Andrea and I woke to the sound of crashing waves and squawking seagulls. I think that is my favorite way to be woken up. Andrea said it sounded like a relaxation CD so we added our own little music to the beat of the waves – a little imitation lyre and synthesizer. Nothing beats a synthesizer.
We took some more pictures on the beach and left our campsite about 11:00. We wound our way up the coast which is intensely curvy between Anchor Bay and Fort Bragg. The turns are so sharp I felt I needed to use my turn signals.
Once in Fort Bragg, Andrea looked up some reviews for good restaurants in the area. She found one called Heron’s by the Sea. Ummm…the food was outstanding and the iced tea was to die for. I had fish tacos with homemade tarter sauce, Asian Cole Slaw, and homemade chips. Andrea had a seafood sampler with the same chips. We sat right along the inlet and watched a giant, lazy seagull pick up scraps from previous lunch-goers. We also saw a sea lion! It was so cute and got pretty close to us. We tried barking at him to see if he would respond, but we just ended up looking (and sounding) ridiculous.
We left Fort Bragg and continued up Highway 1 towards Crescent City, CA. Along the way we saw a sign for a DRIVE THRU TREE! I have heard about this for a long time and have always wanted to see one. We pulled off the exit and drove through what looked like someone’s property but we kept following the signs deeper into the woods. Finally we arrived.
With my bikes and RocketBox on top of my car, we were too tall to drive all the way through, so Andrea suggested we just put the nose of the car in – it was perfect. We snapped a bunch of pictures and made our way to the gift shop.
One time, when were younger, my brother, Kyle, asked me, “Why is it that when I go to the Renaissance Fair I feel compelled to buy one of those necklaces with the eagle clutching the precious stone in its talons? When I get home I think to myself, What have I done? I have just spent my money on a bird glued to a color marble dangling from a string. I just get so caught up in the event I can’t help myself.”
This is exactly how I felt in the gift shop at the Drive Thru Tree. I needed the picture frame made of wood and engraved with the location. I needed the magnets and drinking glasses and pictures of really old cars driving precariously through the exact same tree I had just been through. I needed the wolf head carved out of a piece of wood like he is jumping right for my throat. Oh, and I most definitely needed the dream catcher adhered to the reflective picture of a Native American – I mean, come on, I could see my reflection, too! It was like we were both a part of the art.
Thankfully, I had Andrea there to bring me back to reality and I walked away with just one postcard.
As we were taking pictures inside a fallen tree trunk (which I could stand in), a couple came up and told us about the Trees of Mystery just over the Oregon border in Grants Pass. Apparently there is a vortex there which messes up our vision so short people appear taller and tall people appear shorter. We were intrigued and decided to check out the vortex ourselves the next day.
We left the Drive Thru Tree and almost immediately came to the end of Highway 1. From LA to the Drive Thru Tree, I drove up the entire thing! I was so excited!
After hopping on Highway 101, we spotted an exit for the Avenue of the Giants. I assumed they meant giant trees and since Andrea and I wanted a picture of us giving the big trees a big hug, I had to pursue. The trees on this road are so incredibly huge it is difficult to wrap your mind around much less your arms.
We stopped at the Point Arena Lighthouse and walked across a bridge of what we think is sandstone. It was a natural bridge over jagged rocks and pounding waves. It was a little on the scary side but we got some awesome pictures of the lighthouse and the coastline.
We saw a large herd of Elk on the beach. They were settling in to watch the greatly anticipated sunset.
We stayed at Jedediah State Park for the night, but again got there after dark and had to make dinner and set up our campsite by the light of our headlamps. It was easy to fall asleep, however, as we were pretty tired from the 300 mile journey.
Disclaimer: I think Kyle would appreciate me letting you all know he has not been to the Renaissance Fair since we were forced to go as a field trip in school. He would probably want me to emphasize he would not willingly go to one of those Fairs but if you bought him a ticket and persuaded him to join you, be prepared to also buy him a necklace.
this is my chapter 29