Pacific Northwest Roadtrip: Very large trees

Disclaimer: I was going to write this post tomorrow night, as I have a pretty rockin headache this evening. But tomorrow, we have to take the cats to the vet, and as it's a production even getting them in their carriers, I think tomorrow I'm just going to want to sit down with a couple glasses of wine. So, apologies for lack of quality writing here. My head, it is pounding. *********************************************************************** So we left off with me sharing that we decided to drive up to Washington state, and you probably rolling your eyes at our crazy nutjob ideas. I can't blame you for that. We did decide, though, that we would see the sites along the way, as we probably would not be making the drive again. This was the perfect opportunity for us to see the largest and tallest of the California redwoods, which are up along the coast near NOTHING else. No towns, no airports, no anything. Just five or six hours north of the Bay Area along winding mountain roads. We've actually had the redwoods on the list of things to see in California since before we moved here, but here we actually found an opportunity to get there. Instead of taking the major interstate north, we took the less traveled, less convenient side road, which, while beautiful, was going to extend our first day of driving by about 4 extra hours. (For those who have ever driven 81 down to Blacksburg, this was like taking the Blue Ridge Parkway...magnificent vistas, but so...much...longer...) Plus, Dan and I are sort of ambling roadtrippers, so our trips are not short. We're liable to stop at any random touristy attraction we see on a billboard...hence our trip to the drive-through tree. And our need to drive all the way through the Avenue of the Giants. And pull over at the One Log House, if only to take pictures and mourn the fact that we arrived just after it closed. I have to tell you, the trees up there are really freakin big. Truly, you can't believe it unless you see it. The Avenue of the Giants is a side road to the previously mentioned side road that winds through the densest parts of the forest alongside some of the tallest, widest, oldest trees. There were several times that we thought we were going to be entering a tunnel up ahead, only to keep driving and see that, nope, just big trees next to the road. They block out the sun. And they smell fantastic. We were lucky enough to be up there when there weren't really other people around, so we spent some time lying down in the middle of the road to try and grasp how small and insignificant we are, and climbing in and around trees that had fallen over. It was really amazing. Even though I was cursing our trip when we entered our 12th hour of driving that day, I'm really really glad we went. Definitely one of my favorite sights so far, you know, in my life. So, this is the Chandelier Tree, is 315 feet high, 21 feet in diameter and it's maximum age is 2400 years. We got to drive through it, because there is a big enough hole in the bottom of it for (small) cars. The hole was made sometime in the late 1930s, and it's one of (I think) 3 drive through trees that are still standing. No more have been created, what with the opinion that this sort of thing is probably really bad for the tree. Here I am actually driving through the tree. It made me super nervous that I was going to get my tiny rental car stuck in there, but nope, all went well. Can you imagine calling roadside assistance on that? "Hi, I went ahead and got my car stuck in a tree...probably going to need a tow truck." These are some big big dense trees along the Aveue of the Giants. No picture is really going to provide the perspective that's necessary, so just believe us when we say really really big beautiful trees. This is a tree we found that has, obviously, fallen over. Again, this picture doesn't really provide a lot of good perspective on the size of this enormous tree. Which is why I have provided the next picture. Scroll down. That's Dan, all six feet of him, standing with lots of room to spare inside that same tree. They are huge. I do not know how else to express this. This is just a pretty shot of the moon near the end of the daylight on day one of our epic drive. Coming soon: Hood River, 3 nights of concerts, Spokane and Idaho. Get excited.


meghan said...

"We're liable to stop at any random touristy attraction we see on a billboard...hence our trip to the drive-through tree."

That is not at all random. That is awesome. And something on my list. I can't even fathom the pictures, so I cant wait to see it myself one day.

ro! said...

i am excited!
hope the headache goes away.
i love the roadtrips. i want to come too!