Northern California: Part III

I do feel a little guilty for piling on the pictures but we really did have a good time in northern california. Part I should be subtitled “Rainy San Fran”, Part II is “Eureka! Redwoods!”, and this Part III is really “Avenue of the Giants, a.k.a. You thought the other redwoods were big? Get a load of this!”

In our journey so far, we have covered the first three days of our trip. It’s now Christmas Eve and we hang out with Jeff and his family that morning before we take off southwards.

Here’s Sarah Kate and Sam, Jeff and Tammy’s children:

[[image:cal36.jpg:cute kids!:center:0]]

[[image:cal37.jpg:Sam, napping in his car seat:center:0]]

[[image:cal38.jpg:Jeff and Sarah Kate:center:0]]

[[image:cal39.jpg:Showing off dirty hands from playing horseshoes:center:0]]

[[image:cal40.jpg:Sam woke up and needed a cuddle:center:0]]

[[image:cal41.jpg:Big smile from Sarah!:center:0]]

After our farewells, we head back south down the 101. Unbelievably, the weather held and we had our second sunny day in a row!

[[image:cal42.jpg:Highway 101:center:0]]

[[image:cal43.jpg:What a beautiful day:center:0]]

As Jeff advised, we looked for the Avenue of the Giants which is part of the Humboldt State Park, got off the highway and went on the hunt for more redwoods! (We were promised huge ones! Yes, the ones posted before were not the “huge” ones!!)

[[image:cal44.jpg:Follow the signs:center:0]]

[[image:cal46.jpg:Humboldt State Park:center:0]]

[[image:cal47.jpg:Posing with the sign:center:0]]

We stop at the Humboldt State Park little visitor stop, and picked up some pamphlets. Old-growth redwoods, according to the pamphlets, are those which are 400-500 years old or older and the Avenue of the Giants would showcase some of the oldest living organisms in the world! We noticed a marked temperature drop once we got in the forest.

[[image:cal45.jpg:More Redwoods:center:0]]

[[image:cal63.jpg:Big Tree:center:0]]

Some random images as we drive down the Avenue of the Giants

[[image:cal48.jpg:Driving through the forest:center:0]]

[[image:cal49.jpg:View of the river:center:0]]

[[image:cal53.jpg:Our little car:center:0]]

[[image:cal56.jpg:Winding road with trees right by it:center:0]]

The immortal tree. As the sign says, it’s estimated to be 950-1000 years old, and has a diameter of over 14 feet. Can we say “oh my god!!!” It’s truly humbling. Don’t be fooled – it just looks like 2 trees there, it’s really only one big mother of a tree!

[[image:cal50.jpg:It is 950-1000 years old!:center:0]]

[[image:cal51.jpg:One immortal tree and me:center:0]]

Here’s Vin standing by a cross-cutting of a tree. May I remind you that Vin is 6′ 7″ (2 meters to those of you on the metric system). Look how big that tree is around! It’s way taller than Vin!

[[image:cal52.jpg:The tree is one and a half times Vin’s height:center:0]]

[[image:cal55.jpg:Vin’s hand on the redwood bark:center:0]]

The bark is really quite red, and damp and spongy to the touch. Not at all what I had expected.

[[image:cal54.jpg:Vin frolicking in the forest:center:0]]

Then, we saw signs to the “Drive Thru Tree”!! OK, I admit it was very touristy of us, but we turned in and paid our 3 bucks to drive through a tree. (Hey, when else are we going to do this?).

There was a car ahead of us so that’s what it looked like as we waited our turn:

[[image:cal57.jpg:We watch this car drive through before it was our turn:center:0]]

[[image:cal58.jpg:The coast is clear and we drive up:center:0]]

A nice lady took a picture of us since we were pretty much trapped in the tree and couldn’t get out to take pictures of ourselves.

[[image:cal60.jpg:We’re driving through the tree!:center:0]]

[[image:cal61.jpg:Look at the diameter of this tree!:center:0]]

The view if you looked up through the tree:

[[image:cal59.jpg:Look up the Drive Thru Tree:center:0]]

And finally, as promised, Sila frolics with the redwoods. The first is a picture of me (so you can see it is me) standing by the tree. The next is me standing by the same tree, but with the full effect of the tree trunk:

[[image:cal64.jpg:Sila frolicking with a tree:center:0]]

[[image:cal65.jpg:Look at the size of that thing!:center:0]]

After our adventures through the Avenue of the Giants, we get back on Highway 101 and drive on down to Santa Rosa, our next destination. Tune in next time for Part IV: The Christmas Seals?

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