Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Please, sir, may I have Samoa?

We are parked outside of the Samoa Cookhouse in Samoa, California (map), across Humboldt Bay from Eureka.

Long time readers know that this is one of our favorite restaurants, although we've only ever been here for breakfast or lunch. The last time we ate here, though, the dinner menu appealed to us, and I asked at the desk if we could park overnight in their lot, were we to eat dinner here. They gave us a hearty "yes," and so this morning I called to re-check that information, and to find out what's for dinner (roast beef, and pork steaks).

This will work out well, because we can have a glass or two of wine with dinner, and just stumble back home. In the past, before we thought to ask about spending the night, we'd stayed at the Samoa Boat Ramp county park, about five miles down the road. In addition to saving the ten mile round trip, we save the $15 (last we checked) it costs to dry camp there. I've always thought of the Cookhouse as a breakfast place; we'll see how we like it for dinner.

For the uninitiated, the Cookhouse serves all meals family style, and you eat whatever they are serving that day. There is no "menu" and no choice, other than whether or not to help yourself to whatever is on the platter. They keep bringing more helpings until you tell them to stop -- all you can eat (as opposed to all you should eat). I was initiated at a motorcycle rally, where we nearly filled the place for breakfast, and the platters were heaped high. When Louise and I eat here by ourselves, they bring more reasonably sized platters.

We had a short, pleasant, and sunny drive here from Benbow, where we spent last night at the Benbow RV Resort (map). Here again, long time readers may recognize that we've been there before, and, in fact, this trip is shaping up to be the exact reverse, stop for stop, of our trip southward in January of last year.

As then, our purpose for stopping there was really to have dinner at the Benbow Inn, a wonderful white-linen place with a great chef. Yesterday was our sixth wedding anniversary, and we wanted to eat someplace nice, rejecting several other stops along the way. Unlike last time, when we were there off-season, yesterday's stay set us back $52, after AAA/FMCA discount and including the $5 dog surcharge (up a whopping 67% since our last visit). Nevertheless, it was worthwhile for the meal, and I even managed a soak in the hot tub and swim in the pool this pleasant morning (it rained cats and dogs last night, precluding any such pleasantries when we arrived).

So far today we've managed to stay dry, but yesterday's storm system forced buckets of water into the coach through all our various leaks, including several gallons raining down on the dash from some ingress into the cockpit ceiling while under way.

Our principal goal for our visit to Infinity Coach this month will be to try to deal with these leaks yet another time. We have leak management down to a science now, so they are annoying but not destructive, but still, we'd like to have a leak-free home for the next few years, and besides that, we'll never be able to sell Odyssey without fixing them -- it's not as if any potential buyer can't just look here on the blog to see every problem we've ever had with the bus.

We've been moving north rather faster than I had expected, and I am hoping tomorrow we will find a nice spot for a couple days of down time. I have some work to do around the house, and, frankly, we really need to unwind from our rather hectic schedule in the bay area.


  1. I love the Samoa Cookhouse! A friend recommended it for a stop on my last journey through the area. I stayed at the KOA between Eureka and Arcata. The following day I had breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse, and was very pleased.

    I have photos on my Picasa account, for anyone interested. I plan to stop at the Samoa Cookhouse anytime I am passing through that area. It is good food and a fun place to visit.


  2. I was going to wish you guys a Happy Anniversary.
    Last time my buddy stayed at Benbow he ran into Matt LeBlanc canoeing on the lake. I've followed your blog for a long time and always hope to see you and Odyssey on one of your trips to NorCal, but something always comes up that prevents me from trying.
    I used to work in the Eureka area frequently, and the Samoa Cookhouse was always a breakfast or lunch "must do", though I wasn't that crazy about the dinner (there are a lot of other options in Eureka and Arcata).
    Another, fancier, breakfast option is the Charter House Inn in the "old town" section, a few blocks west of the Carson Mansion (Ingmar Club), though maneuvering Odyssey around there might be tight.

  3. Happy Anniversary!

    Quatro de Mayo is our anniversary also. Twenty-four years!

    Have fun.

    Pat and Nancy

    p.s.: Kumori is over 40 pounds now!

  4. Howdy from Austin - I saw this rv leak detector site at the Escapee forum. It may be the solution to finding and fixing your leaks.

    Be sure to watch the video.


    Good Luck -- Kevin

  5. Sorry, but that leak detector system is worthless. In fact, I blame it for most of the leaks we have now -- it gave the contractor a false sense of having repaired serious leaks before completing the interior of the coach. Had they used more traditional methods, they might have found and repaired more leaks before completion.

  6. Wow! Benbow Inn, does that bring back memories. We stayed there on the third night of our honeymoon in 1960. I remember the ancient four-poster bed and the bathtub with claw feet!

    We were driving a 1948 MG TC; right-hand drive with a Marshall-Nordec supercharger. Thanks for the memories.

    Gary Deeds


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