Archives for posts with tag: Crescent City

The road we took coming from Auburn, CA to cross the state was Hwy. 299 which was gorgeous but had some road construction delays which were 45 minutes to an hour in 97 degree heat. However, the pay off before and after the wait was well worth it as you can see for yourself in my blog from last week.

Leaving started out well…but…

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And please note that after this point, there are no pictures of us on Hwy. 36 because it was a hundred times more challenging than how I started this trip on The Tail of the Dragon, for those of you who have followed me from the beginning. This wonderful, beautiful road turned into a double-fisted, gut wrenching, switchback road from hell with all the familiar names of rivers, etc. on Hwy. 299 but n0ne of the views! There was a house or two, a ranch or two and nothing else for 138 miles but curve after curve to the point we were ALL sick! No joke! Even Montana!

When we reached Auburn, we were most happy to be with a loving friend who took us in, made jokes, gave us great lodgings and helped us recover our humor before going to bed. It was rough and I’ve driven many a back road but this one ain’t driving that one again!

Today was another nine hour driving day. It was hot and tough but we made it back to 113 degrees outside and 96 inside! Jenni’s A/C kicked the bucket while we were gone! Ain’t that just the way it is!

I’ll keep washing and packing; she’ll keep doing all her stuff; Montana will still be Montana; Boo will still be Boo; and there promises to be a Southern Comfort Cabin in my near future and A/C in hers!

HAPPY TAILS!

 

Today we said our formal goodbyes to this amazing part of our country. Through it’s majesty, we experienced its magic. In its presence we felt peace. With its life we relived our own and we emerge renewed and reborn in our own ways. These redwoods…here…truly IS where God lives.

We hiked about 2-3 miles today in a grove I’d never before visited. I have been blessed to not only have the best travel buddy (and my daughter’s dearest friend), Jenni, with me to hike trails I’d not gone before in not only in my redwood adventure but where I’d not been able to go in my healing process by speaking openly about Ava. The whole week has been cathartic on many levels.

Here are photos from today’s adventure.

We decided to start our day at The Chart Room after reading their menu online last night. We’d enjoyed our seafood dinner there a few nights ago and it had a view of the bay. This morning, it was action packed with boats, seals, seagulls and great views.

 

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We hiked the Leiffer Grove trail and the Ellsworth Grove trail that branched off from Leiffer. It was , for me, at least, challenging because a great deal of it was some tricky up hill hiking with exposed roots, twists, turns low limbs coupled with great views you didn’t want to miss.

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What do you see in the burl? I see a lion’s head.

 

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A troll…

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What do you see?

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A Fraggle?

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This gives you perspective…Jenni with her trusty companion, Boo. He and Montana are best friends!

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Montana was just over the whole hiking thing at this point and glad for the rest. She was  ready to be in the car with the comforts of her bed, water and a chew bone.

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Tomorrow, we head back toward the desert and 111 degrees.

HAPPY TAILS!

It was one of those spontaneous ideas which happened when we missed the turn in the road. It was then that I realized we were just minutes from the Oregon Coast which Jenni had never seen and I hadn’t seen in twenty years! It was an indicator of how this whole trip has been for us…we’re true compatible travel buddies!

When I asked, “Have you ever seen the Oregon Coast?” and her reply was that she hadn’t, I knew then we needed to just do it so we did! It’s only a few minutes north on Hwy. 101 to get to Harris Beach where Jenni climbed rocks with her pup and Montana and I walked the beach.

If you know me, you know I love the beach, ocean, trees, rocks and art…especially Mother Nature’s!  Here it is! One stop shopping at Harris Beach, Oregon.

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Where’s Montana?

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The best art is Mother Nature’s! I couldn’t make a 3-D picture of this but wish I could have. If you go to this beach, look for this work showing the redwood rising out of the sand like a Sperm Whale and the huge blocks, intricately balanced, which reminds me of the break in the water as the whale surfaces for air!

