So, off we go north on Highway 1 from Ft Bragg to Myers Flat. Remarkably, the drive up the first thirty-five miles of Hwy 1 was exactly like the thirty-five miles we drove yesterday. Odyssey took it like a champ. Andrea encouraged me to honk the horn on every blind turn. After some not-so-close calls with an organized group of bicyclists, perhaps fifty or so, I employed the horn for about twenty miles. Auto manufacturers need to offer an “always-on” option for horns. Wouldn’t that be great? Maybe have an additional option to have it automatically go on when you pull up to a red light and the guy in the car next to you is blasting his bass speakers so much that it vibrates a sensor to trigger the horn. Anybody out there have any experience with patent law? I need to protect my intellectual properties.
I think Andrea took video of some of the ride. She may have posted it. Along with video around the tight turns and an occasional glimpse of the ocean, the accompanying music just happened to be one of my favorite “driving” pieces – the scorching guitar of David Gilmour on ‘Echoes’ from his ‘Live In Gdansk’ CD. Nothing turns on my driving switch more than a strong beat and big guitar riffs. That particular version takes me away. Now, I’m having fun. And when it’s fun, the stress sort of gets dissolved in the shredding of that 1984 Fender Stratocaster. Just another beautiful ride.
It was so nothing that I got up and went to the bathroom at one point. True. The editorial staff is dedicated to safety on the roads and wants to point out that we were stopped at a road repaving project where we could obviously see that we would be stopped for several minutes. Can’t wait for the driverless option for RVs. OK, maybe putting a 42′ monster on the tight turns of Route 1 north of Ft Bragg was a bit of a gamble, but where else can a sixty-seven year old get a good adrenaline rush without pulling a muscle? Blackjack table? The track? Yolanda Vega? (NY joke)
Even after Hwy 1 merged into 101, there were still plenty of twists and 25 mph turns through the redwoods but it eventually straightened out to mile long curves up and down the mountains. Myers Flat is an exit on 101 with a coffee shop, a souvenir shop, an $8 a car drive-thru-a-tree operation, a handful of homes, and an entrance onto The Avenue Of The Giants, a 30 mile scenic drive, paralleling 101, among the very impressive redwoods.
Oh, there’s an RV park, Giant Redwoods RV Park, where we stayed. The park sits along the banks of The Eel River, pretty much a small stream at that point. No sewer hookup but we were only there three days. Nice park, well maintained and a good location for going into the state park.
We were in search of finding some of the biggest trees, but first, we drove the southern part of The Avenue Of The Giants from Myers Flat. About ten miles into the drive we came upon Miranda, a little town, if you can call it that, which was having something of a town fair. The first thing that caught our attention was the Car Show, if ten shiny old cars counts as a car show.
There was also a candy store and shop that had a couple of outfits for a one year old that were too cute to leave on the rack. The side of that building provided local artists a canvas. Don’t just casually browse this one. There’s some hanky-panky going on:
Then it was back out to the work at hand, finding the really big trees.
A pamphlet we picked up indicated an easy hike just north of Myers Flat, about four miles west of 101. The hike would lead us to three big ones. At 3.9 miles we saw a small trail marker. Aha! Seemed like very little notice and barely enough room for two cars to park, but off we go on a crappy trail alongside the road with no big trees in sight. We turned around after a few minutes. Back in the car. Not sure whether that was where we were supposed to be, we drove another half mile down the road where we encountered this sign:
It had a large parking area and lots of informational displays about the redwoods. One piece of information they neglected to provide was how to cross the river to get to the trail with the big trees. There was a giant redwood tree that had fallen over, uprooted next to the parking lot, spanning the stream and with quite a few convenient notches at the base to allow agile people to climb up and cross over on the twelve foot wide tree. These things are pretty amazing at the base. That’s the bottom of a toppled giant.
My friggin back, hip, legs just can’t do some of the things they used to. So we took off our shoes and tamed the roaring rapids – uh, wait, the chief editor says that I’m exaggerating, it was an ankle high stream – and proceeded on what we thought was the .6 mile loop trail to see the three whopping trees. Unbeknownst to us, the trail we were on was on the other side of the giant felled tree over the stream and it led us away from the loop trail. We kept walking away from civilization and a half mile later as we were ascending a hill we sensed the error of our ways. It was still pretty cool. Find Andrea in the photo:
We finally got back on the loop trail but had had enough by then. The large tree-bridge across the stream was easier to climb up on the trail side so we did, crossing the tiny stream on a giant redwood. Andrea named this photo ‘Bump On A Log’:
It was worth a stop, Myers Flat, that is. If you’re on your way on the 101 in northern California, don’t miss the state park. The visitor center is off the Weott exit. I’m going with five star entertainment value. Way better than expected.
Next stop, Klamath River RV Park. Bald Eagles reside there. I need to see one.