We started our long road trip with no clear destination in mind.
Our My simple plan was to head north until we decided to go home. Our My theory is that good road trips allow serendipity to choose the route and timing. Roll the dice, baby!
This approach, featuring a total lack of planning, drives the obsessive and always meticulously detailed AJF absolutely gibbering crazy. I love it but later pay dearly.
Ultimately, we worked our way up the coast of Northern California and then into Oregon.
We’ve previously spent time in this magical land of lighthouses, forests and dramatic ocean vistas and always returned from a visit well gruntled and in better fettle than when we arrived.
Given the global scarcity of fine fettle, this is an important point.
As always, the challenge of a trans-California road trip is the sheer size of the state.
It takes 2 to 3 days of driving north just to get from our humble abode in Rancho Cucaracha to the Oregon border and, if one takes the fastest route, much of that journey is through some mind-numbing territory offering a repetitive scenery of almond farms, dust clouds, intersections jammed with fast food choices and the occasional tumbleweed.
Oh, let’s not forget the industrial-sized dairies and pig farms which produce the most horrendous smells, far worse than Max on Taco Tuesday.
What a change when one abandons the fearsome I-5 and escapes to coastal California just before the Oregon border!
The temperatures drop from 95F/35C to 68F/18C, brilliant blue muscles out dust-fart tan as the predominant color and the topography is no longer flatter than
my date to the junior prom…a pancake.
Whew. Dodged a bullet with that edit. Close call. Sorry, ladies.
Political correctness aside, the hard truth is that Linda wasn’t zaftig and it turned out she couldn’t dance which was a bummer, because, well…prom.
As Men Without Hats said many years after the prom, “you can’t dance and if you can’t dance, you ain’t no friend of mine.”
OK, OK, I digress. Sheesh. Come on, get up and let’s dance!
Perhaps our favorite places on the road trip were the ancient groves of massive redwood trees.
Howland Hill Road road out of Crescent City is a dirt trail that can be driven on through the heart of big tree country.
It was a grey, spooky day when we drove through the forest. Tendrils of fog crept between the huge trunks of the redwoods accompanied by the gentle sound of water dripping from leaves hundreds of feet above.
We were quite alone on the road which is unusual during the high season for travel in this area.
Everything was hushed as we passed through the Redwood National and State Parks with our windows down and the Mazda geared to a crawl.
From time to time along the 6 mile route we stopped for photos and sometimes to simply stand beneath the living behemoths and crick our necks peering up.
The Malt was a respectful visitor to these natural treasures. No barking and he only lifted his leg on one tree as far as we could tell.
Although he made no explicit comments, we could tell that Max was very grateful for those wise enough to preserve these giant trees for us and for generations yet to follow.
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha