Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An ant in a room of pencils

One of the facts about reading my blog is just that you're lucky sometimes to have my vacation reports pop up - complete with cute pictures of my adorable kids.

This just happens to be one of those lucky days.
First tree sighting was actually at the petrified forest. Very cool to see these fossilized tree parts.

We spent the last week of the year in Northern California and specifically we went to see the Giant Redwoods.

Well not all of the giant redwoods but some of them. Enough to get the idea that they are simply massive. It's a great trip - very humbling about our place on the planet because they are sooooo big and soooo very ancient.
Driving up. In our experience most of this trip was driving. There are highways through the forests and the "attractions" are old fashioned road-side attractions like the drive-thru tree or the chimney tree. Go slow and be prepared to stop - a lot. Every attraction has a gift store.

If your curious - which would be if you've stumbled on this blog because you too are planning a trip to see Giant Redwoods with your kids we flew into San Francisco and headed North to Garberville. Which was our base for the Humbodlt State Forest Redwoods because it's near the Avenue of the Giants. We were a little confused planning the trip because we were looking for "the" redwood forest which isn't how it is.

In fact there are about 36 state forests in California that feature Giant Redwoods. They grow all the way up to Canada so there are a lot more places to see them than we found. I have no idea which ones are the best but this is where we went. Fwiw, If you end up in Garberville, CA I recommend the Best Western - all the other motels are a little long in the tooth in a creepy Bates Motel a la Psycho kind of way.

Huge. Huge. Huge. This is from the Avenue of the Giants which is a small road sort of next to CA101 that winds through the forest.
 Confusion Hill
Once I figured out to go slow and stop often we stopped at all the "hokey" road-side attractions. This is the gravity house on Confusion Hill which was Jack's favorite thing of the whole trip. It's apparently an old trick of just a tilted house but boy was it weird. We stopped here twice. There is sadly not a repeat discount and also the train doesn't run in the winter, fyi.

On our first little hike my daughter said she felt like an ant in a room full of pencils - I thought that was a really good description of what it feels like to walk around the bottoms of these huge trees.
This was actually the biggest tree in the world before it fell. (According to the brochure in Founders Grove) It just went on and on and on. There were signs saying "please don't climb" but I couldn't really keep the kids off of it and I tried my best to turn it into a biology lesson about the tree going back to the earth.

Sometimes where the trees fall they have to cut them to clear the path. Amazingly these trees can be 800-1500 years old. It's just mind boggling.
The weather was nice and cool while we were there. I did three light - very light days of jogging while we were out there.

We also did 2 days in San Francisco - normal San Fran stuff - sea lions, Chinatown. And 2 days in Napa which isn't the most kid friendly spot since it's really all about the wine but instead of tasting we went ice skating, saw old faithful and up the tram at Sterling.

And that's it. Now it's time to get back in the groove of training.

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