San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionHistory of the Museum

Trip to Trinidad Whaling Station, July-August 1926

On the Road to Trinidad
July 14

In company of Mr. A.B. Howell I left Santa Barbara at 3:30 this afternoon bound for a month at the Trinidad Whaling station in northern California. We camped for the night about 20 miles south of Kings county after having driven until nearly midnight.

July 15

Was awakened at the first streak of gray dawn by the call of a yellow-billed Magpie. The bird was perched on top of a nearby telephone pole inspecting the camp.
yellow-billed magpie photo by Peter S. Weber
Yellow-Billed Magpie
© Peter Weber
We arrived in San Francisco about 2 p.m. & immediately took the Sausolito ferry and were on our way. The general aspect of the county changed fast and soon the beautifully paved highway was completely overhung with the interlocked branches of hedge trees.

The day was uncomfortably warm. We reached Ukiah about 7 p.m. where dinner was obtained.

Driving on we camped by the roadside, making a total of 330 miles for the day.

July 16

Breakfast in Willetts [Willits] this morning and left paved roads behind us tho the graveled highway was well graded; it was rough & cut our speed.

About ten a.m. we dropped down a short steep grade & saw the first Redwoods. Our course was now more westerly and followed the river. We were soon passing thru large groves of huge redwoods, some of them being over 20 feet in diameter.

They followed US Hwy 101 from Santa Barbara to Trinidad. Hwy 101 was actually commissioned in 1926, the year of this expedition. North of Ukiah, 101 is called the Redwood Highway.

Mr. Howell searching about thru the massive trees, found one that had a large cave burned out in its base and on the floor several pieces of small white egg shells & bird droppings were discovered. Obtaining his flashlight we searched thoroughly & found that a nest of Vaux Swifts had been hatched earlier in the seasons. There was no opening to this side from above as described by other writers and the parent birds had had to descend within 4 ft off the ground to enter.

Lighthouse at Trinidad
Huey photo of Trinidad lighthouse
We arrived in Eureka about 3 p.m. where we had our lunch, then down on to Trinidad, our destination, a distance of 24 miles. We arrived at Trinidad about sundown & finally after some trouble rented a small cabin about a mile from town. We set a short line of traps nearby this evening.