Becky and Harold’s Great Adventure of the West: The Redwood Forest

Driving and hiking through the Redwoods is not only a beautiful experience, it is mystical.


We had decided to spend about a week in the Sacramento area in the hopes of seeing many of my family members who I had not seen for quite a while.  We stayed with my cousin Brett and his wife Kay, for much of the time, but also stayed with our good friends Bruce and Anne, who live in the wine country.  All-in-all, the stay in the Sacramento area was great and everyone made us feel so welcome.  In fact, my family threw a party for us at my cousin Ron’s house.  His wife, Stella, prepared lasagna and everyone else pitched in by bringing a dish.  It was an enjoyable feast punctuated with welcoming fellowship ending in Mike’s wife, Sue, bringing in a birthday cake for Becky.  It even had candles on it.  It was a good time and was the first time most of them had met Becky.  They made us feel at home, a welcome that eventually influenced our decision to make the Sacramento area our home.  Thank you all for your loving support.

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When it was time to leave Brett and Kay we enjoyed at nice breakfast at the Mimosa House and left to spend the rest of the day with Bruce and Anne.  Bruce and Ann are great friends.  We were saddened when they moved to California, but the physical distance that now separates us from them makes our visits just that much more special.  Bidding them farewell, we left for Humboldt County, the home of the Redwood Forests.

The drive was both beautiful and long.  As Highway 101 wound up the coast, it was an opportunity for breathtaking scenery, but it was also a road that wound its way through one of the most beautiful and dense forests we have seen.  At one point, winding our way down the road, I said to Becky, “Is it my imagination, or are these trees getting bigger!”  “Yes,” she responded, “we are in the Redwood Forest.”  On this windy road, there are not a lot of scenic views or opportunities to pull off, so on this drive we enjoyed these monster trees from inside the car.  We will explore them later.  It was, as I said, a long drive, but when we came to the drive through tree, I had to stop and take pictures of Becky driving our car through this monster tree.  The last time I drove a car through this tree, I was with my parents in our family Volkswagen (1958) and I was 14.  That was over 50 years ago.  I don’t know why I waited so long to do it again.  This area is beautiful.

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When we finally arrived at our hotel, our record was intact.  The room was much larger than the last one, but it was sparsely apportioned and rather plain. Oh well, it was an ok room and a decent place to stay.  Both of us were tired so after an ok dinner at a nearby Italian Restaurant, we fell asleep, exhausted from our day’s adventure.

The Redwoods are gorgeous!  If you haven’t seen them, you need to put them on your bucket list.  They will probably last beyond our lifetimes, but with the growing threat of fire and their prehistoric age, they may not be around forever although preservation efforts have so far been successful.  Rather than go to the Redwood National Forest, most of which was closed due to the horrible fires in California, we chose to drive the Avenue of the Giants, which are just south of Fortuna.  We started the trip, then, from the North beginning the drive from what is normally the end and headed towards the beginning. No matter, the first stop for us was a trailhead, which took us through 2 miles of one of the most beautiful parts of old growth Redwoods.

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I have mentioned that our record choosing hotels was rather dismal and this one was no exception.  When we checked in, they said we were lucky to get the “suite,’ which they made out to be something special.  It was a large room, poorly apportioned and the furniture seemed as if it was found on the sale rack at Wal-Mart.  It was a king size bed, which was comfortable enough, but it was, well…plain!  The other furniture in the room was simple and cheap, the place to hang your close was a bare-bones metal tube structure with some shelving attached.  There was a microwave and a small refrigerator, but the couch, complete with cigarette burns, was old and worn and the table in front of it looked cheap and used.  It did have a jetted tub, which we took advantage of, but the room was so big and poorly apportioned, it looked empty and felt cold.  When we left for our day’s adventure, the key wouldn’t work.  That normally would not be a problem, but I had needed to go to the bathroom since Eureka and my situation was dire.  This could have led to a very embarrassing situation.  Not only was the room poor, but so was their service.  I would not recommend the Redwood River Walk Hotel in Fortuna.  If I were rating it, I would give it a 2 out of 5 stars.  The soak in the bathtub made up for part of it, but I would not recommend staying there.

Published by Harold W. Anderson, Ph.D.

I am a retired United Methodist Minister and recently closed my practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, retiring with my wife to Rancho Murieta, CA. Now I have a blog and several hobbies that take up my time. We enjoy traveling and occasionally spending time at our cabin in the mountains of Colorado.

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