links for 2010-07-19

•July 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Travel: Oregon/California – Day 2 – May 26, 2010

•July 19, 2010 • 2 Comments

Our second day was a pretty packed day. The plan was to drive the Avenue of the Giants, roughly a 40 mile stretch of road between Garberville, CA and Scotia, CA that runs alogside US 101. Then further north to hit Ferndale and it’s Victorian Village with another stop even further north in Trinidad, CA. We wanted to wind up in Orick, CA and hole up there for the night. Overall, not that far of a drive, just 109 miles, but a lot of stops were planned.

01 - Avenue of the Giants - 20100526

We left the hotel around 11 am, and got on the road. Our first stop was in Hobbiton, USA which used to be a tourist trap but is now defunct, though you can still see a small section of it from the road. Right next door was the living Chimney Tree, which was basically a tree that had been hollowed out by a fire. And the price couldn’t be better. Free. Not that I would actually have paid anything to go in there. Still neat though.

05 - Hobbiton USA - 20100526 08 - Hobbiton USA - 20100526
13 - Avenue of the Giants - Chimney Tree - 20100526 11 - Avenue of the Giants - Chimney Tree - 20100526
Our second stop was F.K Lane Grove. We hadn’t actually planned on hiking here, but the loop was only .4 miles, so we said what the hell? Why not? There were quite a few fallen trees, and we kept taking pictures because the roots were so huge. Except that after every one, we would come across a still larger one. Nice hike, I’d definitely recommend it.

18 - Avenue of the Giants - F.K. Lane Grove - 20100526.jpg 21 - Avenue of the Giants - F.K. Lane Grove - 20100526.jpg
20 - Avenue of the Giants - F.K. Lane Grove - 20100526.jpg 22 - Avenue of the Giants - F.K. Lane Grove - 20100526.jpg

Then it was on to Bolling Grove, which was really a quite small grove. This was followed by the Shrine Drive-thru Tree, which even I will admit is a total tourist trap. And oh yeah, we paid for it. It was kind of cool though, especially the treehouse village. I figured it was going to be some treehouses in some redwoods, but it was actually treehouses carved out of redwoods. Honestly though, I don’t know how much longer that drive-thru tree is going to be around. It’s not in the best shape. Oh, and the gift shop is apparently now defunct.

31 - Shrine Drive-thru Tree - 20100526 53 - Tree House Village - 20100526

After that, we made a few more brief stops at Humboldt Redwood Forest Visitor’s Center, and Weott, a small town that was pretty much wiped of the map in 1964 by a flood. The high water mark reached over 34′. Not much left to see there. Finally, we wound up at Founder’s Grove, our second hike for the day. This one was a bit longer, 1.3 miles, but still relatively flat. It was actually a self-guided nature trail, and I’d definitely recommend borrowing one of the guide books since you’ll learn a lot about the redwoods. The booklet is free to borrow, and if you want to keep it, just deposit 50 cents when you’re done. Otherwise, return it where you got it.

68 - Avenue of the Giants - Founder's Grove - 20100526 67 - Avenue of the Giants - Founder's Grove - 20100526

Then some more brief stops to see at Ltcuntadun (now just how the fuck do you pronounce that?) to see the Eel river, and the Eternal Tree House, another total tourist trap. I wouldn’t have stopped there if it cost any money, but it was free.

105 - Avenue of the Giants - Ltcuntadun - Eel River - 20100526 116 - Avenue of the Giants - Eternal Tree House - 20100526

That was the end of the Avenue of the Giants. By this time it was about 3pm, so we were pretty much right on schedule. 40 miles, 8 or more stops, 2 hikes,  4 hours? Not too shabby.  Now it was time to proceed northward towards our next destination: Ferndale and its Victorian Village. This town seriously looks like something out of the gold rush days. And yeah, it was also time for a bar stop.

123 - Main Street in Ferndale - 20100526 132 - Victorian House in Ferndale - 20100526
131 - The Gingerbread Mansion - B&B Ferndale - 20100526 127 - Old cash register at Palace Bar - 20100526

Then it was on to our final stop of the day, Trinidad, CA, where we wanted to do a beach hike. We wound up getting there around around 5 pm, but it was raining pretty hard, so time for another bar stop. Now let me comment about the weather. We basically got REAL lucky all day. It was raining all day, but we were pretty much following the trailing edge of the rain up the coast. Every time we got to a destination, it got sunny within about 10 minutes of us getting there. Then we’d get in the car and drive into heavy rain. Repeat process. ALL DAY LONG! Drive in rain, hike in sun. Based on that experience we figured the weather would clear up pretty soon. It did.

This hike actually kicked my ass. We wanted to do the Trinidad Head Trail Loop. On paper, it didn’t look that bad, only 1.3 miles. What our guide book neglected to mention was the 300 foot vertical elevation change. We got it done though, and it was a beautiful hike. Got to see many banana slugs, an island with a sea lion colony, and a great view of the town and its harbor.

