Beautiful Crescent City
● By Billy Pilgrim
Q97 - Billy and Patrick's Snap Shot
By Billy Pilgrim
The crazy thing about a trip to Crescent City is the number of people you see from Redding on any given day! It's four and a half hours away from Shasta County, but it's like everyone had the same idea - let's go to Crescent City, walk on the beach, see the lighthouse and build a campfire. We have been going for more than 35 years, first camping in Klamath along the river, then staying at Camp Marigold, eventually graduating to the Crescent Beach Motel and lately enjoying the amazing Ocean Front Lodge, just steps from the Battery Point Lighthouse.
I always thought it would be wonderful to be the lighthouse keeper. That is an assignment many have taken over the years, and it is an opportunity that is available to you for a year at a time. In the 1800s, the lighthouse keeper would be assigned for many years, and several went mad. The lighthouse is quite the tourist attraction, and is accessible during low tide. High tide makes it impossible to get to, unless you are prepared to swim to Battery Point. The St. George Reef Lighthouse is a point of interest, built six miles off shore and visible from the beach on a very clear day. Its construction was completed in 1892 in response to numerous accidents in the turbulent waters off the coast and the wreck of the Brother Jonathan, a steamer that crashed into a rock and sunk within one hour, sending 235 souls to a watery grave. Part of the rich history of Crescent City, this lighthouse was the most expensive ever built, and also one of the most dangerous. In 1952, waves crashed into the lantern room, more than 150 feet above sea level. It is not manned today.
Crescent City has been subject to great disasters, including the Good Friday tsunami of 1964, which wiped out half the town and drained the harbor dry, and the tsunami of March 2011, which destroyed 35 boats and wiped out much of the harbor. You've got to be tough to make it in this town.
The fun stuff: Ocean World is wonderful! Everyone takes pictures on the surfboard out front. The Redwoods, of course (you can't miss 'em!). Trees of Mystery, featuring the Skytrail tram ride over the tops of the giant trees, and the anatomically correct Babe the Blue Ox and talking giant Paul Bunyan. There are the beautiful homes along Pebble Beach Drive, and Brookings, Ore., is just 30 miles away. There's a lot to love in this remote part of Northern California. Leave by 7:30 am and you will be on the beach by noon. Have a great time!