When we were planning our trip to Reno, Jason casually suggested that we take a detour from our route and spend a couple days in San Francisco.
Although Jason likes traveling, he's not really a huge fan of road trips, so I was quite surprised he had thought of such a wonderful idea without any begging from me. Before he changed his mind, I posted our plans on Facebook, which is my equivalent to having him sign a contract.
You can't back out now, buddy. I Facebooked our plans.
Oh yeah. Commitment comes by way of status postings.
When we started talking about San Francisco, we thought we better take a drive through the Redwoods (to show Sydney), and then, well golly gee, there's a Six Flags just an hour east of San Fran, and oh my goodness gracious, could I please please please meet up with a longtime blog friend in San Francisco?
And what was initially going to be a "spend a night in SF" turned into "spend 2 nights in SF, go to Six Flags, meet with Nikki, and wander around the piers of SF."
It was fabulous.
Since it's a long drive from here to SF--especially since we were taking a long detour by going along the California coastline rather than the direct route down I-5--we headed out at 3:30 am. We were sleepy, yes, but when traveling with kids, sometimes it's best to go during the hours that they are most likely to sleep.
By breakfast time, we had already driven through Oregon and were in Crescent City, a town I've visited many times on account of having family there. After a hearty McD's breakfast, we were off to the Trees of Mystery.
Sydney did an American Folklore unit in her music class, so she was quite familiar with the friendly characters greeting us off Highway 101: Paul Bunyan and his beloved blue ox Babe. Paul and Sydney chatted for awhile (truly, they did. there's a guy (inside Paul?) who operates a mic and chats up all the tourists who wander by), then we headed out to see the mysterious trees.
Ronald Reagan is misquoted as saying, "If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all."
That wasn't exactly what he said, but for whatever reason, he wasn't really a fan of the redwoods.
As for myself, I could fill a whole memory card in my camera with redwood photos.
They are amazing trees.
They are so tall. And so big around. It's awe inspiring to stand next to a tree that's been around for hundreds--some even more than 1000--years old. Many years ago, I went camping in the Redwood National Park, and it was an unforgettable experience.
Sydney wanted me to take her picture on top of this huge stump. It was one impressive stump.
This tree formation is called a Cathedral Tree; it forms like this naturally when the center tree dies and other trees grow up off the root. According to a plaque at the tree, people get married there, although I did a quick Google image search and couldn't find any traditional wedding pictures at the Cathedral Tree. So. Who knows.
A family tree! Can you spot the other trees growing up off the branches of the main tree?
At the end of the trail, we took a gondola ride up through the redwoods. (By the way, Gretchen: the SkyTrail lift was manufactured in Grand Junction, a little fact that made me think of you as I was floating over the tops of the trees.)
Sydney loved it, and I pretended to love it, although I kept imagining the cable snapping and our little cart plummeting to the earth below.
Yes, I have an active imagination and have seen too many movies. (Speaking of movies, there's some great footage of the redwoods in The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which Jason and I saw last weekend and really enjoyed. The plot and dialogue isn't anything spectacular, but the cgi is AMAZING.)
Eventually we wandered out of the Trees of Mystery, and got back on the road headed to Vallejo.
Our day of traveling would have been considerably shorter if we hadn't taken the time to explore the redwoods, but I'm so glad we did.
I suppose as a native PacNWer, loving trees is in my DNA. But I think even a non-tree hugger would marvel at redwoods and be thankful that long ago California decided to protect these majestic trees.
Tomorrow's photos: Six Flags!