Days 42-43: California (Part 3)

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July 20, 2014 by Briana

Day 42 (7/12/14): Fortuna, CA | Loleta, CA | Ferndale, CA

After the long drive we had yesterday, we wanted to take it easy today and finally unpacked the rest of the supplies we had picked up from our storage unit.   Towards the end of the day though, we got cabin fever and decided to explore the area a little bit.

We ended up in Loleta, CA at the Loleta Cheese Factory where we watched some cheese being made and sampled many of the different cheeses they produce. Our two favorite cheeses were the Hickory Smoked Natural Cheddar Cheese and the Havarti Herb & Spice Cheese. Mmmm…cheese!

It seemed like the only thing to really see or do in Loleta though was the cheese factory, so we then went to the Victorian village of Ferndale, CA for dinner. There’s an extremely narrow bridge on the way into the town. Glad we didn’t try to go to Ferndale with the trailer! The main street of the town is incredibly cute though with its Victorian-style buildings. Walking along the street almost feels as if you’ve stepped back in time.

 

Day 43 (7/13/14): Humboldt Redwoods State Park | Redcrest, CA | Myers Flat, CA

The main reason we had stopped in Fortuna, CA for a few days was to see the Redwood Trees, so today we drove about 30 miles south to the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile scenic drive in the redwood groves of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The size of the trees was mind-blowing! Not only were they incredibly wide, but they were also extremely tall. IMG_5460You could stretch your head back as far as possible and still not see the tops of some of them.  As we were driving along the avenue, we came across a fallen tree with a gargantuan base and root system. We could literally crawl into the tree through an opening in the center of it! It was fascinating! I could have stared at that tree all day.

We continued the drive though, stopping along the way to stare in wonder at the giant trees and stand inside some of them. I have to say, it’s really quite humbling standing in the midst of such massive, ancient trees. The Eternal Tree House in Redcrest seemed intriguing, and since it’s a free attraction, we decided to check it out.  🙂 It’s so interesting to stand inside an ancient hollowed-out tree, especially one that had once been used for shelter probably centuries ago.

After Redcrest, we took the ½ mile loop trail through Founders Grove where we saw the Founders Tree as well as the Dyerville Giant, another fallen tree. Before the Dyerville Giant fell in 1991, it was at least 362 feet tall. To give you a better idea of  how tall the tree was, it’s height was 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls and comparable to a 30-story building! The tree was estimated to weigh over one million pounds. When it fell, it was so loud that people a mile away thought a train had crashed. I can’t even imagine what the earth-shattering impact of the falling tree must have been like.

Last but not least we visited Myers Flat with its Shrine Drive Thru Tree. The tree has a natural opening large enough for a car measuring 7 feet tall by 7 feet wide to drive through it. I would only recommend compact cars to attempt to drive through the tree though as the opening is rather tight. Unfortunately, there’s no way our pick-up truck would fit, so we just walked through the tree instead. Even though we couldn’t drive our truck through, it was still impressive to be able to actually walk through a tree. From the other side of the opening we guided a few cars through the narrow gap in the tree. Watching cars trying to squeeze through was quite entertaining, especially when a minivan barely made it!

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We’re the Bennetts, Justin & Briana, and it’s time for a change! We've left our jobs and everything else behind to start fresh somewhere else. They say it's all about "location, location, location," and what better way to figure out the best location for us than to explore the entire country searching for it? We’ll be driving across the continent with a truck and travel trailer on the cross-country road trip of a lifetime! Tag along with us and our two dogs, Meaty and Saucy, as we explore North America searching for our next destination!

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The view from the top! The High Bridge Trail led us up above Box Canyon Falls over a suspension bridge where we could see the river flowing through the canyon, spilling down through the narrow rock walls, and forming the towering waterfall plunging far below.  Had we not kept exploring from the base of the falls, we would have missed this vantage point above.  Moral of the story... always keep exploring, or you’ll never know what lays ahead.  Tag a hiking or travel buddy who’s never satisfied, always wanting to venture on and see everything possible! Behind the scenes of Box Canyon Falls. Swipe 👈🏻 for more pics of the waterfall, walkway, and viewing areas.  Does this remind anyone else of that scene from Jurassic Park III with the birdcage? We kept expecting a pterodactyl to swoop down and try to grab us.  Haha! 🤣 While in Ouray, we visited the town’s own “wonder of the world,” Box Canyon Falls.  A short hike took us through the box canyon to the dramatic waterfall which we were able to view from the partially enclosed walkway as well as down below at the base of the falls.⠀
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There’s a $4/adult entrance fee for Box Canyon Falls, but since it’s considered one of the must-dos in Ouray, we were willing to pay to see it.  What’s been your favorite tourist attraction that you thought was worth paying for?
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