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Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Trees of Mystery

US TRAVELS: WEST COAST
DAY 4: GOLD BEACH, OR TO SAN FRANCISCO, CA


Credit: Melissa Lehuta
I continued my journey down Highway 101's winding roads toward San Francisco. I left the oceans side and was quickly surrounded by lush forest, the smell of campfire and the sound of Sebastian snoring away on my lap. The dense forest eventually turned into towering mountains and prairie land and I felt a bit like an ant.

Credit: Melissa Lehuta
I noticed hints of California approaching when I hit McKinley, Oregon only to be taken off-guard by the arrival of the Redwood forest. A 49-foot-tall Paul Bunyan and 35-foot-tall Babe the Blue Ox made a sudden appearance at The Trees of Mystery in the middle of nowhere (also known as Klamath, California) so I decided to stop and take a look around. They had a Skytrail available for $15 that includes a short hike through some of the largest and weirdest trees (some were even featured on Ripley's Believe it or Not!) then a gondola ride up to the top. I was told that the trail plus the gondola ride and back would take about an hour to an hour and a half total and that dogs were more than welcome to join so I decided to buy a ticket.


Credit: Melissa Lehuta



Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta
 Sebastian and I took off up the trail, reading all the info they have posted along the way and taking in the surroundings. It's amazing how big and how tall some of these trees were and how adaptive they are to their environment. There were trees growing on top of trees, trees growing two different directions and lightning trees. It was very peaceful and the Native American carvings along the way were very cool. They even had a spot for marriage ceremonies.

Once we hit the end of the trail, we waited in line for the gondola ride up to the top. Sebastian looked at me nervously when I think he realized we were going to have to hop on one of those things ourselves. I noticed two biker dudes hanging out behind me in line and when it was my turn they asked if they could join me. I was more than happy to let them accompany me and thought it would be awfully silly to ride by myself when most gondolas were carrying families of 2-6 people.

Credit: Melissa Lehuta
When I asked them about their trip and where they were from, their thick German accent became quite apparent. The older gentleman spoke very good English while the other mans was a little rough. They explained that they were from Germany and had flown into Seattle for a motorcycle expedition to central California. They were very quiet and there were a few times when the gondola stopped in mid-air and I found myself talking too much. They just smiled and nodded.




Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Once we got to the top an employee informed us that we were 571 feet up. We made our way to the viewing dock but I was a bit disappointed and the view was a bit anticlimactic. Sebastian and I ended up getting back in line with the two gentlemen we went up with and decided to head back together as well. They told me all about their time in Seattle and how they really enjoyed it which made me miss it a bit. On the way back down the trail, Sebastian decided that they were now part of the pack, ditched me and trotted happily between them.

Credit: Melissa Lehuta
We said our goodbyes and I was back on the road! I was determined to make it down to San Francisco by the end of the day. I made it but unfortunately found out that even the crappiest most run-down hotels were still $100+ per night and it wasn't the San Francisco I remember. People were mean and unfriendly and the city was covered by an awful smog. After my last attempt at finding a room in South San Francisco, I was exhausted and decided to get some use out of the bed I set up in the back of the car and camped out outside of a 24-hr Denny's (hence no post yesterday).

1 comment:

  1. Melissa, I feel like I am on vacation with you! You have been busy....- Carolyn

    ReplyDelete