The Avenue Of The Giants…….#195 (80’s)

The Redwood Highway

A welcoming Paul Bunyan at Trees of Mystery


Highway 101 is referred to by a variety of sobriquet,  in Washington State it’s identified as “101“,  in Oregon it is characterized as  “The Oregon Coast Highway“ and in California it is noted as  “The Pacific Coast Highway“,  but the residents of Northern California  christened it, “The Redwood Highway“,  an amenable designation,   as the Willson family experienced,  their journey conveying south from Crescent City.  The itinerary was one without design,  neither Gary or Jan could appraise what points of interest or vista they would engender that might compel an arrest to their journey.   The two lane Redwood Highway blanketed by a disposition of prismatic earthen foliage and majestic ascending trees, the asphalt roadway carving an artery thru the labyrinth of forestation,  providing an uninterrupted avenue of empyrean observation.  The travelogue amongst the Redwoods was halted,  a large parking area and pavilion was entrenched on the left side of the highway,  towering upwards and adjacent was a giant 49 foot likeness of the legendary Paul Bunyan holding an ax and Babe his renown blue ox.  Gary  without hesitation  structured the Cavalier into the Parking dominion,  an aura of curiosity and enthusiasm resonating from the cars back seat,  Robert and Sandi acknowledging the display,  discovering something of real interest to their youthful perception.

Robert and Sandi before a redwood

Jan, Sandi and Robert with the stone serpent

Sandi and the tired Logger

Jan and Gary at the Cathedral

Trees of Mystery,  was a private own exhibit bordered by The Redwood National Forest and State Park,  first commencing in 1946 and expanding the affectation to encompass the redwoods anomalous aperture.    A celebrated folklore tour engulfed  the trail of tall trees,  their vigilant presence in harmony with the performance,  portraying a stately faction in the arena.   The Willson’s beginning,  Robert and Sandi leading the procession, exploring the stated stone,  wooden sculptures and carvings viewed along the winding path,  addressing the Cathedral Trees,  many with six Herculean trees rooted from a fallen ancestor, its new growth springing forth from its branches,  the redwoods blanketing the Trail of Trees in semi-darkness.   The Brotherhood Tree,  a specimen of endurance,  over 2000 years of age and when losing 74 ft. of it skyward reach,  remains standing at 215 feet of stature.  Continuing on to another a cluster of designated trees,  “The Cathedral“,  a hosting location for weddings.  The evening hour was approaching,  a meal at the dining establishment adjoining the Trees of Mystery was fulfilling, Gary realized  a 70 mile journey to Eureka,  the family feeling the fatigue from the long journey,  a catechism of tomorrow’s venture would begin with the celestial essence of an Eureka dawn .

Humboldt Bay

Humboldt Bay

Pink Victorian built by Milton Carson for his son

Milton Carson, lumber Baron’s residence

Eureka waterfront

Arising in the morning,  a gentle ocean affectation filling the atmosphere,  the aurora of the sun brushing the landscape with an advancing effulgence.   Humboldt Bay,  the second largest bay in California,  it position virtually undiscovered from the sea,  because of  its  obscure narrow harbor entrance  and a similar circumstance from the terra firma east,   finding Northern California and Southern Oregon land routes to the pacific coast non-existent because of the 2 million acres of densely forested Redwoods.  In 1850 gold was discovered on the Trinity River, the miners initiating a compulsory path to the coast and an  uncovering of Humboldt Bay bringing settlers and Eureka to propinquity.  A morning tour of the city,  viewing the celebrated Victorian Mansions of Milton Carson,  a pink Victorian built as wedding gift for his son and a colossus of a mansion,  the 1884 lumber baron’s residence. The exploring of the harbor wharf,  the aroma of the lapping water, finding a magnitude fishing sorties and  lumber enterprises  still flourishing, heighten assemblages  of branched timber addressing the waterfront awaiting shipment to the mills.   Another remembrance gathered and filed away,  to be recalled someday.

Avenue of the Giants

Driving thru a redwood

The Founders Tree

Acquainting the Highway,  the travelers continued south,  traversing the small burg of Fortuna and finding a distinctive name change for this extension of 101,  now proclaimed as  The Avenue of the Giants.   Halting their progression,  again finding an opportunity to experience the continuing breath of the redwoods,  the Cavalier passing thru a standing giant redwood to the delight of Robert and Sandi.   Once again on foot, traversing another trail to consume the essence of the giants,  finding The Founders Tree,  the 346 foot colossal dedicated as a tribute to a save-the-trees league formed in 1917,  responsible in preventing the groves destruction.   Jan’s interest accumulated, finding a gift shop which displayed cuts of redwood,  some sculptured to adorn a place of dignity in a room,  others that would prevail as a backdrop for a clock or picture.   The uniqueness of the shop included free shipment to any location, enabling the purchasing excursionists to journey without having to arrange a provisional space for their acquisitions,  thus tempting the traveler to increase their expenditure,  Gary recognizing the sound business practice.   Again the afternoon approached,  their previous motel accommodations in Eureka were unsuitable, their late arrival finding the better establishments without vacancies,  Jan vowing, this would never happen again,  inaugurating a call to the Best Western in Garberville,  a reservation was accomplished and with a satisfied Jan,  a better night’s rest was assured.

A shady spot

A novel idea

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