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11:36 a.m. - 2004-11-04

Tall trees and long ferry lines

Good Thursday morning!!! (although I suspect that by the time I’ve posted this puppy – it’ll be well after noon). Thanks to Laura-Jane for trying to guess the dragon movie from my last entry. It isn’t the dragon from the Neverending Story, besides that’s not a Disney flic. No – it was a Disney movie that came out in the 70’s, and it was liken to the genre of Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The way they mixed cartoon with live action. Darn!! It’s going to bug me that I can’t remember it. I’ll have to do some searching . . .





OK – I’m back and I have succeeded!!
It was Pete’s Dragon which was released in 1977. I knew eventually I’d stumble onto it. Anyway – all that to say that that was the dragon in the light parade that I showed you in my last entry.

Phewww . . . . sometimes I have a tough time moving on don’t I? (don’t answer that)

When I left you last, T and I were beginning the trek through San Francisco. We had picked up highway 101, which leads you directly through the heart of ol’ San Fran. Which surprised me, but then again I don’t design highway’s or where they go. Once through the city, and firmly on the road beginning the great Golden Gate bridge – this is what we saw.

This was in fact the clearest view we had. From the raindrops on the front window you can guess they type of weather we were experiencing. Which pretty much sums up the weather over the next several days.

My brother informed us that this was the first rain that this area had experienced in almost a year. To the point that there were parts of San Fran Bay area that were experiencing flash floods. Now – that’s dry ground!

We stopped in Sausalito for lunch, a very quaint seaside resort town for the wealthy. Or at least at first glance this is this humble tourists opinion. Lunch was great though.

After that we departed and picked up Highway #1, which follows the coast. It was much like many a ride we’d been on at any one of the theme parks we had recently left behind – only more spectacular views. By 8:00 that evening we were exhausted from windy roads, and limited distance taken. Our 2nd night out on highway 1, we stopped at this little place in the redwood forest, just north of Leggett where the 1 meets the 101. We had no idea of our surroundings until we woke early the next morning.

It was beautiful, peaceful, calming, and had really big honkin’ trees!!

In a little, off the beaten path, town in the Humbolt Redwood Forest we stopped for breakkie. This was one of my most favourite dinning experiences. They had the most awesome hash browns I have EVER had!! No really. I wish I could remember the name of the place to send you guys there. This was good eaten!

Side note: T and I have only just recently discovered that we’ve missed an entire roll of film. I found it yesterday and have dropped it off for developing. Within this roll are our pictures from the Redwood forests we travelled through. At one stop along this path we had the opportunity to drive THROUGH a giant redwood tree. And at another point of interest I took a picture of a giant redwood that had fallen centuries ago, but as Tim stands beside its fallen base you see that Tim comes up to less than 1/3rd of its width. It was massive, and confirms to me that when a tree falls in a forest it has to make a sound – and kill a few flora and fauna along the way down.

I’ll share these shots when I get them back.

Once we’d hit the Oregon coast I stood in awe of its rugged beauty.

This picture is indicative of what we saw all along the coast. This picture, however, does not do justice to the majesty of the size of the waves. They had to be, at least, between 8 to 10 feet high. A surfers dream, but alas, hugely illegal to conquer. I often sat transfixed watching the miles and miles of coastline we passed. The Oregon coast has a different flavour than our own wild west coast, but equally as beautiful.

Still in the state of Oregon, but during a time that I’m driving, we round a bend in the road, and T exclaims – “We HAVE to stop here!!! We came here when I was a kid, we’ve got to stop and see this!” So we did.

We took the tour and saw some of the most amazing trees ever. Trees that have stood on this earth so long that other trees have grown out from their limbs. One tree in fact had 12 other trees growing up and out from it’s limbs. Another tree that they believe had fallen over one thousand years ago, (and was still as sound as they day it had fallen) had two other trees that had grown on and over it. These two trees had to be approximately 800 – 1,000 years old themselves. Can you imagine?

I think the highlight for T was seeing his old buddy (statue) Paul and his companion Blue again. I could see by the look in T’s eye he was reliving his childhood. That was a special moment for me, particularly to be able to share this moment with him.

Getting back on the road we continued to track north until we reached Astoria, Oregon. From here we took this great long bridge that spans between Oregon and Washington states.

That’s Washington State you’re looking towards.

I finally felt like we were gaining ground and getting closer to home. This was on the Thursday of that week, and I was seriously looking forward to laying my head down on my own pillow on Friday night in Victoria.

There was nothing much to report from our travels in Washington. Due to time constraints we did not follow the coast, but headed NE up towards Seattle to pick up the Interstate 5 again. However, we have both expressed that we would like to take a week next summer and take the motorcycle and travel the coast of Washington starting at Port Angeles. I think this would be a lovely SUMMER, Motorcycle excursion, not a wet rainy – I want to get home – October drive.

Thursday night found us trying to figure out where to bunk for the night. We were coming up on Lacey, Washington just south of Olympia. We had seen signs for a Motel 8, which in the past has often proven to be clean, safe motels to stay at. Following the directions we completely missed the Motel 8 and found the Holly Motel instead. Forty US dollars a night, and we believe its sister motel in Victoria is the Holiday Motel on Hillside (anyone from around these parts will know what I’m talking about). We were too tired to try to find something a little more . . . desirable. As we laid in the bed that night, all we could think of was if there’d been any suicides, or murders in our room. I expressly remember using the word “cooties” many times. We really should have re-considered. Alas . . . we hightailed it as quickly as we could the next morning.

Up through Seattle, the Peach Arch, and on to the ferries. We pulled into the Tswassen Ferry terminal at 1:10, having just missed the 1 o’clock ferry. Little did we realize that this last leg of our journey would also prove to be the longest time spent in a line up for our whole vacation.

Although this is now a Friday afternoon in late October, the ferries were surprisingly busy. So busy in fact that the 2pm sailing (an extra sailing) was full – we did not load. The 3pm sailing was full – we did not load. And the next ferry wasn’t sailing until 5pm. Which was running 30 minutes late, and we finally boarded at 5:45pm. Doing the math you will see that we sat in the ferry terminal parking for over four hours. Do you realize how boring, tiring, unexciting, uneventful a time this is?

I may have a smile on my face, but all I wanted was my own bed!!!

We arrived on our doorstep at around 8pm. What a long day, but Oh, was I glad to be home. Thankfully I had another 3 days before I had to head back to work. Enough time to catch up on missed sleep, and maybe read a book or two that I never go to on the trip.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip along with me. It’s been several weeks since I’ve had to write stuff here about everyday life, but I’m sure in no time I’ll be back into the swing. Short, concise, and hopefully well written – that’s my aim.

Cheers - LJ

Post Script: Before you send me nasty notes I see that the Trees of Mystery are actually in Northern California. However, since I had already posted this entry I decided to warn you of my error, but not correct it. Please bear with this feeble, elderly mind :-).

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