These posts are my daily reports of our trip: the things we saw, the places we went, and the people we met as we drove approximately 1,500 miles in the course of six days, and had an adventure. I tried to write down my impressions each night before bed, or over my first cup of coffee in the morning. I wanted the memories to be fresh, undiluted by another day or days of travel and experiences. I can only hope you enjoy reading them a fraction as much as I enjoyed living them. (If you missed Part One, click here.)
Day Two: Christy Mystery Goes to Trees of Mystery
(I thought I was going to do a post for each day, but when I started putting in the photos I decided this had to be in at least two pieces. We'll see if I can get it all in two ...)
Slept, not late but until 9 or so. Then up for a quick breakfast at the Best Western in Brookings, and on the road to California. Down 101 through Crescent City to Trees of Mystery. Yes, Christy Mystery went to Trees of Mystery.
|Wonder Stump Road, one of the storied places in the Redwoods|
It is now on private property, and we heard it is nearly rotted away, so we didn't get to see the actual stump. What we did see (and, sadly, failed to get a picture of) was a one-lane road through massive trees that came right to the edge of the pavement with exposed roots occasionally intruding into the single lane. In one place the road took a sharp right turn to avoid a giant tree that had been left standing right in its path. It was simply one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.
|The street sign for Star Trek Lane, with no signs, of course!|
Finally, after our drive down Wonder Stump Road and on through Crescent City, we reached the Trees of Mystery. This is one of those roadside attractions that was born in the late 40s, in the boom that followed the end of the Second World War.
|Paul Bunyan, icon of Trees of Mystery|
There are "life-size" statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe in the parking lot, inviting you into the attraction, From there you pay admission and start up a path that leads through an old-growth redwood forest.
|Paul's famous Blue Ox. Babe|
The main trail is 8/10th of a mile and has some ups and downs. It's a fairly easy walk, especially since visitors want to stop every few feet to take in the sights.
|World's Largest Family Tree. Impressive? You bet!!|
One of the many fascinating things along the path is a "family tree." This is a tree with multiple trunks growing vertically from its branches. These new trunks start from branches that are 40 or 50 feet (or more) off the ground. The picture here is of the largest family tree, with twelve trees growing up from the branches on a single tree.
|One of the uphill stretches along the main path.|
|One the gondola cars on the Sky Trail|
The ride soars over a trail that can be hiked from the base of the ride to the upper terminal. It is only recommended for hikers in reasonably good physical shape, equipped with proper footwear. We decided riding was the better choice.
|Looking down the hill at the car in front of us|
Below the car you can also see a rough staircase which, according to the ride operator, is used to access the towers for maintenance.
As I said, the view from the top was amazing. You can see for miles, incredible vistas of mountains and forests. There are also a couple osprey nests in the distance, though I wasn't able to get a really good photo of them as .they were so far away. And in the other direction I could see the ocean
|Ocean to the west, and ...|
|mountains to the east. Spectacular!!|
|This isn't even the Wonder Stump, but it's pretty impressive!!|
I was surprised at how much time we actually spent in Trees of Mystery. I went prepared to walk and gawk and get back on the road, but we actually spent close to three hours, stopping to take pictures and crane out necks trying to see the tops of trees that towered 200 feet and more above us. We exchanged picture-taking with a couple families, so that they could all be included in their vacation pictures, something that made us both happy, and gave us the chance to have pictures of the two of us together.
|Christy Mystery and the wonderful husband, writer J. Steven York|
|Still holding hands, after all these years!|
When we reached this carving, there was a man taking a picture of his wife in front of the carved heart. I offered to take their picture together, which seemed like a good idea to me. He wasn't so sure, but his wife grinned at the suggestion and quickly dragged him over next to her. It would have been churlish to refuse her offer to reciprocate, wouldn't it?
So we had our picture taken in front of the giant carved heart. Our picture-taking couple were amused by our holding hands, but we still do, after nearly thirty years together. Yeah, we're like that.
Hang on, the day isn't over! Stay tuned for Day Two, Part Two, in which we visit Eureka and the Avenue of the Giants,