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And, although these next pictures aren’t from Oregon, they are from a deep forest off road drive we took not far from there. Here again, it was tough getting a good shot of this moss covered mystical tree.

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HAPPY TAILS!

We explored a new section of the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest today. It’s a one lane dirt road, and at times, barely wide enough for your car to fit between the redwoods! It’s a magnificent old growth area which has obviously withstood fire, pestilence and people for at least a thousand years. Let’s just pray it’ll be around another thousand if we don’t screw it all up with pollution, politics and people!

One of my favorite pictures from today is of course a burl piece resembling an orangutan! Maybe it looks like something else to you! Take a gander!

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Jenni will post the video from today’s drive on FB as WP seems to always give me heartburn when I try to upload it through here…probably because I haven’t upgraded from the “free” version as yet!

Our adventure began at the “Trees of Mystery” shop where we found Sasquatch and an authentic Indigenous Peoples (you may refer to them as Native Americans) museum. It was quite an impressive collection for such a small town!

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Check out this Apache Fiddle!2016-6-22Red92016-6-22Red102016-6-22Red112016-6-22Red12

So, here are the still shots of the redwoods from today!

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Where’s Montana? She’s in the redwood forest!

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Conjoined triplets at the base with a twisted sistah in the middle! LOL

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Rare sighting of the Banana Slug! This one is a baby compared to the one I saw in this forest 20 years ago!

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Looks like an eagle with its wings spread. What does it look like to you?

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Nothing goes unused in the forest! Note that this young redwood germinated and is growing from a fallen one along with all the ferns in the next photo!

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Same fallen tree as the one immediately above!

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HAPPY TAILS!

I’m still speechless from being in the midst in the midst of majestic, mystical, magical wonderment of this Redwood Forest where God lives. I stumbled upon it twenty plus years ago and always wanted to come back with every visit west as I do Flaming Gorge but circumstances always kept me in the Vegas region. Ava was often times too sick for me to have time to wonder too much either before or after so my Vegas destinations became the focus and anything outside of that was pure ice cream with the main entree.

In 2012, Ava was supposed to go camping with Montana and I to this place but she decided to take another trip leaving me to go alone with just a small vial of her ashes. That was the first time I’d been able to get back here since my first visit and it was appropriate for me to take her here. Now, I’m here with her best friend. That’s amazing! We are in equal awe of this place!

Words leave my mouth in a choked throat and tears well in my eyes at this whole journey I’m on…sad, healing, loving, adventuring and a hundred other things all connected.

Here are some of the pictures from yesterday.

SMITH RIVER

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Where’s Montana? Montana is sitting in front of the Smith River in the redwoods!

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Shoals in the Smith River. Wish I could record this sound for my white noise!

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There is a great deal of redwoods with burled wood, caused by a fungus growing in/on the tree. The effect is gorgeous in a piece of furniture or an objet d’art. I’ll have some pictures from today’s post (this is really yesterday’s)!

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Gnarly burl!

 

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Took a break from the forest to have a late lunch at a tasty seafood restaurant on the bay called Chart Room. I’d remembered being told that seals will come lay on a floating dock waiting for the fishermen to come in early evenings and dump the fish refuse. The seals have gotten lazy and sleep on the dock waiting for their dinner to be delivered! Below is what you’re looking at! There’s a HUGE bull seal toward the front. I hope you can click on the photo and enlarge it to get the real view. To say I’m having internet and download issues is an understatement! LOL

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And….back to the redwoods!

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HAPPY TAILS!

So much fun seeing my friend in Auburn and getting caught up with her and her animals! But, we were on a quest to get to Crescent City by early evening and we did! We drove along roads I’ve not been on before and it was magnificent, as always, exploring the back roads of this wonderful country of ours!

As I had some serious two-fisted driving to do over Hwy. 299 most of the afternoon, I can’t remember the names of most of what we saw! LOL I do remember something about Trinity and Shasta, but the best part was just the drive. If you’re a “friend” on FB, you will see a video Jenni posted of a part of the drive. I really wasn’t driving as fast as the video shows! We would have died if I’d been going that fast. Heck, people were passing me!

