Tuesday, July 9, 2013

California Redwoods

After a pretty insane night of partying on the 4th -- and staying up late doing drunk dishes (I sustained two injuries from this) and packing for the trip, we started off around 8am to head up north. One of the things I insisted we do was to stop in Fort Bragg to see the Sea Glass Beach. Pretty sure none of my fellow campers (Angelo, Kyle, or Daniel) cared much about sea glass, but WOW! It was a whole beach full. This area was once a trash dump so now it washes up tons of perfect little rounded bits of shiny glass. I loved it; in fact, I got a pretty bad back of the calf sun burn from how long I spent bent over searching for the perfect ruby and green colored glass pieces.


Next up, we stopped in Eureka - this cute little coastal town near Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I had my fortune told by Zoltar on the street, we found a charming colonial used book store (with an extremely creepy children's book that basically listed the ABC's of death), got some amazing biscotti from a cute corner coffee shop, learned about disc golf from Daniel, witnessed a very pathetic version of the Santa Monica pier they've tried to set up there, and discovered the coolest gazebo with a spiral fountain you walk next to on the way up.

Our first campsite was up in the forest just east of Redwood National Park, so we kept trekkin' it. Poor Daniel was riding a little scooter, but we tried to stop often so he could have a rest and drink coffee. He's driving that scooter across the country and picking up adventures along the way! I had a luxurious hotel suite in the back seat cab of the truck where I could lay down and fit perfectly :) Some of the roads in the forest were winding up and down and back and forth, but Kyle is a very slow and steady driver so no one got sick.

Our first campsite was amazing! It was off on its own and really felt like camping in the forest. Plus, the campsites are situated right on this perfect little lake with lily pads and fishing boats and beautiful pine trees all over. I'm thankful it was so enchanting since we had to drive pretty far north. There were bear warnings posted on our picnic table and the camp host was specific about food storage. I have to admit I was slightly freaked out, but we never saw or heard one -- whew.

Next morning, we left early to get started on seeing the redwoods. The drive back down to Humboldt was pretty easy. It's hard to find words to describe the Avenue of Giants. These trees are amazing. Majestic. Over-whelming. Absolutely stunning. The only similar feeling I can think of is sitting on a surf board by yourself far enough from the shore to feel completely alone - then looking out into the open ocean. You just feel part of this earth. A small, tiny, part of this earth. I'll be making some watercolors, that's for sure.

These trees were on the Founders Trail, right off the Avenue of Giants (which runs parallel with the 101 highway - so easy to get to).

The trees that had fallen over were so cool. The root structures are thick and curved, they don't spread out the way you'd think. It's amazing just dirt holds these babies up.

After we toured through a couple of trails, we discovered the Eel River. People were swimming and it looked awesome. So, we switched to swim gear and jumped in! I practiced skipping rocks, we had a couple of beers, and Kyle licked his own nipple (yes, seriously). It was awesome to cool off for the drive down to our second campsite.

Sorry to say the second campsite was reeeeeaaally bad. Somehow they managed to move the suburbs to the middle of nowhere. I woke up Sunday morning to a kid walking right by our tent screaming about another kid with "diarrhea like a machine gun"...
But, we made the best of it. Daniel showed us some fancy frisbee tricks, we got tipsy, made shish kabobs and country potatoes, played a few rounds of cards (I won!), listened to music, and, of course, finished off with more s'mores than I should have eaten (double marshmallow, all day). I s'more no'more now though.

The Sunday drive was no big deal. We got to drive through a tree....

...and we stopped for ice cream in Willits. Cute little town with nice 30's style bungalows. Overall, such a great weekend trip. I can easily say its one of the best things in California to see and I'm excited to tell everyone I know to make the trip!

This weekend is gonna be slightly more crazy than usual. My favorite favorite favorite good friend of Angelo's is visiting, Hugo. Another favorite favorite friend, Megan, will be here from Canada. Kara will probably come back into the city to party with us. And, boyfriend's friend from high school (I think) is staying for one night with his girlfriend while they are in town. Not sure if you were counting, but that's over 7 in a 1 bedroom apartment (including our temporary roommate, Kyle, of course).

Should be interesting!

Stay tuned.
Ellie xo