Do you have a minute?
Pull up a chair and I'll give you the lowdown on our trip to Trinidad, on the redwood coast of California, on which we embarked two days after returning home from Virginia. This was our second holiday in the redwoods, a little south of the first, and every sight was new to us.
First, there were three chihuahuas. I called them The Three Amigos.
They ruled the motor home, which belonged to our hosts, Jeff's sister, Theresa, and her crazy husband, Rick.
This is the cast: Theresa and Rick, back right; their neighbours, Bill and Robyn, in front; Rick's Dad and his "friend", back left. "Friend" is hidden behind Bill.
This is the motor home, so kindly shared with us by Rick and Theresa.
And the Three Amigos.
This is the campfire, built by Rick a least a couple of times a day to combat the mist and chill that is the usual weather on the redwood coast.
And around which we sat one night and sang old 70's songs in the key of C.
I must enlarge my uke chording repertoire!
This is Rick, running from a banana slug.
I told him a tale about the sexual habits of banana slugs and he has been afraid of them ever since.
Admit it, you want to know, don't you?
Oh, okay, if you insist!
Banana slugs are hermaphrodites. After they have fertilized each other's eggs upon mating, sometimes it is necessary for them to chew off their male appendages. If, you know, they can't get unstuck.
This is one of the elk that we saw on our first day's trip to Fern Canyon. There were several of the animals, just hanging out between the beach and the road, seemingly unafraid of humans.
Fern Canyon is the kind of place that you would never find unless you went looking for it. We drove for hours (well, it seemed like it) over gravelly, bumpy, narrow, mountainous roads. The redwoods were looking great, but the bumps precluded any magnificent photos. We finally pulled out of the forest at the beach, where the elk were grazing. A short walk later, we were in the aptly-named canyon.
I was glad that I had opted for water sandals instead of walking shoes, even not knowing that we would be wading through streams. The water was wonderfully refreshing...
...except for this one spot wherein resided a million millipedes.
They were nasty and smelled quite revolting.
The rest of the short hike was glorious.
Some of us can't resist climbing for a photo op.
The walls of the canyon were dripping water and all of the foliage was green and glistening and my camera lens got droplet-spotted.
We walked on several beaches. One morning, we unknowingly ended up on a beach that was owned by native Americans.
Well, that was this guy's story, anyway.
He regaled the crew with tales of how he was really a wolf and had seances or something and he demonstrated to Rick how he pukes when he is under the influence of the spirits. Which kind of spirits he did not specify!
I thought Rick would punch him out, but he was remarkably circumspect.
You can see me in the background, pretending I wasn't there.
We found another beach to walk on.
And climbed on a great old redwood for the photo.
I should give credit to Theresa for the remaining photos, as I had packed the wrong charging cord for my camera and wore out the battery in Fern Canyon.
This beach was bordered with some very interesting cliffs. They were clearly stratified and covered in graffiti.
Can you see the layers? There is one layer, not far from the top, that was made of large, round stones that stuck out from the rest.
And now, some gratuitous beach panoramas.
We visited a little memorial lighthouse that was perched on a cliff above the beach.
Jeff and I climbed down to the beach.
Of course we did!
As the sun was setting, we stood on the beach and watched. I had been nagging the boys to find me a nice piece of redwood to take home. Just a smallish one that no one would miss. Theresa thought that maybe this one would do.
But, being from Oregon, where nasty accidents often happen because of logs rolling in the surf, I thought this one might be safer.
Only it wasn't redwood, so I declined.
One morning, Rick's Dad took us all out to breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse. Back in the days of logging redwoods, it used to be a camp cookhouse where all the loggers ate. Food is still served family-style and it was plenteous and delicious.
If you look at the photo on the left, it shows some loggers sitting on a redwood tree. Its diameter was 26 feet. The restaurant is packed with historic treasures from the 1880's to 1920's, when logging of the redwoods was rampant. It kills me that the lumber lords cut down trees that were so magnificent and thousands of years old. I'm not anti-logging, but when I researched the topic, I discovered that redwood is not a good wood for construction because it is fibrous and brittle. Fifty percent of the wood that was cut down didn't even make it to the mills, because it shattered on impact. The wood was used for things like matchsticks, shingles, and fence-posts.
We took the lords of the forest and turned them into matchsticks.
Can we all take a minute and reflect on that?
We visited Ferndale, a quaint little town that is full of astounding architectural details.
This is the house of the original lumber lord. It's now an exclusive country club.
Driving around the streets gave us plenty to admire in the way of residential and commercial architecture.
The morning of July 4th dawned bright and sunny, a pleasant surprise. I took myself off for a (so I thought) short run down the highway. As usual, I bit off a bit more than I could chew and ended up going almost four miles. Considering I hadn't run much in the last few months, I felt pretty good. The campground owners hosted a scrumptiously catered barbecue feast for lunch, so we stuck around and did it justice.
Here's a nibble you can't resist. Picture a waffle-shaped pretzel with a Rolo chocolate slightly melted and pressed on top, then a pecan pressed on top of that.
I ate about a kazillion, and then we went home.