Monday, 12 December 2016

The Road Trip North - Day 11. San Rafael CA to Eureka CA via Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Sad to leave our homely AirBnB and a quick stop at Safeway to stock up for the road. Its a long push north on the 101, and thankfully there is no rain and no chance of snow. Michael keeps me awake with talk of code as I am so sleepy from too much rest in our wonderful yellow room. The scenery changes from vineyards to forest and we pass through many a quaint tourist town that we assume must be bustling in the summer.

As we approach Leggett thoughts turn to lunch and we notice a sign for the famous Chandelier drive-through tree. We follow its directions and find ourselves paying the $5 fee, then driving through a tunnel through a tree. Such fun that I made Michael do it twice, and then we visited the gift shop and made use of the facilities. Finally it was cheese bagel time parked up at the side of the road.

On to Humboldt Redwood State Park, where we picked up the leaflet for the auto tour and followed its route through the Avenue of the Giants; and giants they were. We stopped off at a number of points along the 32 mile scenic drive and followed a few of the trails. Marvelling at these trees stretching far above us and peering inside the ones that had become caves, all the while keeping a watchful eye for banana slugs though, alas, we saw none.

We needed to find somewhere to sleep for the night, and as the AirBnB had worked out so well we looked for another, the one we found in Eureka was half the price of the cheapest motel, and so it worked out well once again. We had a quick explore in the town before dusk and Michael bought a spicy Mexican hot chocolate in a cafe so that I could use their restroom; once the purchase was made I was handed a tiny key attached to a giant spoon to allow me passage into the room.

Once settled into our accommodation we realised that we had better start looking for flights to get us to England at the end of the month. Initially shocked at the prices, but we eventually bought a more reasonably priced option from Vancouver, albeit with a four hour stop in Calgary. So now I will be arriving back in London exactly one year and one day since I last left.