6.18.2008

Wilderness

Dave's parents left today after a great visit. We had lots of fun and were quite busy while they were here. Sunday, we drove up to Humbolt County in northern California, where the giant Coastal Redwoods grow, and there's more trees than there are people.


Hanging out with an 800 year old log!

Our quick visit up north was really eventful - we saw real wilderness, almost ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere, and saw a 5,000 year old tree.

Honestly, being in the middle of nowhere was fantastic. There were points in the trip where my cell phone didn't have service. I can't remember the last time that happened. It was incredibly liberating to know that I couldn't be contacted by anyone. The air was cleansing.

Sunday we left Richmond early and drove the 5 hours to the Avenue of the Giants, which is a 30 mile stretch of thick redwoods. I had never seen large redwoods (they grow here, but don't get that big) and neither had David, so it was pretty spectacular. I won't go in to the major details, but we did all the Americana stuff you'd imagine goes along with giant trees.

Not knowing how extreme the terrain was, we journeyed to the coast, which was about 30 miles from our hotel at the end of the Avenue of the Giants in Fortuna, to visit Cape
Mendicino - the most western point in the continental United States. We ended up taking a trecherous drive through the King mountain range, through three tiny towns of 300 or less, and pleading for gas in the first California town ever drilled for oil (Petrolia). Any of the bitten down nails were worth the absolutely pristine, wilderness of the Lost Coast (near Cape Mendocino) - it is quite possibly the most beautiful and wonderful places I've been in my life. The rocky beach was covered in beautiful, colorful seashells and bits of crabs and lobsters left by passing sea birds. No trash, no people, no trace of humans...I cannot believe such a beautiful place exists that has not been exploited, especially in the country's largest state. The Lost Coast, in fact, is 80 miles of untouched coastal area - the mountains around it are so treacherous that no construction of roads has ever been possible, leaving it as the largest stretch of undeveloped coast in the country.
The Lost Coast, Humbolt County, California

I'd talk more about our mini vacation, but it's really difficult to put in to words how it went. Being in the wilderness was incredible, and spending time with family was great as well. I would recommend that everyone spends time in a place like that...where people are an afterthought.


We stayed in Northern California for just one day and night; Monday I took the day off from work so that we could take a long drive home and stop in Sonoma County for a few wine tastings. It was a beautiful day, and we had some great wine.

We're back home alone today. Just a week until we get ready for my parents to arrive for an entire week. We're thinking of driving down to Yosemite, and I hope that works out for us.


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