Big day today…
We hit the road early today as we had a five hour drive up to The Avenue of the Giants. As we passed through San Francisco, we stopped at Mel’s diner. Everyone kept telling us we had to try it out, and it was good, but nothing this trip so far toped or breakfast from The diner of Los Gatos! With ourselves and the car filled up we once again crossed the Golden Gate and started working our way north for the last time.
It was the Friday of the Labour Day long weekend and luckily we escaped the city with almost no traffic. We had to keep an eye on our speed though as we lost count how many state troppers we passed on the way up. Our first port of call on the way up was to stop in the town of Hopland California which would also be where we would be staying tonight.
Not all things would be giant today
Yes, once again Dayna had worked her magic with Airbnb and found someone renting out a Tumbleweed Tiny House along our route. This particular Airbnb was being rented out though through a business and we were getting a bit worried by a lack of communication from they’re part. Wanting to make sure everything was good to go for tonight we popped in to speak to the manager and had them e-mail over all the info we needed. Dayna loves tiny houses, so this was a dream come true for her!
Back Onto the Redwood Highway
We were still an hour or so away from the southern entrance to the Avenue of the Giants when we saw the signs for Chandelier Drive through Tree Park. Up until the early 1900’s people would carve passageways through these Redwoods to try and generate tourism. They’ve now stopped doing so as most of these forests are now protected, but the drive through trees that remain are a sight to be seen.
Just outside of Leggett there’s a quirky little outdoor barbecue called the Peg House. They have a slogan “Never don’t stop”. It’s good advice, we grabbed lunch there and got a few more miles behind us. Another recommendation, don’t spend too much time at every gimmicky tourist spot. There are a ton of them, and a lot of the time what they’re peddling isn’t nearly as impressive as what’s in the park.
The Avenue of the Giants
We took the Southern entrance to the Avenue of the Giants and within 5 minutes we found the Chimney Tree. Its every bit as impressive as the gimmicky gift shop tree house we had just past, but completely free! The centre of this tree had been burned out in a fire a little over 100 years ago. It managed to survive though and is health to this day. Inside the Chimney Tree you have a 12 and a half foot round “room”.
Again these little spots take all of 5 minutes to hop out, look around, snap a few pics. They’re are a ton of little turn off throughout the Avenue of the Giants some with more well know trees like above. Others are quiet little walking trails throughout the park. We found one below where there were a few fallen Redwoods and went exploring. Maybe we’d find Bigfoot!
The Avenue itself is a little over 50km (30miles) and is was probably one of our favourite things we did on this trip. Now Dayna had given me a bit of a hard time when booking this trip for upgrading to the convertible. But what an experience leaning back and seeing those trees tower above you. We probably spent a couple hours winding our way through the park, and goofing around amongst these giant trees.
Last day on the Pacific Coast Highway
At the end of the park, we get back on the highway that runs parallel to the Avenue of the Giants and head back toward Leggett. We grab our second meal of the day at the Peg House (As they say you never don’t stop) and then head towards the coast. We get back on Highway number one, or the Pacific Coast Highway and start heading toward Fort Bragg. The first part of this section is full of hairpin turns and is quite exhilarating!
We had heard about an interesting beach in Fort Bragg, which is what brought us out this way. Apparently up until the 60’s the residents of Fort Bragg dumped there trash in this one particular cove. After it had been shut down, the organic, and biodegradable items had flushed away. Metal pickers salvaged any metal and all that was left was glass and pottery. The sea tumbling it over all these years, has turned is old dump, into the Glass Beach.
By the time we left Fort Bragg the sun had set and and we still had close to a 2 hour drive back to our Airbnb. This was our lesson in reading the reviews before booking. Well, I’ll just end this with the review Dayna left of our experience….
Our Tiny House Experience….