Willits to Eureka, 157 Miles
"If you fixate on the worst case scenario and it actually happens, you’ve lived it twice.”
~Michael J. Fox
California doesn't get prettier, it just morphs from one gorgeous place to another. Seaside vistas change to vineyards to redwood forests. Today we rode 'The Avenue of The Giants,' a twisting road that runs between huge redwoods that tower into the sky and block out most of the sun. As we rode along, I'd flip up the tinted visor as we dove into day/dark among the massive trees.
The road literally wound between the huge trees, the pavement sometimes less than a foot from the tree trunk, and a few hundred feet later it would pass near one on the other side. We stopped to gawk and tree hug for a bit. The sunlight filtered through conifer branches for fifty feet at the canopy, then peeked between the long straight trunks for another hundred feet or so before hitting the forest floor, making a pathetic attempt at providing light to the dark woods. The floor vacillated from a soft carpet of needles and bark to lush ferns.
Before we launched today, we met Ross and Kay at the KOA, and they were just starting their own adventure. They flew in from New Zealand a few days ago, bought a Ford pickup and an RV trailer, and are touring America for a year. We swapped travel stories and suggestions for touring each others' countries. Hmm. It would be fun to ship Libby down there, tour for a few months, then sell her in Kiwi land. She'd fetch a good price down there. Ross said they might put their truck and trailer on NZ eBay at the end of the trip and sell it to someone to take over in the USA. Or ship it to NZ and sell it for a good price. Stuff is costly there, like gas at $8 and change. Ouch. But the place sounds beautiful, and a perfect tour for a motorcycle.
Northern California leads the nation in tacky tourist traps like The One Log House, The Log Tunnel, The Living Chimney Tree, and The Trees of Mystery, to name a few. I remember many of them from my youth, so they have been around quite some time. While the tree tourist places attract tourists, the logging trucks zipped right past. We saw quite a few lumber trucks today as well, the wood hitting the highway from a huge sawmill.
Not only do the trees look awesome, but they smell lovely. Nothing like the smell of woods. It would smell even better if it rained, but we'll take a rain check on that. Pun intended.
And now, the queen of the woods, Quilter Girl!
101 North, does it get any better than this? Not only the redwoods, but the hills and valleys. We went up and down, repeat over and over. There are so many shades of green here, from the dark green of the firs and redwoods to the light greens of the new leaves on the deciduous trees and the grasses. There were cows grazing in grass up to their bellies.
We got a really late start after talking to people, which I love. I still had great hopes of making it to Crescent City, but as we neared Eureka at 3:45 that didn't sound as good. It started out warm today, but got progressively colder and windier. I had some business stuff to do, so we stopped at an older motel off the highway. We walked to the Applebee's next door and had a great dinner, one of the best I've ever had at an Appleby's. Now we will get to watch Dancing with the Stars!
Tomorrow we visit the Redwoods National Park and get into Oregon. We'll revisit some of Northern California from Nevada later.