California Adventure Day 6

Day 6 – May 16
I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. Of course…:( We checked out of the hotel and got some breakfast at this really good restaurant called Good Harvest Cafe. We actually haven’t had one bad meal this entire trip! I’ve been able to eat pretty well even with the newly discovered lactose intolerance issue.
We finished breakfast and continued on down the Redwood Highway, Highway 101. My Dad had looked at the weather for the day and it looked like things were supposed to clear up a little later. There wasn’t much picture taking for a while as it was rainy outside. When the rain stopped, I was able to shoot some video and take a few pictures too.
The redwoods were gorgeous! My Dad absolutely LOVES trees. I think he has really enjoyed seeing the different kinds on the trip, especially the redwoods that have such a magnanimous presence. The foggy conditions made the trees look really intimidating. Looking at them made me think of the gigantic trees from “Lord of the Rings.”
Some of the redwoods “hugged” the road and you could see where some cars “hugged” them back.
As we traveled down Highway 101 a ways, we stumbled upon a nice surprise, the Chandelier Tree at Drive-Thru Tree Park in Leggett. We drove down the path towards the tree and saw beautiful intricate wood carvings of animals on both sides of the cozy little road. There were tall redwoods extending to the clouds and smaller trees that looked like twigs. The road slowly winded back and forth peeling back the layers and then…there was ole Chandelier. This tree is absolutely massive and actually still living! After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that people used to carve tunnels through these massive redwoods and sequoias for tourists attractions. They wanted to get people to drive their cars to their parks. There are only a hand full of these drive-thru trees left standing and people are no longer allowed to create them.
My Dad remembers seeing this tree on a Mickey Mouse show when he was younger and I remember seeing a drive-thru tree in a textbook growing up. So this experience was actually really cool! As we approached the tree, a group of tourists that came in on a bus were cheering us on to go through the tree so they could record videos and take pictures. We were not sure that our car would fit so we bypassed the tree and parked the car. We got out and took some pictures and then a mini van approached the tree and made it through. The hole in the tree looked a lot smaller than what it was. We knew then that we could definitely make it through so we looped around and went through. This experience was probably the highlight of our fog-filled day.
We left the tree park and started down the road. A deer came out of the woods and my Dad stopped the car and happily took a picture. The truth is we have not seen much wildlife on this trip.
After the little photo op we began our route south at the northern beginning of scenic Highway 1. The fog kept us from seeing just how vast the ocean was. We saw waves and then just a white void.
We approached a beach with access off the road and turned in. Although it was foggy, this beach was still very beautiful. We trudged through dark gray/brown sand and I marveled at the charcoal colored smooth stones on the shore. The waves crashed on the beach threatening to become the master of anyone who dared to advance the line it made in the sand. The misty look made the beach feel mysterious. Like anything could happen. I felt like I was walking the beach with Chris Martin in Coldplay’s “Yellow” video. It was actually pretty cool to see the beach in this attitude.
We continued down the highway a ways and my Dad suggested we back track and stay in a nice little town that had a lot of food and lodging options that we had already passed through. He mentioned that we had come to drive this beautiful highway and we were unable to really take in the beauty given the weather condition.
He pulled the car over at a turnout and put on the hazards so that we could find our hotel for the night. As we sat there with barely any service, a sheriff pulled up and asked if we needed help. We told him that we were from Texas and just driving the highway and were thinking about turning around due to the foggy conditions and continuing on our drive tomorrow. He told us that the fog would be moving out tonight and tomorrow should be a beautiful day. He suggested a place we could stay up ahead but we really did want to see more of Highway 1, that we had already passed, in a sunshiny state. We thought it was very nice that he stopped to check on us and had mentioned the place further down the road.
We traveled back to Fort Bragg and grabbed our second pizza of the trip. We got a pepperoni pizza half with cheese and half without. The man behind the counter was very pleasant and carried on a short conversation with me as I ordered. He delivered the pizza to us and had given my Dad a little more than half the pizza with an extra little sliver that had cheese on it. I thought it was really considerate that he cared enough to cut the slices so there was no trace of cheese on my half. We finished eating the delicious pizza and I said goodbye to the gentleman behind the counter. My Dad said, “I guess you guys had quite the conversation!”
We found our way to the hotel and were welcomed by a very nice lady at the front desk. Her and her husband are from Arkansas. We had mentioned what we were doing and she told us about all of the landslides this year. We came at a really good time because the highway had just opened back up in many areas. She showed us a video about a part of the highway that they had cleared and were about to reopen when a landslide came rushing down. (video below)
She said her and her husband were planning to move back to Arkansas. I don’t think she is too crazy about all the landslides and road closures.
The hotel room decor is a little quirky. The bathroom is the most slippery bathroom I have ever been in. The floor is all tile and there is a stand up shower that is made with all of the same tile. And there is no vent fan. So after taking a shower, the tile floor was extremely slick. I survived though!
We are really looking forward to a beautiful day tomorrow!
Come back for Day 6 video!

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