Enjoy the ride below with us!

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Tomorrow, we get to live the dream of seeing Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest! YAY!

HAPPY TAILS for sure tonight!

 

Today was so full in such a short period of time! It took four hours to drive less than a total of 40 miles! When I found yet another dirt road to explore, it was a “no contest” kinda’ decision and off Montana and I went to see hidden groves of redwoods. We went down Howland Hill Road and found some amazing views. Apparently, parts of Star Wars was filmed in these woods or some close by and I can certainly see why!

I can so see this tree in Star Wars!

Now this is what I call a tunnel of love!

Perspective!

I could have driven my truck through that tree! The tree was quite larger than it looks. Crazy!

Only one in five seeds actually becomes a redwood. They regenerate themselves in so many ways, one of which happens to be through the dead ones on the ground or through burl which provides a whole new eco system for them to sprout up out of the dead logs!

Another whole world inside the base of a fallen tree!

There’s something up in that tree, grandma! I just know it! (Myrtle Grove)

We went hiking up a trail with lots of wild flowers blooming everywhere! Looks like rhododendron to me! Ours don’t get that big at the cabin!

By making a wrong turn, I found the Smith River again! I lost it 15 years ago! LOL

Glacier water…as green as an old Coca Cola bottle held up to the sun!

spectacular!

Then it was off to introduce Montana to the beach! Boy, did she ever have a blast running circles around me. I never saw a dog so happy! We both had been cooped up too long either in the house, the truck or the camper! It just felt so good getting out there. I couldn’t let her off the run but I’d taught her dressage as a pup so she could get enough exercise. I hold up my arm and she literally runs circles around me as I walk. It draws quite a crowd and she gets the exercise she needs. After jumping in and out of the water and laughing like a kid for about a mile or so, she started to calm down a little. It was so cute seeing her be so happy. Dogs are great that way!

One happy puppy!

No wonder they call it “Pebble Beach”!

And the grande finale!

Well, we’re off to Boulder to see Mandy and family! I can’t wait to get big hugs from my oldest daughter! Love her so much!

Happy Trails!

Remember the part in my last post where I talked about this nice guy from Tennessee (now living in Oregon) who stopped to look at the same trees in the redwood forest where God lives who took a picture of me and Montana? Well, if I forgot to tell you then, I’m tell you now! Well, as I was meandering along, stopping hither, thither and yon and missing turns, lo and behold there is a car in front of me that looks a great deal like his with Oregon tags turning down the same trek I’ve been shooting for the last hour! I’m talking to myself saying, “Naw. Can’t be. This is cosmic or something…but what?” So, there’s this really cool place where we both pull off and I’m determined to see if it is him or not. Yep. It’s the same guy. I say “Hello” and “What are the chances of this happening, like a bazillion to one?” and he just smiles and goes on his way as I do as well.

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I’m now thinking Celestine Prophecy and start wondering what the message is as I keep driving ahead of him now. Next think I know, he’s passing me from the opposite direction on a road that is a one-lane dirt road. Third time is a charm or just another coincidence? We’ll never know because that’s where it stopped.

But it’s also where I totally came unglued. Still don’t know what charged the eruption other than the horrific loss of my gypsy belly dancing opera singing best friend daughter and how she was supposed to make this trip with me this summer but why at this moment. And maybe the lack of sunlight for the last few days. But why at this place? I’ve held it together so many weeks. Was it because I’d finally made it back after fifteen years of longing to see this beautiful place again and to show her?

Sorry, I digress but it’s what I do best these days.

So, back to the yellow brick road story. This road I was taking this afternoon was called Prairie Trail because it was used by the settlers on their wagons as they settled the west and, when you think about it, most of our major highways and byways are animal trails followed by Native Americans followed by settlers now permanently carved into history with asphalt.

