29 July 2013

west coast postcard no. 4, the redwoods

Though the Redwoods we went. To get from San Fran to our final destination of Portland, we drove our rented Prius right through the most magnificent and grand collection of old-growth trees on the planet. It took us two long days of driving, but we (almost) didn't even mind it.

We stopped in Sonoma for one quick little winery stop, because come on. We couldn't drive through there and not stop! We agreed we could have spent all day, many days or even weeks lazily sipping wine and eating fruit and cheese boards on winery decks and patios, but alas, we had to get back on the road. One wine tasting later and we had chosen a delicious bottle of wine to bring with us to Portland. The only other time I'd been to California wine country was on a cross-country road trip with my dad. It was awesome, but I was 16 and so the wine part of the trip was lost on me.

Our first day in the Redwoods took us into Humboldt County and along the Avenue of the Giants. The avenue is a scenic alternative to Rt 101 and so worth a detour because you literally drive right through the forest and can soak in the massive ancient trees in their true glory. It's a sight to behold.

That night we stayed in our only hotel throughout the entire trip, in Eureka CA. We weren't there long, so there's not much to say about the town except it is the foggiest place I've ever been and it was cold! We were already used to the chillier temps, but I think it was 48 degrees when we woke up the next morning. Bundle up! Eureka is home to a funky little shop called Los Bagels, where we sat for the morning and watched the locals fill up on breakfast and coffee before they scurried off to work. And then we scurried off to Portland.

We had hoped to make a trail running pit stop on this day, figuring that it would be worth it to take a 30 minute leg stretch or two on such a long day of driving. After stopping at the very helpful Redwood National Park visitors center, we had a little 3 mile loop planned out that would take us right through the gorgeous park.

Well, we must have taken a wrong turn somewhere because we ended up running at least 5 miles in the Redwoods. We weren't complaining. The ground was soft, the enormity of the trees was astounding and we ran, sometimes in awe-induced silence, sometimes laughing and shouting. It was, without question, the best run of the vacation and the most beautiful, inspiring and bucket list-worthy run of our lives.

Once we were good and sweaty, we got back in the car and drove for another six hours. Sounds fun, right? It was only a little bit more fun than you are imagining, mainly because we still had beautiful scenery to take in. And the temperature changes! Like I said, it was 48 degrees when we woke up in Eureka. About mid-70s in the Redwoods. Driving further north we hit temperatures of nearly 100 degrees within an hour or two! Then as we cruised closer to Portland, it all leveled back out in the 70s.

We pulled up to the Doc's new place in NW Portland sometime around 8 o'clock, if memory serves, and continued the final leg of our trip...

In case you missed it:
postcard no. 1, san francisco
postcard no. 2, big sur
postcard no. 3, our yurt

1 comment:

  1. The Redwoods are awe-inspiring from your photos. I'd like to create a painting from one of them where you are looking up towards the sky. What a wonderful way to share your trip!


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