I just had my seventh person in three days tell me I look about 18 or 19. When I tell them I'm 25, they look really shocked. I could have done without being carded though.
Anyway, the Ravenwood Motel was actually quite nice providing you don't mind paper thin walls (I have a sound machine, so I don't, and it actually got really quiet at night). It's a cute little motel with very friendly owners who will talk your ear off, nice showers and towels, excessive cleanliness (and I don't just mean for a strip motel), and little quirks like putting up the flags of the states or countries of whoever is staying there outside the hotel (it was weird to wake up and see the New Jersey flag on a flagpole outside our door). The only real problem I could see with the place was that there were no air conditioners for summer, which may or may not be a problem that close to the Pacific, but oh well. Anyway, turns out we spent the night in the Yurok Reservation which explains the golden bears guarding the road.
From there, we went to one of the privately owned redwood trees you can drive through. There was no one else there so we got lots of pics
. We then headed into the actual forest which is divided up into lots of confusing little sections. We ended up stopping in the Prairie Creek area and asking a ranger where the best place to go on an hour long, not so strenuous hike. She recommended Brown Creek trail at mile marker 129 and it was perfect. The trail wound through a valley, with only a few real steep parts. It was early morning so the mist was still being burned off and the sunlight only touched down on the ground occasionally though you could see it dappling the upper parts of the trees
. Many of the trees were huge
and everything was covered in moss and ferns. There were lots of trunks on the ground (many, several feet higher than my head), decaying and becoming homes for ferns and beetles. I saw a little brown frog near the creek, and as they woke up, you could gradually hear a number of birds, plus leaves falling into the very noisy ferns. The needles/leaves when you stepped off the trail were feet deep and springy under foot. They coated the trail
in a reddish tint and helped disguise the numerous roots that covered the path. The trail was 1.7 miles one way, so by the time we completed the 3.4 miles, the sun had risen enough to give us very different pictures from all the sunlight penetrating the groves
. It was truly and awesome hike and well worth my blisters. I recommend it to anyone.
From there, we went hunting lunch and ended up in Trinidad (there's no where to eat in the park as far as we could tell). Trinidad is on the coast and a gorgeous blue harbour with rocks and strong winds. We had lunch on the pier. The fish and chips were okay, though I've had better, and the view was beautiful. We then had a long drive along 299 to get back to route 5 and our hotel. 299 is a very windy road through the Sierras so even though it's short on miles, it's long on trip duration. Still, points along it were beautiful and I kinda wish I'd been driving when we hit the really really twisty parts *pout* We got into our hotel around 6ish and were offered free beer and wine and nibbles. Yes. Life is good. For dinner, after Dad took the car to get an oil change, we went to Casa Ramos an authentic Mexican restaurant that was nearby. We don't really have any good Mexican restaurants in NJ that I know of, so it was hard to pick something from the menu since there were so many things I hadn't tried before. I finally settled on flautas or a shredded beef and pork stuffed into a fried tortilla. The guacamole that came with it was the only guacamole I've ever liked.
In other news, I finished reading American Gods on the drive today (brilliant as usual, though I'm still not sure about that detour into drowning with the clunker... was that cryptic enough for non-readers?*grin*). I also finished Coredelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I dearly wish I could find the other Miles books to read. She has an interesting writing method which basically covers almost every moment you could want to see in a character's life. This might not appeal to some, but I enjoy it when an author covers all the little things (when it comes to human interactions at least). Will be starting the Persian Boy next. It also occurs to me that I never mentioned I read Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light
on this trip. It was a pretty amazing book that showed rather than told, and wove a tale half backwards that made perfect sense. I was very impressed, though the first chapters before the first set of flashbacks lag due to you not knowing or caring about the characters. I always remember Zelazny for Chronicles of Amber which is nowhere near the quality of this book. What a treat!
This is, btw, the last chance for any of you California people to email me your phone number for a meet up. We head to San Francisco tomorrow.