Doug and Carol Campbell, owners of the world famous Confusion Hill roadside attraction, were the guests at last week’s Garberville Rotary Club meeting.
Campbell, who grew up in the Bay Area, visited this area with his family from the time he was around 5 years old. He spent many years working on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea.
Confusion Hill has been the home of mystery and fun in the redwoods since 1949. The Gravity House defies the laws of gravity. “Is seeing believing? That is the question,” is one of the attraction’s logos. There are two main attractions at Confusion Hill, the World Famous Gravity House and the Mountain Train Ride. This is also the home of the rare and elusive Chipalope.
”There is no right or wrong at Confusion Hill. It’s just something you need to experience for yourself,” said the Campbells.
In 1994 the old growth was logged off the hilltop, before the Campbells purchased the business in 1999 along with Doug’s brother, who passed away in 2002.
”We now show folks Nature healing herself,” Doug says. There are displays of historical logging equipment that they explain to the train riders and also tell them all about the unique characteristics of the magnificent coastal redwood trees.
In January, Confusion Hill became a California State Point of Historical Interest. Campbell says he has been battling with Caltrans to get a permanent sign along Hwy. 101 that says “Point of Historical Interest Ahead.” He hopes to have it installed by June to encourage more visits to the attraction.
Another one of Campbell’s projects is to establish a vista point on the old Hwy. 101, which Caltrans is planning to abandon by removing the current roadway. The spot Campbell is talking about is approximately one-quarter of a mile from the roadside attraction. He said it provides an amazing view of not only the river, but also of the two new bridges. Considering these bridges are taller than the Golden Gate, they are modern marvels in their own right and truly amazing. He says that although the turnout at the vista point would not be large enough for motorhomes or RVs to turn around, they could park at Confusion Hill and walk down to view the bridges. He has been talking to Caltrans and various people in Mendocino Country to try to make this a reality.
Campbell and the owners of Redwoods River Resort, just south of Confusion Hill, have some major concerns with the new rerouted highway. They say the turn lanes are not long enough for more than one RV to safely turn into the businesses. And, whether it is legal or not, pedestrians do cross the highway, making it especially unsafe because of the current speed limit through the area. He said that now that the road has been rerouted across the new bridges drivers tend to speed up making it even more dangerous for those walking along or across the roadway. He would like to see the speed limit reduced. Caltrans has installed flashing lights that are pressure activated to warn people to slow down.
Campbell couldn’t have said it better when he closed by saying, “If you come here to have fun, you will. If you don’t, you won’t.” Doug and Carol welcome everyone to come visit their place of business, check it out and spend the day in a state of utter confusion and most of all, fun.