Day 8: August 9, 2008
Through the Trees
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I almost didn't include my visit with Curan Wright. Our conversation was far from upbeat and left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. It was a foggy morning on the coast and Curan had spent the night in the pull-off with a bad toothache. He said the toothache was almost gone and that he was feeling good but he seemed dispirited. I've since found some related information, including some recent video, on the web here and think I may have misinterpreted things. The fog, the early hour, and the not-quite-gone toothache made things seem more depressing than they really were. Curan has accomplished a lot. He has essentially ridden across the United States and back and plans to do more. In the end, maybe a little discomfort on my part isn't a bad thing.

Welcome to California. I had no rain at all in Washington and only a few drops in Oregon. The first real rain hit shortly after I crossed the California line and then they removed the pavement. The unpaved (it was being repaired.) section didn't last long and neither did the rain but both surprised me.

I'd seen plenty of trees, including big trees, in Washington and Oregon but the Redwoods as a group are bigger. The car sized trunk in the picture is just a typical specimen.

At the Trees of Mystery I strolled through the gift shop and the rather nice Native American Museum but I didn't spring for the full experience. Perhaps I should have but I'm sure I'm not the first to take the photo and run.

Things seemed to clear up quite a it beyond the Trees of Mystery so that I could see both farther down the road and deeper into the forest. These pictures are from the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway.

I stopped in Eureka because this theater caught my eye but the mural directly across from it is pretty cool, too. The stop in Fortuna served to refuel both car and driver. At Eel River Brewing, I tried the Triple Exultation and liked it.

The Avenue of the Giants certainly lives up to its name. Seeing tree after massive tree really is awe inspiring.

Some All-American roadside attractions. I happily contributed a buck to walk through the One Log House and begrudgingly handed over a fiver to drive through a tree. It seems not that long ago that this was reported to cost $3. Of course, the "well, we've come this far" rule applies so I got my picture. In between I made a free stop a the World Famous Tree House. It's unclear if this attraction is even in operation currently. It was closed when I stopped about 4:00 and another traveler reported it closed when he came by on a recent Sunday afternoon.

After driving through a tree, I left US-101 for the twists and turns of CA-1. Signs warn drivers of the road's many curves and for the first fifteen miles or so that's all there is to it. It's lined with (normal sized) trees so there are no particularly scenic views. In fact, it reminded me of North Carolina's Tail of the Dragon whose claim to fame is the number of curves it contains. They can be fun to drive but they're not much to look at. Of course, all thoughts of North Carolina evaporate when the road emerges from the trees to run along the Pacific coast. More awe was inspired here.

My home in Fort Bragg was the Columbi Motel. This motel was built in 1955 and is still operated by the Columbi family. Across the street, the Columbi Market, which serves as the motel's "front desk", was opened in 1933.

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