OOPS. Did it again, didn’t I?

I finally screamed and cried enough out to settle back down to driving the redwood forest back toward Crescent City as I’d strayed about 35 miles south to Klamath where Prairie Trail Redwood Forest is located.

I’d been told earlier today that the drive up Pebble Beach Road was pretty awesome in Crescent City so I followed my normally straight nose down a very crooked path but ended up getting where I wanted to be…driving up the coast toward the city’s first lighthouse about six miles off shore. See, the coast is so riddled with huge, hidden boulders that the lighthouse needs to be six miles away to warn sailors of their impending doom! There’s also a smaller, closer version (probably for looks) near where I ate dinner.

BUT, before I even get back to Crescent City, on Hwy. 101, cars are pulling off the road like crazy! Then a pack of motorcyclist pull off like an emergency vehicle is coming from outer space because I can’t see why they’re doing this. People are walking into the right-of-way! Then, I see it!Image

A MOOSE IS CAUSING THIS TRAFFIC JAM? REALLY? These crazy people are just a few feet away from this male moose who is horny and hungry! They obviously didn’t read the precautionary information about wild animals! LOL

Now for the journey down Pebble Beach Road:

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And the Crescent City Lighthouse on the Bay (not the one six miles out):

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As I drove back toward the heart of Crescent City I realized I hadn’t eaten since those pancakes this morning and all I could think about was finding descent seafood. There, in her front yard, was a woman about my age. I pull over and introduced myself and she directed me to eat at the Chart Room off Anchor Way at Crescent City Harbor. It was a lovely Mom and Pop restaurant with reasonable portions for reasonable prices and well prepared food. For dessert, I had seal. “What,” you say?

This is what I had for dessert!

ImageThe whole time I’m seated at the table either waiting for food or enjoying it, I’m thinking about seeing a sunset not even noticing out in the water is a floating dock full of seals! I overhear one of the waitresses saying they’re quite lazy and wait for the fishermen to come in and throw food overboard. What a life! I just had to take Montana (who had been patiently waiting in the truck while I ate) down to see them! She shivered like she’d just seen that moose again! Poor dog. I’ve tortured her terribly on this trip. She didn’t really like sitting down on that damp ground in front of all those redwoods today either. I’ll have to give her some of my pancakes in the morning to make up for it.

Well, that’s it for today except I won’t be using this method of posting again. It’s queer.

Happy Trails!

Entering His sanctuary

As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I’ll let this beautifully preserved part of the Jedediah Smith do all the talking for me. It truly is where God lives.

Burl is caused by a fungus which causes abnormal growths to form. They’re amazing as you will see.

Gaining some perspective…

it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

And your little dog, too!

Perspective

and more…

Precious – posing…see! she is trained! LOL

I have a picture of my niece, Mandy, standing on this exact same stump from 15 years ago!

Faces in the redwood burl. What do you see?

Faces. Lions, tigers and bears? Oh no! Turtle? Oh yes!

or trolls?

or octopi?

or ME & Montana! Surprise! Nice guy from Tennesse took this!

Burl heaven!

See Ava? She’s up a tree!

Ava – close up

Same path we all took 15 years ago!

more perspective w/ Montana as we walk down the path

more faces in the burl…look closely toward the left

and the grand finale

Right after taking this picture, Montana and I continued down the path as I remembered there being a beautiful meadow just a little further down. But, as we walked on, Montana started getting jittery and wasn’t showing a whole lot of interest in going further. I heard some stomping or heavy walking which gave my heart a start. You’re in complete silence so every noise is magnified. I stopped and waited to hear more. Montana turned to go back toward the truck but quickly looked over her shoulder in a nervous, quick jerk. “Hmmmm, I said. We’re in Sasquatch country…don’t wanna be his woman! What say we get outta’ here post-haste?”

Back safely in the truck, I remembered seeing where an elk had pawed the ground so it probably was notifying me I was getting a little too close to the meadow. If you were raised in the city, don’t go to the forest without someone who knows what to look for and listen to in order to be safe.

