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Posts tagged ‘Highway 101’


Our Winter Trip was nearing the end.  This second to the last day, we were driving from Eureka, California to Sacramento, California.  We knew we would see some mighty redwoods along the way as we started out on Highway 101.  We even drove part of the alternate route labeled Avenue of the Giants, traveling along Eel River and through towering redwoods.

Internet Photo

Avenue of the Giants is a 32-mile portion of Old Highway 101 that is surrounded by the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Humboldt RSP was created in 1921 through the efforts of the Save the Redwoods League that even back then valued the large trees much more alive than dead.  Over the years, through purchase and donation, this state park has grown to nearly 53,000 acres.  Roughly a third of the park (17,000 acres) is old growth redwoods, making it the largest expanse of ancient redwoods in existence.

We did catch glimpses of the Eel River along the road.


As we continued our drive along Highway 101, heading to Highway 20 where we would head east to Sacramento, we noticed an intriguing sign:  Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree.  We just had to explore! This privately owned location in Leggett, California, became the eighth stop on our Winter Trip.

The Underwood Family has privately owned the land since 1922.  In 1937, after the tunnel was cut through the Chandelier Tree, the family opened the tree and its surroundings as a tourist attraction.  For a small fee, tourists can enter the property and enjoy the trees.

After a short drive, one comes to the drive-thru tree.  Throughout the property, there are also places to hike and picnic as well as shop in a little store.

I loved this poem!

But we were also thrilled to notice a fun surprise hiding throughout the redwoods:  wooden carvings. These sculptures—carved with a chainsaw out of redwood—were interspersed throughout the trees, catching tourists by surprise.  There were bears and eagles and deer and squirrels and turtles, and more. Two artists are responsible for these carvings, and they apparently return periodically to add more art.  The two artists are Dayton Scoggins (Artistry in Wood) and Mark Colp (Wooden Creations).

This eagle sculpture is my favorite.

If you have never visited this little tourist attraction, add it to your list of places to see.  It is delightful!

The Goodbye Committee

Not far past this little drive-thru diversion, we picked up Highway 20 en route to our hotel in Sacramento.  As we drove, the temperature dropped, and we even experienced some snow.

Once we drove out of the snow, we saw a rainbow.

Once in the hotel, we heard the news that Highway 20 closed because of the snow that—apparently—kept falling behind us.  The next day, we made it home to Bakersfield, ending a great Winter Trip.

Winter Trip Stop 7: ROOSEVELT ELK

As part of our Winter Trip, we were driving from Medford, Oregon, to Eureka, California, enjoying redwoods and ocean views along the way.

Closing in on our hotel, we figured our day was almost over.  Then, we saw a sign directing us to a spot to view some elk. Maybe. It was raining, light but steady. Still, we decided to take see what we could find.  Apparently, elk do not mind snacking in the rain.  Thank goodness.

Our seventh stop, therefore, became viewing Roosevelt Elk off the Davison Road exit from Highway 101, near Orick, California.

Named after President Theodore Roosevelt, the Roosevelt Elk is the largest of four sub-species living in North America. By 1925, there were fewer than 15 Roosevelt Elk alive in California; their number has increased to over 1,000 today.  These massive animals are 6 to 10 feet in length, and they stand 2.5 to 5.6 feet tall at the withers (base of neck, above the shoulders).

My friend took this video, showing how oblivious the elk were to us and the rain.


It was great to see these magnificent beasts so up close and personal.

Winter Trip Stop 6: BEACH ALONG HIGHWAY 101

“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”  Jacques Cousteau

We were heading home on our Winter Trip by driving from Medford, Oregon, to Eureka, California.  Covering about 200 miles, this day’s drive was actually the shortest leg of our trip. Earlier in the day, we visited Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, enjoying all those great trees.  We would reach the hotel in a couple hours.

But then, a couple miles south of Crescent City, we spotted a pretty little stretch of beach, literally right next to Highway 101.

This small stretch featured black sand, rocks, driftwood, and pounding waves. Its beauty called to us, and the beach became the sixth stop on our trip.  My friend hiked the beach a bit, even in the cold wet weather, collecting some driftwood.  I simply enjoyed watching and listening to the waves.  They were mesmerizing, soothing, almost spiritual.  I could stay here all day!

These videos capture the allure of the crashing waves.


“I go to the sea, and the sea. . . with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”   Rainer Maria Rilke

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.  The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”   Kate Chopin

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”  Rachel Carson

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch—we are going back from whence we came.”  John F. Kennedy

“I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.”   Helen Keller

“The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea.”   Isak Dinesen

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My life is like a stroll on the beach. . . as near to the edge as I can go.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Sponges grow in the ocean. That just ‘gets’ me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.”  Steven Wright

Memories of Summer: Redwood Highway (2017)

In August 2017, I took a driving trip to visit some scenic areas, including Lassen Volcanic National Park and Crater Lake.  Part of that trip included a short drive along the Redwood Highway (Highway 199 out of Oregon that becomes Highway 101 in California). It was a pretty drive, despite some tourist traffic and construction delays.  I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of wildflowers along the road.

I always enjoy wandering through little stands of redwoods.  The small grove I enjoyed on this drive was the Amelia Earhart Memorial Grove, a part of Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park.

A short stretch along the coast is always a treat, even on a cloudy day.

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“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.  The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” 

“There’s more to life than being a passenger.”  

“The fun of it is worth the price.”  

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”   

“Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have a heart to do it.  Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” 

“Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.”   

“Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.”


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