We decided to do the road trip with another couple who happens to be our dear friends. They haven't been to this part of the state either and while I took over the mapping of our itinerary, R, the male friend, was more thorough with the area. He was more interested in the weather. It seemed that the forecast called for rain and gloom in late May. It wasn't a surprise to me, although in some parts it was. I didn't really pay too much attention to the fact that the more northern you go the cooler the temp is. Anyway, I was still excited to go despite the impending rain and fog. Hey, fog isn't a foreign concept to us who lives in the Bay Area. It is our constant companion year-round.
Did the unthinkable, I slept the first hour of the road trip and we left at 10 am, so early for a nap, but just the same I found myself sliding into dreamland. How did I know I was out for an hour at least? I missed Santa Rosa, which is an hour's drive from home, and where we had the road trip last February. When I awoke we were nearing Willits.
Highway 101 is pretty scenic. While this part of Highway 101 leaves the coastal scene, the landscape changes into rugged redwood forests and wineries.
The Eel River was our constant companion through most of our drive.
AVENUE OF THE GIANTS
The main reason for this road trip was to see and drive through the Avenue of the Giants. Because I can't fully describe the magnitude and the magnificence of this place I'd borrow the words that were on the website to describe this spectacular place:
This world-famous scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101, which parallels Freeway 101 with its 51,222 acres of redwood groves. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500 mile redwood belt and is accessible to all with convenient services provided along the way. The Avenue of the Giants is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world.
Throughout the 31 miles lie small towns that are quaint and charming. They offer accommodations, dining, and attractions. There is no dearth of lodging around here.
We stopped often and got out, hugged some tree, walked under them, explored their hollowed out trunks while the entire tree is still alive, drove through a live tree and of course photographed everything.
Road is flanked by wall of verdant evergreens.
.....to be continued.....