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Posts tagged ‘Redwoods’

Winter Trip Stop 8: CHANDELIER DRIVE-THRU TREE

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.

CHANDELIER DRIVE-THRU TREE, LEGGETT, CALIFORNIA

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 5: JEDEDIAH SMITH REDWOODS STATE PARK

My friend and I were about halfway through our wonderful Winter Trip.  The plan was to start heading home, but we opted to take the longer, more scenic route than to just drive quickly down I-5. This day’s drive was simply taking us from Medford, Oregon, to Eureka, California.  We traveled along Highway 199, also known as the Redwood Highway, eventually connecting with Highway 101 in California.

It was raining a bit that day, but we still knew the drive would be gorgeous as it skirted along various redwood state parks.  We knew we would stop and explore any location that looked especially enticing.

Eventually, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park along Highway 199 about nine miles east of Crescent City caught our eye and became the fifth stop of our trip.  We entered the park near its campground where there is easy view of and access to the Smith River that runs through the park.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park was created in 1939. It protects 10,430 acres of redwoods. The park was named after Jedediah Smith, the first white explorer who—in 1826—made a two-year trapping expedition into the area.  Today, the park is considered the most unspoiled redwood park.  Although it has 18 miles of hiking trails, there are great stands of old-growth redwoods that are not accessible via trails.  The park is a popular location for fishing and offers 100 campsites.

SOME VIEWS OF THE SMITH RIVER, POPULAR FOR SALMON

THESE LITTLE WATER FALLS ON THE OPPOSITE BANK MUST BE OVERFLOW FROM ALL THE RAIN

SMALL PART OF THE CAMPGROUND & PICNIC AREA

I LOVE WANDERING THROUGH THESE BIG TREES

We had a great time exploring this lovely spot!  Then we continued on our way, heading to Eureka for the night.

Do you remember Star Wars: Return of the Jedi?  Where there is a speeder race through some redwoods?  That scene was partially filmed in a part of the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  Here’s the video clip! WHAT A RIDE!

OF COURSE, THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THE REDWOODS!

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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QUOTES FROM AMELIA EARHART

“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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