We headed to the Redwoods National Forest today. Many people staying at the Days Inn at Ukiah (another plug there) were going south to a car rally but we preferred looking at nature. The place to be was around Eureka.
But on our way there, I noticed there were lots of casinos and smoke shops. In Australia, we have very few casinos – in fact in Tasmania there are only two – one in Hobart and one in Launceston. I wonder why there are so many of them up the west coast of USA?
Remember yesterday, I said we were going to drive through a tree. Well, look at me in that picture – up near the windshield wiper – Miss W drove the car and a lady from Germany took the photo for her. Travelling is a great way to make new friends.
We then got off Highway 101 and followed the old road through the ‘Avenue of the Giants”- these are the redwood trees found along a 400 mile stretch of northern California coastline. Another picture of me, you might need to zoom in to see me near the fern. In certain parts of the Tasmanian wilderness you can also see huge trees around the Styx Valley. How are the redwoods different to the gums?
When we stopped at a visitor centre, they mentioned that not all the redwoods are separate trees – many are clones of the parent tree. This is because of the funny knots you can see on the outside of the base of the tree. Do you know what these are called and how they form a clone of the tree? Yesterday I mentioned that cloud forming near the coastline – well that too is very important for the growth of the redwoods.
Further north, we visited the Humboldt wildlife reserve. Miss W noticed many of the birds to be seen here could also be found in the marshland near her school in Tasmania. I wonder if some of those birds fly here as part of their migration pattern? We saw an egret in the marshland and just as we were leaving I noted a funny looking dead snake out the window, so of course, we had to go back to get a picture of it. I wonder what it is called?
The other animal mentioned in all the brochures is elk. Going through the area north of Eureka called Orick there are designated areas where elk are often seen. Again we turned off Highway 101 and about 200 metres from the road, there was this magnificent elk heading straight to our car. Miss W stayed in the car, with the engine running, as male elk can charge at over 35 mph. Luckily this fellow just dawdled across the road in front of the car to the paddock or field of food on the other side.
Miss W likes to pull off the road before it gets dark – she doesn’t have good night vision like me. So we are staying in Crescent City but I have noticed all up the coastline and especially here, the mention of tsunamis. Apparently people died in Crescent City back in 2006 after a tsunami hit. She has looked in the guest directory and found the route we have to take if a tsunami warning goes off. Hopefully we make it through the night and have a chance to tell you our tales again tomorrow night from somewhere in Oregon.
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