Now that my camera is all charged up again, I’ll go check out more of the area as recommended by Rod this morning here at the KOA. So much redwood history…so little time!

I want to give a shout out to the KOA owner Joan Fallon fo Crescent City Redwoods KOA. She booked my stay here the other day and took care of me putting me right next to the restrooms in a pull through site. I was pleasantly surprised to find this KOA site to be very small and homey and not crammed packed with pavement and people. I was also impressed by the video they had playing this morning during breakfast which told about the redwood forest history and eco system. By the way, there is NO pavement in this KOA but there IS a redwood grove where the tent section is! The personnel here are so friendly and helpful plus they make a mean pancake breakfast (all you can eat for $3.50 which includes coffee) which charged me right up for the day! They’re at 4241 Hwy. 101 North, Crescent City, CA.

Now off to see the Crescent City Lighthouse!

Like I say, “It’s Motel 6 or KOA for me!”

Happy Trails!

Pacific Coast Highway (PCH a/k/a Hwy. 1) at its best is just above Bodega Bay all the way up to where it meets Hwy. 101. WOWSER! But first let me tell you about this little Mom & Pop restaurant in Petaluma. Last night, I was hungry and cold (still had my Vegas clothes on) and didn’t want to hike around late at night so I found a place that would deliver to my fav place to stay, Motel 6. It was called the Round Table and, as always, I ask THEM what is their special. When they told me it was a garlic sauce pizza with vegis and meat I had to know more. Tomatoes, green onions, cheese, sausage and mushrooms on pizza dough. Hmmm. He said it was simple but really very good. Well, don’t ya’ know you always go for what THEY say is their best item even if you never eat pizza but have driven a bazillion miles, are cold, tired and hungry! It was delicious! I saved the other half to heat up in the microwave tonight and it was still very good after riding in the car eight hours being thrown around in the box all that time on switchback roads!

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to how beautiful the drive was just outside of Petaluma on the way to Bodega Bay…so quaint and pastoral…happy cows everywhere!

Beautiful countryside just outside of Petaluma on the way to Bodega Bay via Hwy. 116.

Get a feel of the road here. Pastures on both sides of the road. See those happy cows on the left?

Gorgeous, lush pastures

Great road!

Then, when I thought I was already livin’ the dream, I came into Bodega Bay where the Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Dreamland. Pure Dreamland.

Bodega Bay is a cute little village community.

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay meets the Pacific Ocean!

Now the trip triples in delight as I drive up Hwy. 1 along the coast with the Pacific Ocean crashing against huge boulders stranded a million years ago from volcanic eruptions and held captive by the unrelenting force of this powerful body of water.

Wind surfers! Wind must have been 30-40 MPH!

Small rocks probably broken off from the boulders

Pacific Ocean Majesty

Views just kept getting better!

…and better

And then the road turns inland…

…where past generations established their boundaries by planting trees along the road. Each of the villages had trees planted along the roadway. Quaint. Homey.

The vegetation was so lush and full of so many varieties of green and more wildflowers of every color!

So many rivers that feed all this vegetation to cross as they stretch toward the ocean. (left the side mirror in for effect!)

stretching toward the ocean

The road turns inland again for a hair-raising switchback road from hell where Montana and I both got queasy from the turns even going only 10 to 20 MPH which the sign said was only 22 miles but I think it was for 122 miles! And, right when I didn’t think I could stand another turn in the road…there they were! My first grove of redwoods! I cried. Ava was supposed to see these trees with me.

And then….there they are!

They aren’t as pretty or as big as the ones I’m going to re-visit tomorrow after a 15 year absence but they were redwoods and God knows I’m a tree hugger from way back and these particular trees talk to my heart like no other.

I just love the texture and color of new growth on young, healthy evergreens. There was a bunch of it to see, too!

Well, guess that’s it for today’s Great Adventure.

Happy Trails!