2019 - West Coast USA - Day 7
Another Hotel another breakfast, and more Scrambled egg. It was OK but a bit dry. No cinnamon free porridge though.
We decided to leave early as we knew we had a full day ahead and we were keen to have some chill time at the next Hotel which looked really good.
There was some cloud cover as we set off but we could see blue sky on the horizon as we drove along and it wasn’t long until it was blue sky everywhere.
Todays route was a relatively short one that took us through the Avenue of the Giants. Yet more trees.
There were just stunning and again flipping enormous. The road zig zagged in between them.
The main difference between today and yesterday was that this was not a National or State Park. There were a number of trails through and on what I assume were State owned land. However everyone few miles we came across clearings on private with ’named’ trees with a backstory along with a privately owned gift shop. Some of these were good some not so. They all sold similar items and some rather good large carvings made with axes and or chain saws from Redwood Trees. This is something I have always yearned after but they are expensive and quite difficult to get on the plane home. I have even investigated in the past doing a chainsaw sculpture course myself but Karen quite rightly thinks I could be lethal attempting it. The fact I have no artistic ability would not help either. It is also extremely expensive to learn.
Anyhow our first stop was at The Immortal Tree, which has survived Flood, Fire, Lightening and attempts to chop it down. This being our first stop of the day we were quite impressed with it.
We then saw and stopped at multiple other named trees including The Chimney Pot and The Eternal Tree House. In the latter it was like a Fairy House which you could go into and if you listened carefully it was as if you could hear the faint tintinabulation of their presence.
Another short drive and we stopped at The Founders Grove which was not on private land and wandered around it was all very serene. There was another tree that had fallen and was one of the tallest around. When it fell over the sound it made could be heard 10 miles away and the impact from the vibrations could be read on seismic counters and was the equivalent of a small earthquake.
As we were driving further along the route Karen told me she would ‘clip me round the lug' if I kept on singing ‘I’m a Believer’. I thought she was joking, Then I saw her face.
We stopped and had a make do lunch of snacks on a picnic table outside one of the official visitors centre. It was a beautiful setting in the dappled shade of the hot sun completely surrounded by the giant trees (none of which were named). We have loved these past couple of days and would heartily recommend anyone making this same trip. These trees some of which date back thousands of years are truly awe inspiring.
By the end of the day it did seem that anyone who owned land along the route had devised a story for the biggest tree on their plot. I started to wonder if they hadn’t hollowed out or set fire to a number of them themselves. Speaking of which we then paid $10 to go into someone’s back yard to see exactly that. This was the Shrine Drive Thru Tree. We were hoping to visit the better and more known one tomorrow but just in case thought we would do this as well.
It was a very tricky tight squeeze through. I literally had mm to spare either side. It didn’t help that it was all on the ‘huh’. As there was no one about I did a second time so that Karen could take some pictures. Sad but true it has always been an ambition of mine to drive through a tree and now I had done it twice. Less impressively I also drove ‘onto’ a log (an upsided Redwood which had been carved to allow you to so) for another photo opportunity.
From here we made one final stop for a cold drink before finally heading to our Hotel for the night in Garberville. The Hotel was very good and we had a balcony overlooking the pool, which Karen sat on for a while whilst waiting for the washing she had put into the laundry to complete. The town itself was not so good. It was a one horse town where the horse had given up and left along with his wagon.
Pleasingly though the Hotel had a free Wine & Cheese Soiree at 5.30pm which we wandered down to. We both ate rather a lot of cheese and the couple of large Red Wines went straight to my head.
We were still hungry as I now couldn’t drive decided to walk along the main drag in search of more food. The trouble was that when the horse left it also took most of the businesses with it. Of the 3 restaurants still operating, 2 of them were closed on a Monday. We ended up in a greasy spoon cafe that would have fitted in the Eastenders set.
Supposedly a traditional Italian though I am not sure any of the staff could spell Italy alone have had any Italian heritage. Rather bravely Karen ordered Minestrone Soup which she didn’t think they could mess up and to be fair she thought it was edible when it arrived . I was not so brave and when for another Burger (without Fries) which I thought they not be able to mess too much with, and again it was just OK.
It amused Karen that we saw other couples that we presumed were also from our Hotel (which was totally out of place in this town) walking up and down the main drag looking for somewhere to eat, seeing this place then walking past but having to come back and come in as it was the only place open in town. We smiled at them as we left as they were trying to fathom out the menu.
Back in the Hotel we had a nice cup of tea on the balcony and decided to watch the latest episode of Poldark on the laptop whilst doing so. It was idyllic with the stars twinkling in the sky and the lovely warm summer air.
Finally this blog has been receiving some letters of complaint. The first from a Mr Barry Clare from Norwich who writes - ‘Get your facts right, California is a Democrat State and has been for a while’. Thanks for pointing that out Barry, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for misleading anyone who maybe thinking of visiting California solely due to me stating that it is staunchly Republican but I was thinking back to the days of Reagan and Schwarzenger who both were. I happily stand corrected. Then a Mrs Karen Clare from somewhere in California writes in as well saying ’Stop all that piffle about politics in the blog, its boring and by the way it wasn’t just in the corners that hadn’t been cleaned in that other Hotel but also behind the TV’. My response to Mrs C is don’t give up the day job otherwise you won’t be able to afford all those Starbucks.