lost coast and the redwoods

Jul 28, 2013

Appropriately named, California's Lost Coast is a stunning 80 mile stretch of rugged shoreline that begins north of Mendocino.  Most of the coast land is undeveloped and quite remote . . . it's like stepping back in time.

Our first destination was Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.  Fifty years ago, locals used to hurl trash right over the bluffs into this small cove.  Once a dumping ground, the beach is now an incredible spectacle of tumbled glass and pottery.

For most our visit, we had the sparkly shore to ourselves- not at all what you'd expect from a California beach.  And we were gifted with beautiful weather. 

Exploring the Lost Coast by car can be precarious.  Undeveloped land means undeveloped roads.  We decided to spend one morning driving down Usal Road, which is a narrow and steep dirt road that hugs the coastline. 

It took us an hour to drive 6 miles, but we managed to make it to the beach without any car mishaps or car sickness.  On the drive, we saw some amazing "candelabra" redwoods, trees that grow multiple trunks. 

From the Lost Coast, we drove to the heart of the redwoods.  We took a scenic 31 mile highway that led us to groves of giant trees.  The fallen tree shown below was 362 ft. tall and 52 feet in circumference.  And it was at least 1600 years old when it finally fell in 1991. 

Walking amongst these giant trees, I couldn't help but think of Tolkein's talking trees in Lord of the Rings.  Ent, after all, means "giant" in Old English.  And Ents were considered the oldest living creatures in Middle Earth. 

That doesn't make sense to me. But, then again, you are very small. - Treebeard, the oldest Ent, to a hobbit.

Oh, how true that is.

summer sale!

Jul 18, 2013

There's a sale in my Etsy shop this week.  Enter SUMMERSALE at checkout and receive 20% off your order of $50 or more.  The sale runs thru Thursday, July 25. 

road trip to cali

Jul 12, 2013

Bridalveil Fall / taken with my vintage camera from Inspiration Point
Hours after summer vacation officially started, our family (dog included) packed into the car and headed to California.  One of the stops on our list was Yosemite National Park.  We visited Yosemite three years ago, but just for the day- not nearly enough time to explore the park's many trails and sites.

This time around, we stayed in a cabin with a close family friend who knows his way around the park.  The Yosemite Valley floor is quite crazy during the summertime (crowds rivaling those at Disneyland), so he led us to more remote spots.  On our first hike, which was a rock scramble up a mountainside, we only saw a total of five people on the trail!

Climbing over loose rocks on a steep grade is quite precarious and nerve-wracking, especially for those not fond of heights (ahem, me).  But, I was determined to see the amazing viewpoint at the top where four of the five major waterfalls in the park can be spotted.  And, apparently, it was at this overlook that a 14 year-old Ansel Adams took his first photos of Yosemite.

Safely back on the ground, we saw two of the waterfalls up close- Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall.  Yosemite Falls actually has its own live webcam that you can view here.  Pretty cool!

Yosemite Falls
engraved tree at Bridalveil Fall

greeted by friendly deer

My favorite time was dusk, when the massive rock walls lit up in beautiful hues of pink, orange, and purple.  In the photo below, you can see the iconic landmark, Half Dome, in the distance.

Our legs were a little soar by the end of our time in Yosemite- a sign of a good adventure.  From the Sierras, we continued our road trip westward.  Next destination: Lost Coast.

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