Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Rain and redwoods

It was sunny when we went over to the Glass Beach at Fort Bragg; once the town dump, now the problem is stopping people taking away the pretty driftglass that keeps washing up, though I'm sure some folks add to the raw materials too. Lovely surf to watch and rocks to scramble over and a bold seagull inspired by Bodega Bay. Still sunny as we walked for a while in Van Damm state park, by the Little River under the redwoods. It clouded over a little as we drove past the lighthouse with the 1908 original Fresnel lens that sent the light from a  kerosene map 14 miles out to sea, though we didn't notice when we were watching the glassmaker at Glass Fire and drooling over jelly fish lamp shades and buying a necklace of glass hearts and buying blackberry ice cream for lunch at Cow Licks.

We ate the ice cream gazing out to sea and seeing surf and seals but no whales. We stopped at another overlook for a last glimpse of sea before the 1 turned inland and twisted up and down over the hills. We stopped at a redwood grove labelled up by a 'responsible' forestry company and I couldn't resist snarking it. This is a tree that fell over; you can't blame us. This one caught fire; not us! This was the wind; don't blame us! This one is just old. This isn't even a redwood. Not our fault! Er, yeah, we cut this one down - but hey, look, squirrel! The honey bucket was also perched inside a rusty digger on caterpillar tracks in a scary post-industrial woodland fantasy way...

We also drove through a  drive-through tree - just like the one in the Look and Learn book I had as a kid; I can still see the illustration in my head, with the car and the 50s clothes and the sense of being on holiday in a world becoming tomorrow. Rather special to do it, even though driving through a  tree is kind of cheesy.

We drove up and down the 101 and the Avenue of the Giants as the rain started; so many twee redwood attractions - the one-log houses, the treehouses, the burl carvings, the Hobbiton US with the scary Gandalf-alike and hobbit houses sunk into the hillside (the talking book guide was unplugged and the orcs were shrouded in plastic so we avoided the wrath of Smaug... Spent the night at the Best Western in Fortuna where the jet in the hot tub is the most powerful I've ever sat down on by accident, had dinner at a diner where the waitress's conversation with the customers in the next booth was so easy to rewrite as porn dialog even though it was totally innocent. Coffee from Schotz in the morning, which has a fabulous Charles Rennie Macintosh logo then back through the redwoods which are awesome even in slightly grey skies. Stopped for a wine tasting at Riverbed Cellars in Malder Flat, where 80% of the town is vines and lunch in the Cafe of the Avenue, Miranda, which has a labelled fish tank with living coral. The Eel river is full of lampreys and a gorgeous blue-green between gravel banks.The things that look like bears drinking are really cows. We did another drive-through tree, and a drive-on tree - it's a log, we tarmac'ed it! - and walked into the Chimney Tree - big enough to pour a floor in - and looked at the weather rock at the visitor centre and had a generally fun time.

And as we needed to head back to SF, we booked Ad Hoc for dinner and drove to Napa and found the next Best Western, which was friendly and full of roses fresh picked form the garden and does an excellent breakfast, although we hardly needed it after dinner. Which was a green bean salad with walnuts and fingerling potatoes and air-dried ham and sliced radishes, buttermilk fried chicken with honey glazed biscuits and macaroni and cheese and spinach wilted with shallots, promontory cheese with marcona almonds and strawberry preserve and chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and vanilla cream. We had glasses of TuTu Pinot Gris and a local pinot gris beginning with H, possibly H for honey as it was deliciously rich.

Birthday dinner, birthday sleep, workday breakfast and drive to SF and off to the conference...

Tags: personal, travel

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