We woke up the next morning to some nippy weather! Such a welcome change from the heat! Look at the hanging flower baskets at our hotel! Spectacular!
They were so pretty and I gotta believe you can grow anything in the northwest!
We were close by Oregon so we cruised by there to see their stadium. It was really cool and the new part they added that is a workout area was really modern. Neat place.
Then we headed south. The view was so pretty. It was a lovely drive.
Lots of logging trucks on the route with some really big trees! We also drove through some smoke from a forest fire. It was way off, but the smoke was definitely in the air.
We stopped at a rest stop and the boys threw a football around. Chip and his new receiver gloves. Pretty sweet.
Cute boys with Dad. Look how tall Harry is getting! Stop it! Right now! Just stop that growing!
Cute boys with Mom.
TUNNEL!! You would have thought hubby spotted a million dollars in the road. He was so excited about this tunnel. He pulled over to take a picture and then did a celebratory donut with the car in the dirt parking lot. The kids thought it was awesome. I was looking at him like he had lost his marbles. He looks at me with a shrug and says "I like tunnels. What can I say?"
We pulled over at lots of little places along the way, but this one in Smith River Canyon was one of my favorites. Isn't it beautiful?
The water was crystal clear and ice cold.
And just babbling like the beautiful mountain brook that it was.
Harry was trying to jump out to the middle of it. I was sure he was going to get wet, but he didn't.
Then we saw our first Giant Redwood! I mean, can you even grasp the scale of that tree! Look at the people. Look at the car! It is a HUGE tree! At this point I am able to mark #3 off of my 50 Things To Do Before I Am 50 List. I have a ton of things left to do, but it was surely a treat to see these natural wonders.
We continued down Hwy 101 and just kept pulling over to admire the view.
We ran into lots of interesting smells on our drive. At one point Chip says "Do you smell Pencil Lead?" It smelled exactly like pencil lead. Then later Harry says "God, it smells like Cheerios with a hint of urine." He was dead balls on with that one....it smelled exactly like Cheerios with a hint of urine. So funny!
We were getting no where fast. Too much to see! All along this two lane winding road there were people on bikes. Bicycles. The pedaling kind with no motor. What is wrong with these people?
Then we cruised by the Trees of Mystery and it is kind of a corny Redwood park that we just couldn't resist. This is a Giant Paul Bunyan and his Ox.
The boys are highlighting the giant private parts of the ox.
The boys waiting on the Sky Trail.
Inside the Sky Trail, a lift going high up the mountain.
Me and Harry! We spent about an hour or so here and then we needed to get to the Avenue of the Giants to see the real Redwood Forest.
This was another of the most remarkable places we stopped. It was not even a mile into the Avenue of Giants. There was a downed tree which gave such a different perspective on the size of these babies. We were the only car pulled over and it was really kind of eerie. It is dark in the Redwoods. Very still and quiet.
Look at the root of this tree next to Chip! My goodness it was enormous.
Then Harry scampered up on top of it, then that caused the other two fellas to find a way up on the tree. Then they walked the whole length of it. Taking pictures. I'm all....let's go! We have 25 more miles of Redwood Forest to see! We need to find the tree to drive through. I believe they could have hung out on this tree all day long.
We stopped at many other places. Look at Chip at the base of that tree. HUGE.
I wish you could understand the scale of these trees. It is hard to grasp in person, so I know these pictures are just not doing it justice!
The drive thru tree! We found it!!
Damn - it is going to be tight!
Pull in the side view mirrors!
Everyone suck it in!
We made it through!
Once we exited the Avenue of the Giants we were heading to our hotel for the next few nights. It was a little place in Shelter Cove that was about 21 miles west of Hwy 101. Right on the water. I had called and talked to the owner before we left and he was great. Gave us lots to tips which we followed for our drive down from Portland. He told us to stop in Redway for some groceries cause they didn't have anything in Shelter Cover. We did. It was a Hippie paradise.
Then came what will forever be known to me as...
THE DRIVE OF DEATH!!!
The road from Redway to Shelter Cove was hideous. The sun was going down fast and the fog was rolling in. This road was supremely curvy, steep, winding, foggy, mountainous, one lane in some places, no guard rails....twenty one miles of nail biting (maybe a little bit of screaming) trying not to barf horror.
When we finally came out at the hotel the brakes were literally SMOKING!!!
It was horrible. It would have been hysterical if it hadn't been so terrifying. Harry was singing a crazy made up song the whole time we were driving that was just distracting enough that I didn't make Hubby pull the car over so I could walk.
Chip had on his motion sickness bands and was still turning green.
But we made it! Sweaty, frightened mess (that was probably just me!) and thankful to be alive. It was getting late by the time we arrived so we unloaded everything and went to bed. I dreamt all night of hiring a helicopter to lift our car out of Shelter Cove so we wouldn't have to drive out. Can you even imagine? Thinking that flying in a helicopter, lifting a car would be a better option that driving? It would too! I totally would have paid for that!