142 - Trinidad - Banana Slugs - 20100526 152 - Trinidad - Sea Lions - 20100526
166 - Trinidad - Panoramic - 20100526

After that it was time for dinner (which was ok, not great), and then on to our resting spot for the night: Orick, CA, since that’s where we wanted to start the next day’s activities. Yeah, well, that was a total FAIL! I probably should have bothered to read our Lonely Planet guide before making that decision. What it said about the town was pretty much “Get gas here, eat here, but don’t sleep here”. Now that’s a pretty strong endorsement.

We figured we’d give it a try anyways. So the first “motel” we pulled into some guy had his window open and there were posters all over the walls. Mmmhmmm, so this is where you live if you can’t afford a trailer. NEXT! Second motel looked a bit more decent, but was $79/night. I asked If they had wi-fi. The response? “Yeah, we do. But it doesn’t reach very far, you’ll probably need to be in the parking lot to get any signal. Our pool shed messes with it.” It was raining cats and dogs at the time, I don’t think so. Se we had to drive another 20 miles north to Klamath, CA to get a motel. This was acceptable though, since one of our destinations for the next day was actually in that town, and instead of hitting it last, we could just hit it first(weather depending).

Our plans for the next day were rather demanding. 3 hikes and a tourist attraction planned and hopes for making back into Oregon before the end of the day. And now we’d have to do an additional 40 miles to get  down to Orick and back.

Total Day miles driven: 130
Total Day miles hiked: 3.0

Total Trip miles driven: 432
Total Trip miles hiked: 3.9

Full Set of pictures can be found here

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links for 2010-07-15

•July 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

links for 2010-07-12

•July 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

links for 2010-07-10

•July 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Travel: Oregon/California – Day 1 – May 25, 2010

•June 23, 2010 • 2 Comments

Our first full day of our vacation would be a day primarily spent driving, as our plan was to head to the southernmost point of our trip, Garberville, CA, and then start a slow journey back northward the next day.

We had spent the night in Cave Junction, OR in order to get an early start for our first destination, the Oregon Caves National Monument. THAT plan did not work out so well. Our plan was to get to the caves by noon, since they only offer tours on the hour, and it was supposed to be about an hour and half long tour. We left the hotel in plenty of time, and the sign pointing to the caves was right down the street, but upon arriving at the “information center” we were informed that the caves are actually about 20 miles away and it’s about a 45 minute drive. Oops! We managed to high tail it out of there and get to the caves at around 12:02, but luckily the tour was slightly late getting started and we snaked the last two spots available (it’s limited to 15 people), so at least we didn’t have to wait around another hour for the next one.

The caves themselves were actually pretty cool. Much less of a tourist trap than Luray Caverns, and more of a natural cave setting. It was cold, damp and wet, and there were quite a few sections where the ceiling dropped to about 4′, which is a bit of a pain when you’re close to 6′ tall.

53 - Oregon Caves - Paradise Lost - 20100525 47 - Oregon Caves - Columns - 20100525
49 - Oregon Caves - Shark Mouth - 20100525 28 - Oregon Caves - 20100525

After the tour (which actually wound up taking closer to 2 hours, thanks to some kid who wouldn’t shut up and kept asking questions), it was time to get lunch. Oh yeah, the kid would also not stop fucking with light switches. We decided to go to Wild River Brewing and Pizza Company for lunch. We’ve got a mixed verdict on this one. The beer was good. The pizza, not so much. Shannon did enjoy her lunch, while I quite literally lost mine. The pepperoni was a bit funky for my tastes.

Then it was time to begin our 200 mile drive down to Garberville, CA. We didn’t stop much, since our goal for the day was simply to get down to Garberville, and we’d be passing all of this on our way back up north again. Eventually, we finally hit the first of the redwood trees 🙂

75 - Redwoods - 20100525

A little after that we came across a meadow with a bunch of Elk.

77 - Elk - 20100525

Eventually, we stopped for a snack at Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe in Eureka, CA. All I will say is that they have these baked jalapeno cheese filled soft pretzels on the menu that are PURE CRACK!!!! Those things were good! If you ever happen to stop by there, I highly recommend these.

We finally rolled into our hotel around 9:30 that night and tried to get dinner, but that was a FAIL. You’re not going to get dinner in Garberville after 9pm.

Our plan for the next day was to begin our drive back up north, hitting the Avenue of the Giants, and winding up in Orick, CA, about a 109 mile drive with plenty of stops.

Total Day miles driven: 242
Total Day miles hiked: 0.9

Total Trip miles driven: 302
Total Trip miles hiked: 0.9

Full Set of pictures can be found here

<<Day 0 Day 2>>

links for 2010-06-16

•June 17, 2010 • 2 Comments