24 December 2005

On The Road Again

Whoo….On the road again and already have some catching up to do. We spent a couple days on the Southern Oregon coast after leaving Portland on the 21st. While we were there we spent some time with my folks and Bill and I went to the Shore Acres State Park festival of lights. http://www.shoreacres.net Click on the link to the Holiday Lights to see some pics. It was really beautiful and I’m glad we went to see it. They had a ton of lights and several really cool animated light sets. I particularly liked the underwater scene…complete with duck-butt swimming at the top…which was the top of the water.

So we left Southern Oregon on the 23rd and arrived in Crescent City, CA to see the Redwood Forest and spend Christmas here, the first Christmas alone for Bill and I since the first year we were together. It’s weird not having a thousand things to do or think about, or a big dinner to orchestrate. We bought a 3.5 lbs ham and some potatoes…neither of us knew what to think about that.

We arrived yesterday, set down, and did a driving recon of the city of Crescent City. We found the grocery store, the post office and the information center for the Redwood Forest. We also drove out to Battery Point and saw the lighthouse there. The jetty here was really something. You can walk all the way to the end if you are willing to get wet, notice the wave crashing over the jetty and the people walking on it, Bill and I haven’t walked it yet and we may not depending on time. The lighthouse is pretty cool. There is a trail that leads out to the island the lighthouse sits on, but you can only get there during low tide. It wasn’t low tide while we were there, so we didn’t trek over to the island. I would list stats on the lighthouse but I left the info in the truck and we are currently getting beaten up by wind and rain…that story in a minute.

Today, Christmas Eve, Bill and I drove out to explore the Redwood Forest….WHAT AN AWESOME PLACE! There are scenic drives that just have your jaw in your lap and your eyes like saucers. We stopped at one and all I could do was turn in a circle and just shake my head. Those areas just command reverence. You almost don’t want to speak, just be quiet and listen to what the trees have to tell you. They are AWESOME. There are simply not words to describe it. The pics won’t even come close. You have to stand among them to understand the feelings they invoke. It was slightly foggy today and that just added to the mystery of it all. The woods whispered of ancient things, secret things, and I couldn’t help but feel completely grounded, connected, and utterly in awe of my surroundings. It’s truly a spiritual place. We had to take a pic of Hi’iaka (the hula girl) because we’ve forgotten to take pics of her in other places. Incredible, even now I’m speechless trying to think of how to put into words the feeling of standing among those ancient beings. The Native Americans refer to trees as The Standing People: REDWOOD is the Grandmother Spirit of the forests. It is unending Truth, ultimate wisdom and knowledge. Taken from http://www.manataka.org/page15.html I guess I wanted to put this in here because this is how I feel about it all.

We also had to drive through the ‘Tour Thru Tree’. This isn’t actually part of the National or State Parks in the Redwoods, but it’s fun and I think if you come this far you have to do it. We have collapsible mirrors on the truck and it’s a damn good thing we do. If Bill hadn’t collapsed the mirrors…he never would have made it through that tree. We only had about 2-3 inches on either side of the truck. Tight fit, but we made it. Bill said it was pretty hair raising to be the driver through it…he wasn’t entirely sure he wasn’t going to wedge the truck in there. I was guiding him through and even still he kept stopping and waiting for me to tell him it was ok to continue.

And last but not least, I had to share this pic. It just looked too much like something out of a fairytale, or maybe a Jim Henson Production to not take a picture of. Everywhere we looked in the Redwoods we saw magic. What an amazing place.

I know this post is going to be long, but I just have to add the latest in our crisis that occur on the road. We arrived here with only minor wind and rain. Set up, had a fine day yesterday, and a beautiful day today in the Forest. Came home, had a quiet dinner, looking forward to a quiet night in the Redwoods. Peaceful Christmas Eve, keep checking the PBS channel for the Nutcracker, nice, wonderful….perfect….until the storm came. Buckets of rain, heavy winds, really heavy winds…so heavy in fact that they ripped the awning off the side of our RV. FUN, pitch black, pouring rain and Bill was out trying to figure out how to get the remains of our awning off our RV (it's now a bundle of twisted metal and torn awning material under our trailer) before it ripped the whole side off our house. Bill was soaked to the bone and covered in bits of tree that were being blown around. BRILLIANT! Merry Christmas!!!