Thursday, July 20, 2006

Those tall, tall trees

Hello from wine country. Getting here was more of an adventure than we had anticipated, and we have lots of tales to tell, including a close encounter with a guy who looked a lot like this:

That picture, of course, was taken by someone who is not in our current traveling party. But the subject of the photo is entirely close to the actual size, shape and appearance of the rascal that nearly took off our front bumper.

But first, we pick up where we left off yesterday.

To recap, it's Tuesday. We have driven south from Sunset Bay, on our way to Eureka. We were in something of a rush, because Carter House promised cocktail and hors d'oeuvres hour, plus we had 8 p.m. reservations for dinner. (See previous post for those delectable details.)

On the way, though, we got our first taste of the redwoods.

That's Kristin, standing in front of a really big tree. And that's not even close to the biggest one we saw. These trees are mammoths. They are giants standing out, hovering over all men who are in their presence. Christian's vocabulary was reduced to: "Look at that tree!" "Ooh, look at THAT tree!" "Wait, look at THAT tree!"

From the trees to the coast, much of which looked a lot like this:

As we attempt to describe and document what we've been seeing, we're running into a dilemma. How do you begin to express all this? The majesty of the redwoods isn't about one impressive tree, or even a grove of them. It's the sheer overwhelming majesty of the whole -- the size, the scope, the scale, the density. Same for the coast. It's such rugged, sweeping beauty, but it's all about the scale -- tiny us next to massive cliffs and expanses of ocean.

So to Wednesday. A heavy driving day, as we're getting from Eureka all the way to Healdsburg, and we're not taking the quickest route. Far from it.

First, we got off the 101 to drive down the fabled Avenue of the Giants -- the tallest trees in the world. More choruses of, "Look at all those TREES!"

Then we continued down California's famous Hwy. 1, a twisty and windy drive that continues offering sweeping views of the coast, scattered with thick clumps of redwoods that surprise you along the way.

We drove along Mendicino County, then into Sonoma County, home of wine country. We turned off the 1 onto what looked on our map like a major road that would take us straight into Healdsburg. 20 minutes, we figured. Yeah, right. It turned out to be a narrow, snaking road, full of switchbacks and roller coaster dips and rises, winding along through the mountains. Kristin had entirely too much fun whipping our little car through the twists and turns, grinning broadly and laughing as she whisked us back and forth. Fortunately, Christian doesn't get carsick!

We had just topped this mountain in wine country when he, the wild boar, jumped out of the brush to our right, and nearly plowed into our car. He was mean, dirty and didn't seem bothered by the car barreling toward him. He bounded across the road into the underbrush, and that was the last we saw of him.

We're about to go off wine tasting, so we'll fill in yet more details this evening. However, we have already learned a lot on this trip. One of the most surprising nuggets of information was learning that Superman moonlights.

But when we hit Eureka, we learned that Superman, a.k.a. Tranny Man, makes other lifestyle choices, too.

Disturbing? You bet.

Off to sample the grapes. More later!


  • Are you sure you guys aren't on the road to Emerald City in Oz? Does the refrain, "Lions, and boars and trees! Oh My!" ring a bell? If you find yourselves visiting wineries and feeling bombed by the end of the day, you will have found yourselves in the shoe leather of many who have gone that way before you! 8>0 Enjoy!

    By Anonymous beer goddess, at 2:25 PM, July 20, 2006  

  • Sounds like y'all were in Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!! Ha!
    The scenery has to be absolutely undescribable. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
    Love, Mom

    By Blogger djbottorff, at 3:07 PM, July 20, 2006  

  • Okay, you two...did the wild boar story really happen???? This is questionable. See what happens when you cry boar...I mean, bear...I mean, wildcat...I mean, wolf!! Ha!! Love, Mom

    By Blogger djbottorff, at 6:33 PM, July 20, 2006  

  • Yes, the wild boar story really happened. We realize we might have stretched the truth just a wee bit when we said a bear mauled Christian's face and ripped Kristin's foot off, but this really happened.

    By Blogger CK1, at 8:25 PM, July 20, 2006  

  • OK, you guys are making me incredibly jealous! I spent 8 years in Northern California and never stopped being amazed by Highway 1. I never got over being car sick driving it either. Back when we were still young (AKA "B.C." - before Caroline) Dave and I loved to ride our bikes through sample a little wine, hop on your bike, and by the time you get to the next winery you have managed to burn off all of the alcohol! What could be better? If you guys have the chance, we particularly enjoyed Frog's Leap...on one trip there they sent us home with a huge bag of fresh vegetables out of their garden.
    Next week I will be in "Long Island Wine Country." Just not the same.
    katie (k)allan

    By Blogger Katie (K) A, at 9:10 PM, July 20, 2006  

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