Saturday, October 31, 2009

Redwood National Forest

Paul and Babe started off my day as I headed to the Redwood National Forest.
Whats great about this park is that there is free admission to most areas and 101 leads you right there, very accessible and a must-do if you are in northern California.
Big trees, big ferns. Everything is big around here.
And tall.
And this one is not even the biggest one...
Someone left a sap hand print.
This one was called 'Big Tree' clever.
Fern Canyon was one of the places you had to pay a very small admission for, and it is totally worth the rocky, bumpy, muddy drive.
What they should have said was "You are going to have to take flying leaps over streams to see ferns growing out of rocks. Hope you packed extra socks. And a bathing suit".
The last time I ever saw my sneakers dry. Currently they are baking on the hotel room heater. Note to self at the end of the trip, buy new sneakers.
This may take you by surprise, but come to find out I am quite good at scampering over wet logs and leaping over rocks covered with just enough water that you can only put your foot down for a moment without water rushing in.
The canyon walls were about 50 feet high and were covered in Five Fingered Ferns.
Not only did I have to traverse over streams, it was also raining, nothing a little Patagonia can't solve...
Fern Canyon was right along the coast; the Pacific sounded so much louder than our Atlantic or maybe its because I've taken it for granted and never taken the time to notice. Definitely going to spend more time at the beach year-round when I get home...
Their sand is really dark, almost black, like in Maui. Very soft, not granular.
Just like at home, have to protect those Plovers...
No, I did not actually, so I was really glad this creature flagged me down.
Stations are few and far between; this one was super old school and only had one retro pump with the numbers that spin around.
The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic route that runs parallel to 101. Your neck will hurt from looking up the whole time.
While my three hikes and pretty drives were great, I really, really wanted to drive through a tree. Totally cheesy, a tourist trap, but something that must be done if you were here. This joint had two ladies and a cat out front (on the railing) who were as nice as can be. For $6 you too can smash your new car through a tree.
Right before I went though I got out and ran around the other side to take this picture. There was no way of getting out once the car was in the tree. It was a tttiiiggghhhttt squeeze. You literally had to creep your way through and pray that you did not get stuck. There could have not been more than half an inch on either side once fully in.
Phew, out the other end with no scratches.
The drive-your-car-through-a-tree place also had these tree houses that were so darling. The taller of the two had an internal stairwell that led to the second floor which I of course scampered up. Heart shaped windows, carved furnishings inside, totally adorable. I want one.

On the road again..

On Friday I bid farewell to my wonderful Portland hosts and hopped on Highway 101, California bound. It took the entire day to get to northern CA, but the drive along the coast was beautiful, even though it was foggy and overcast out.
I plan on taking this route all the way down to the San Diego area. Note to fellow travelers though, there are police everywhere. I did indeed get pulled over and I had to flash the young officer (my best smile of course). It worked and I got off with a verbal warning but CA is a big state so I've got to be extra cautious.
There's a whole lot of this kind of stuff on 101...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bonneville Hatchery and Hood River

Who knew salmon and sturgeon could be so much fun? We had a ball, definitely caught us off guard and quite informative too. You've got to stop here, you won't be disappointed.
We went down to this underwater viewing area expecting to see a few fish (2 feet in size maybe?) and saw these gynormous creatures!
The sturgeon were huge, docile and prehistoric looking...
'Herman' the sturgeon was a big hit.
Holding pen for the salmon, they were jumping really high trying to get up to the next level.
Hood River is the cutest town, everyone there seems to be a super-athlete. Great restaurants and shops . Known for its windsurfing and kite boarding...
We ate here and you should too...3 Rivers Grill
CK's cousin is lucky enough to live here, specifically at the top of the Hood River stairs. I thought that it was a good idea to take each and every one to get up there. The first 100 were easy...I think we counted 393 in total, phew. Sounds not so bad but try it for yourself...
Some parts of the walkways had a salmon theme...

Hiking at Wahclella Falls

On Wednesday we went back to Multnomah Falls and yep, thats me way up there...
We then went to Wahclella Falls on the way to Hood River.
Gynormous leaves...
The hike is an out-and-back and this is the midway point; one of the prettiest spots I've been to on this whole trip.
Spooky, drippy cave, did not venture inside.
Gynormous slugs too...