Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Holy crap, they're huge!

We worked our way down the coast into California, after we had the "pleasure" of fueling up in Oregon.  Funny, in Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas, you pull into the same exact type of pumps you encounter everywhere else, hand an attendant your credit card, they run it just like you would, pump your gas, and hand you your receipt and credit card back.  Nice in a way but it sure feels weird just sitting there watching someone do exactly what you would do, and it ends up taking a lot more time especially if the station is busy.  With diesel it's just a bit different you can't touch the pump or use your credit card yourself, but you can handle the pumping, and no one seems to know why?!?

The Oregon Coast Highway is awesome!  It is beautiful, right along the shore or cliff face, and we were lucky enough to experience it with good weather which the locals say comes few and far between.  It is usually obscured with fog and mist, hence the favorable growing conditions for the massive redwoods.  Most of the road is challenging in a vehicle the size of the motorhome, so it was nice to be able to drive parts of it in the truck and take advantage of the viewpoints.  We got a kick out of some of the signs along the way.

We knew it would be an impressive coastline, but we didn't expect the miles and miles of perfect beach with essentially no one on it.
Perfect and all yours!

You can see some of the "crowds" in this picture,
of course this is right in the town of Bandon, OR
They even have their own version of palm trees:-)
It is a rugged coastline, we saw very few boats, as it isn't very boat friendly.  You should see the rough inlets across the bars to the few ports along the coast.  And we saw them in smooth pleasant weather, I can't imagine what they look like in a storm!  But it sure is pretty!

Awesome!  Even here you can see the ever present mist rolling in.
So now we are in Crescent City, CA, where you can pump your own gas:-), our jumping off place to see the giant redwoods.  We've never seen them before, and let me tell you there is a big difference in reading dimensions like 8-20' in diameter and as tall as 350', as old as 2000 years, and seeing it!  Wow, these are big trees.  We tried in the pics to give some reference to their size but as you will see it is tough to do.  We drove south in the misty morning and caught this spot as the sun was streaming down between the trees in the fog.

We started with a picnic on a perfect day high in the redwood forest near a meadow the indians created by burning off some of the forest to bring in the deer and elk.  Oh my!

Then we went into the forest on a gorgeous 1 1/2 mile hike through Lady Bird Johnson Grove amongst the ancient trees.  
Up, up, up

A feel for its size

Look closely, I'm standing there in front of it

The spot where President Nixon dedicated the grove to Lady Bird

You can see scars from a previous fire on this tree

Another glimpse at its size

Compared to the truck
It was a great experience.  It is absolutely dead quiet back in the groves, with these magnificent giants towering hundreds of feet above you knowing that many of them have been there for more than a 1000 years!  Another day here exploring and then we are headed towards Nevada.  What a change of scenery that will be!
Yes, that is one huge tree!

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