Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lost Coast Brewery & Samoa Dunes

Now that we're back in Virginia and reliable internet connections, it's time to catch up with posts from our western swing. As you'll recall, my last post chronicled our day in the redwoods.

What could be better than ending a day among giant trees than enjoying regional microbrews? (he asks rhetorically) So we paid a visit to Lost Coast Brewery, which makes beers that are proudly :"brewed fresh in the Humboldt Nation." They make a great IPA, their Indica IPA (which I've discovered is available here in Blacksburg at Vintage Cellar, our great local purveyor of beer & wine). They also make a very tasty fruit-flavored beer, their Tangerine Wheat, which is an ideal summer beverage. One of the treats of Lost Coast's products is the artwork of Duane Flatmo, who creates all their labels, including the wonderful Indica IPA label at the left, complete with a stylized version of the god Ganesh.

The following day we spent hanging out around Eureka, starting with a trip out to the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area. Somoa Dunes is on the end of a barrier island that protects Humboldt Bay, and its one of those recreation areas includes both a protected ecosystem (dunes, in this case), as well as off-road vehicle access to the beach.

Some photos of the dunes and vegetation:

The dunes were site of defensive fortifications during WWII, when there was a fear of Japanese invasion, so there are concrete bunker/ammunition posts scattered throughout the dunes. Apparently they didn't actually have real canon, but used redwood tree trunks to fool enemy ships into thinking that some really big canon awaited them.

After strolling through the dunes, we went out to the beach and walked out on the breakwater that protects the entrance to Humboldt Bay. Here's a few photos from the end of the breakwater, which appears to be anchored by giant concrete jacks. You can see the beach we walked down, along with the hills just on the other side of Eureka.

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