Eureka to San Francisco
On Sunday (April 8th) we continued further down the coast. We started from Eureka around 11 am, heading for the Avenue of the giants. Selma had checked it up on the map, and told Kitty to take us to Bridgeville, where the Avenue seemed to begin. We set forth, and after a while we were surrounded by giant redwood trees. We stopped to take a few photos, and was mesmerized by the size of everything. Except from the giant trees and trunks we saw clovers the size of a palm and huge needles from the trees. We nearly stepped on an unused shotgun cartridge, which could have made for a terrible start of the day. But as it turned out, the trouble was further ahead.
A giant clover. We looked for four leafed clovers, but this was really not the day for those..
We got to Bridgeville, and started wondering why there were no mentions of the Avenue of the Giants anywhere. And we hadn’t seen any giant trees for a while. So we stopped and had another look at the map. And realized we were far, far away from the avenue. The name “Avenue of the Giants” was printed alongside the road we were at, but we hadn’t noticed the tiny red line pointing to a road just along the 101, miles and miles away. We checked the map, checked with Kitty, and tried to find the shortest route back. We decided to drive towards Blocksburg, a familiar name and a good place to go when everything goes wrong. From there, we were to follow another road further to Myers Flat, and the northern entrance to the real Avenue of the Giants.
Go to Blocksburg!? Or “Dra til Blokksberg”, as we say in Norway.
That seemed easy enough, so we started driving. Little did we know that we had to drive over a freakin’ mountain on gravel roads for nearly two hours. First the road quality started to deteriorate. Then it turned into a one lane road. Then we stumbled upon a tree that had fallen over the road, but fortunately a huge pickup (the last car we were to see for a loooong time) passed it first, making it easier for us. We went uphill and downhill on the narrowing roads, and as we started to reach the top of the mountain, the road was nothing more than a narrow lane of red gravel - and we started to grow pretty worried. But Kitty kept us updated about directions and distances, and we had no other options but to trust her.
If the Sound of Music had been shot in California, this would make for a great location..
We’re pretty sure we’re the only Norwegians ever to drive that road. So at least that’s something. We also got to see a few things we probably wouldn’t have seen elsewhere - cows in and along the road, deer passing the fields besides us, eagles flying above us. And a wild turkey on a stroll along the road! But the one animal we paid most attention to was a cat, black as the night, passing right in front of us on the dirt road. Like we needed any more bad luck!
As we reached the top, these cows came to check up on us..
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we arrived in Myers Flat. Louis was nearly starving to death, and Selma’s bladder was threatening to explode. Louis stocked up on lollipops and Doritos at a small store, while Selma sneaked a visit to the local restroom reserved for customers at the laundromat - a terrible port-a-potty thing hidden in an old shack.
We were starting to get pretty tired of the whole Humboldt district, but figured we had to drive a bit up and down the Avenue of the Giants, since we’d spent so much time trying to get to it. We payed four bucks to drive through the trunk of a tree, shot a bunch of photos - and started heading for the Route 101 - who hopefully were to take us fast down to San Francisco!
Louis surrounded by huge Redwood trees
We paid four bucks to drive through this three. It was actually kinda cool.
Now it was time to get into gear. Louis got a permit from Selma to put his foot down on the excelerator, and away we went. We still passed some huge redwoods for awhile, but soon the road opened up and we got into speeds of 70 Mph. It was easy sailing in towards San Francisco. We passed through some nice vine country, got a nasty look from a state trooper and traffic kept growing. It was a strange sensation to go from being the only people on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, to within a couple of hours being surrounded by traffic on an eight lane highway!
Traffic on the way to San Francisco
Soon she was there, the huge steel construction that symbolises San Francisco; the Golden Gate. It had a magical feel to it, when we drove towards and onto the bridge. It was covered in fog, and seemed to be floating in cotton. The fog is a common phenomenon in SF, and could ruin your view of the bridge. But on entering the city from the north it was just incredible. You should not copy Louis on your entry onto the bridge, he kept taking pictures as he was driving, but we are still alive . . . for now. Finally we made it to our hotel, right on Pier 39 at the Fisherman’s Wharf.
Driving into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge
(More pictures will be up on Flickr later. For the last three days, we’ve been in San Francisco - where there’s decent wi-fi on the room, but unfortunately we’re blocked from uploading photos to Flickr. But they’re coming - eventually. We hope.)