Monday, November 17, 2014

To The Redwood Forrest

Behold!  Yonder forrest nymph there be!  Haha.  Ok, enough of that.  Lady Chan and The Man went on an actual vacation!  To see the Redwoods.  A bucket list for the both of us.  It was everything we were hoping for.  And we're dying to go back!

*Disclaimer: tons of pictures...brace yourselves...

Here it is in pictures.  I'll try to keep the commentary brief...

Day 1:  The drive to Santa Rosa.  Left at 6 a.m. and had breakfast in San Luis Obispo at around 10 a.m.  I cannot recommend The Apple Farm.  I ate there once with my parents and grandparents and had fond recollections.  Must've been the company and not the cuisine that caught my fancy.  Nice ambiance though.  Reminds me of the Cracker Barrel, only less rustic.

Arrived in Santa Rosa around 1p.m.  Found our campsite at Spring Lake and then dressed for a very good friends wedding.  Made it just in time to see Lady Susan get hitched to her main squeeze.  With matching Star Wars shoes no less.

Stayed at the Spring Lake campground.  A quick stop at Trader Joe's for survival and a short walk to the lake.  Very pretty.  Huge park with lots of joggers and bikers, even more campers.  A noisy bunch at the campsite next to us.  The joys of booze and buddies.

Day 2:  Slept in the back of the car.  Very uncomfortable.  Woke up early and got a head start for the Redwoods.  Before reaching our destination we took a quick turn off to see a very impressive Elk Herd.

After watching some very lazy Elk we drove up to the State Park Visitor Center and grabbed some maps and some really important grub information.  Apparently in Orick (population 650) there are three places to get food.  The gas station where they make sandwiches, The Palm Cafe (the only restaurant in town), and the local Market.  They call it a Market but that baby makes Frazier Park Grocery look like paradise.  After a surprising good meal at The Palm Cafe (Not sure why they named it Palm Cafe where there isn't a palm to be seen for miles and miles) we found Prairie Creek Campsite and set up house.  Or car.

Most welcoming sign ever...especially when one is very peckish.

These next few pictures are of the scenery a few feet from our campsite.  The iPhone pictures just don't do it justice.  It was foggy and the atmosphere was so spooky and cool.  You had to be there.

The campsite has an entrance with a picnic area and Ranger station log cabin.  The trees just around the campground were impressive.    

But we took the Revelation Trail nearby and took a tour of the great Reds.  And said "hello" to the Big Tree.

The low can you go??

Day 3: Trillium and Fern Canyon Trails, Paul Bunyan in Klamath and Crescent City (no pictures on the last, sorry) 

Trillium Trail was our first activity of Day 3.  We packed a lot in one day.  Unfortunately the trail was blocked about a mile in so we didn't get to finish that one.  On to Fern Canyon...

The road to Fern Canyon was a one lane dirt road about 8 miles long that took you through to the beach.  At 10mph that 8 miles took us close to half an hour to finish.  Oy.  But oh so pretty!
Dirt road taken to get to the beach near Fern Canyon

The Man and I were reminded of the Narrows at Zion's Nat'l Park.  Except a lot greener in this case.  But no less fun!

Next stop, Klamath, to go see Paul and his trusty blue Ox, Babe.  I was told Paul was in Scottsdale for the winter.  Ha!
Along 101 Hwy in Klamath 
At Trees of Mystery!!

I decided we HAD to see this guy after listening to a radio bit on This American Life.  (The Man looked up where it was (I knew we were close) so we could check it out).  They interviewed some people who work at the park, including the guy who sits inside the statue and voices Paul Bunyan.  Funny and Fascinating.  Listen to it here.

After seeing Paul and his Ox we were about 20 minutes or so from Crescent City.  We decided to drive up there, have breakfast, and then make our way back south.  We didn't take pictures in Crescent City because we really only got out of the car once.  To eat at a local diner/cafe and then take off.  Boring I know.  We were tired and getting the itchy knowing the farther north we went the longer it would be driving home.

Day 4: One more night at Prairie Creek (and they have quarter operated hot showers!!!) and then Santa Rosa bound for one more (thankfully) night of 'car camping'...with a couple of point of interest stops along the way.

The Man was oddly fixated on this whole Big Foot phenomena.  I think he really wanted that map of all the sightings but people were scalping you with the prices.  You'll just have to use your imaginations.  I had a good time asking a few of the locals if they were believers.  Most, I'm happy to say, were non-believers.  But I found one who believed (her co-workers teased that she also believed in Santa Claus and the Toothfairy, haha).  When I asked one gentleman if he believed, he answered, "I don't drink."  I'm still laughing at that one.

The Man humored me and pulled off to let me check out this California gem.

The Man and I had a good laugh over this one.  Some people will believe ANYTHING!  Some.  I'm thinking most understand that this is hokey.  But all in good fun!  If anything it was an optical illusion.  If anything is 'off' it didn't do much other than make us get dizzy.

You really have to visit this place to get the full effect at how 'home grown' this place is.  Really.  Hodge podge is a great word for this place.  It was so fantastically kooky!  Go see it!

Okay, enough of the silly side-show attractions.  This is what we really came to see...

 Along the Avenue of the Giants scenic route.

Random Bus Stop.  Cool!

Eel River
Okay, one last silly stop.  Because who doesn't want to drive through a tree?!

Day 5:  Last day.  We drove back to Spring Lake Campground for our final night (phew!) and then from there drove to San Francisco.  We got in a little early so we decided to take a walk.  Ended up being a 3 mile trek around the lake.  Oy!

So!  First time for The Man to drive over the Golden Gate bridge.  It's been awhile for me even (high school trip with Lady B!).  I never imagined the toll thing to be quite so tech-savvy-advanced.  And pricey.  $6 to cross.  Oh well.  It was fun.  Now we are just waiting for our fee to come in the mail.  (No stopping on the bridge, the camera's just take a picture of your plates and send you the bill.  Groovy.

We were going to get Dim Sum but after driving around China Town trying (and failing) to find a parking spot we just headed to our last stop.

So fun to learn more than we ever wanted to know about Walt Disney!  What a very enterprising man.  From childhood to adulthood he just had this amazing knack for making things work for him.  Most of the time.

It was a nice send-off to our trip.  Well, eating at Chipotle's ran a close second.  With no breakfast and driving until 2pm before finding a place to eat, we were STARVING!

Originally our plan was to be gone until Friday but after four nights in the car with no mats for cushioning, and regular showering and meals, we decided our bed was calling us.  (But we saved a bunch, bonus!).  We also decided to keep it a 'vacation' as long as possible by not telling my parents we were home early.  So, we left Saturday early on the 8th and came back late on Wednesday the 12th.

Our very LAST stop during our 'trip'...Friday morning trip to L.A.

A HUGE Thank-you to Omi and Papa for watching our kids.  It felt so good to get away for a bit without the screaming, crying tantrums.  Love them to pieces but, well, you know.

Lady Chan


  1. Love Doug's Dog House. And am soooo jealous that you got a mini-honeymoon! Love the pics, the trees are just amazing.