaints about the Wifi; "Yes, ATT's been down for over a week. They've had their tech people come in twice but they can't figure out what's wrong...".

ATT Wifi's down? Now why didn't I think of that?

The helpful clerk also says he'll give me a key to their Business Center for no charge, since ATT's down, and they have a DSL port and a computer for guests to use there. Cool.

After unloading my stuff, I go to check out the Business Center down on the Mezzanine. It's a small room with a Dell computer and a FAX/ Copier/ Scanner. There's someone already in there so I decide not to intrude. I realize this could be a problem if everyone in the hotel wants to check their e-mail at the same time.

I go back a little while later and nobody's in there. The computer's been turned off. I power it up and am surprised at how fast the computer boots. I'd brought my laptop thinking I could just disconnect the cable from their computer and hook it in to my laptop but thought that might be kind of rude.

Despite suggesting to Ed Denson that it might be prudent to carry an ethernet cable with him while traveling, so he could connect to hard line DSL, I'd never followed my own advice. I figured I could go across the street and buy one at Circuit City, but I didn't want to buy another cable. I have three at home.

I also wondered if I'd need a password to login to their network. I finally went back down to the front desk and asked and they said anybody could hook up. No need to log in. They even offered me an ethernet cable to use- no charge. What a bunch of folks!

So, I managed to pretty much have full internet access for the two days down there. The downside being fighting for space in the Business Room and having to lug all my laptop stuff down there and set everything up whenever I wanted to use my computer. I guess I shouldn't complain about that. At least it's not my old Humboldt County Laptop (Archives March 4, 2006) I had to use the first time I went down there.

But, at least I was able to keep some things up and not have to rely on those public mac machines on the UCSF campus. I hope ATT gets the Wifi there fixed before I go down again.
Got back into Eureka a couple hours later than usual on Tuesday. We had to go back to UCSF on more time Tuesday morning, adding insult to injury. Could have ended up worse though and at least we got home before dark.

As we approached Eureka from the south, we saw the smoke from a fire that turned out to be at a motel on McClellan Avenue. Worrier that I am, that just made me wonder what might be wrong at our house when we get home.

Everything was fine.


At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes the station in Laytonville is cheaper than Safeway in Willits. Costco in Santa Rosa is best price and not too hard to get to.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Fred said...

You mean the Chevron (Daves?)station in Laytonville? I don't think so. Seems to me it's nearly always higher than just about anywhere in Willits.

Then again, maybe I'm just not paying enought attention.

Don't you have to pay for a Costco card to buy Costco gasoline? I realize you need a Safeway card to get the discount at Safeway, but those are free.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Hayduke said...

That was hopefully not Sudden Oak Death which is actually a pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. It is very fatal to tan oaks which is where it gets its common name. But so far nearby to us it has only been deteted at Redway in Humboldt County, and in a variety of spots West of Ukiah, and in Marin County. The big infestations are there and it is not known to be at Moss Cove, But that would be a likely spot to for it to jump to as it is spread by tires, boots, and the like. One of the big problems is that it hosts in hundreds of plants it does not kill, including Madrones, so if you see a tree with symptoms (brown on the leaves) it might be a good idea to grab a couple and bring them to the County Agricultural Center at 5630 S, Broadway who will have them tested.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll check with the Ag folks before going down next time and if nobody's checked it out, I'll try to bring back some for testing.

If you want to go check it out, Hayduke, the place in on the west side of 101 a little over half way to Willits, south of Laytonville.

The trees in question are maybe 100 feet or so (maybe less)north from the rest stop bathrooms alongside the road. On the west side across from the camper and truck parking. We usually park there for the shade.

Seems to me there were two madrones, both with a branch or two all browned out. Reminded me of pictures I've seen of fire blight on fruit trees.

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you trying to take lessons from Ed Denson in how to create a boring, worthless blog?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Are you trying to take lessons from Ed Denson in how to create a boring, worthless blog?".

Yes. Besides, I like Ed Denson's blog.

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The madrones locally have been having weird issues lately, it seems. In the south part of the county and on hwy 299 they seem to blacken up and die back but when they look dead they sprout out green from the branch tips. I've noticed this the last couple of summers, but never before.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Hayduke said...

Actually a blog does not have to be full of audacious posts to be interesting. I don't always agree with Fred, but his posts are usually thoughtful and often entertaining. And I can say the same for Ed Densons. If you want controversy and provocative posts you have Buhne and Heraldo, and even Kirk filling your every need. Frankly I appreciate that we have people willing to maintain these blogs, and enjoy the variety. It would be a drag if they were all the same. So thanks to Richard at Samoa Softball, Ed, Greg, Heraldo, Buhne, Eric, CPR, and Bob at Talking Tech to name just a few for all you do to keep these blogs up an running. Bob tonight on Talking Tech posted an apology for not doing better. Instead criticizing these folks, we should be thanking them. So to all of you and even those I did not mention, I say thanks, and keep up the good work.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

Thanks, Hayduke. And thanks for all your thoughtful comments. Like Fred once said, a blog without comments is like half a blog. It's a group effort.

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like reading Fred's blog because it makes me feel much better about my own life!

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of interesting blogs,

He has posted several interesting blogs but it seems no one knows about them. Guess it is hard to get a blog spot going.

No I am not Jerry Partain for those that might ask.

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes you have to have a Costco card to buy gas, but there are advantages to having the card. Lots of things that are cheaper than other stores (not always as you have to know prices). Don't always buy the products that are king sized at Costco. Veggies are top quality and meat is good too. Prescription prices are usually lower also. Upgraded to "Executive card" and get the money back for that card as well as more but this would be money saving for a lot of people. Bought a generator in the winter which insured no power outage long enough to use it, but a similar generator was over $2,000 more than what was paid so wouldn't have a generator with that difference. They have a good return policy and will take everything back and you get a credit (except now for electronics since so many were buying big screen TV's and returning them after Superbowl, etc.) Still can buy a TV or computer and bring it back but the time is limited now on those items.

I think the price of gas at Eureka store was $3.35 on Tuesday and was $3.49 at Shell. Doesn't take much gas to pay for the regular card if you travel much.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Fred said...


Thanks for the heads up. I'm so hurt that I had to hear about it from someone other than Jerry. :-)

I'll add it to my blog list one of these days, assuming he keeps it active.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Hayduke said...

Even though Jerry and I are on different political wavelengths, he has a lot to contribute. From reading his blog it sound like he needs a little encouragement.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on the left side of the political aisle, however I love a guy like Jerry Partain. It takes guts and conviction to make things happen and he seems to be willing to say what he feels. I'll have to check out his blog.

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Jerry Partain. Collecting government checks, criticizing social spending and pooping his diapers.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Narration said...

Hi Fred,

Just to throw another note of appreciation on the pile, from farther away.

You have a nice way with your writing, and I am appreciative too how you make good in your travelogues.

Reminders of home, always. The madrones - glad you have your eye on them, and maybe some help to the sudden oak syndrome as well it sounds.

One thing about the travels to add: it brings you and your wife in and out of many suns. That nice thing.

Kind regards


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