The day started with a 4:30 wake up call from my son Trevor - he was calling from Atlanta on the way to work and forgot about the time change. Thanks Trev. A couple hours later I noticed how much better you feel when running in 50 degree temperature with no humidity compared to 90 degree heat with Atlanta humidity.
We set a destination today - a little against our trip rules but it was important that we travelled another couple of hours to northwest California so I could see two of my nieces - Star and Rebecca.
On the way we stopped at Chandelier's Tree in Leggett, CA. This was one of the many giant redwoods we would see today - this one was so big we could drive through it. It was funny how every single car did the same thing: the man would drive up fairly near the tree, then he would get out and instruct the wife to drive up to the tree so he could take pictures. Then when it was time to actually drive through the tight opening he would tell the wife to get back in the passenger seat so he could maneuver the car. I guess we don't trust their driving skills do we guys. But Kathy and Teresa - we trust you, really we do.
Then we stopped at the Log House. Years ago a man hollowed out the center of a giant redwood and made it into his home - living room, kitchen, two beds and even a place for a one holer. I bet his family was well rooted.
Then we found our way to Star's house. She's getting married to Ian in September and I won't be able to go, so it was great to see her, Ian, and her sister Rebecca who was visiting. When being tourists it really is advantageous if you can get a local to be your tour guide and Starr was a wonderful tour guide. She and Rebecca took us to the Avenue of Giants in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park just a few miles from where she lives. The place is absolutely amazing - when driving through you really feel like you're on a different planet. In fact The Return of the Jedi and other movies have had scenes filmed there. I think they're even more impressive than the giant Sequoias we saw. Pee Wee and I had a great time with the girls taking pictures and running and hiding in and around the mammoths.
Then Star drove 45 minutes to Shelter Cove for our first view of the Pacific. It's really almost a secret cove where a few hundred people live and tourists rarely visit. The coast was nothing like beaches we had seen - the mountains go right up to the shore, the waves form large breakers that slap the rocks and boulders at the shore. We saw so many critters in the water and above the water today. In the little channels of water swerving in and out of the boulders at the shore we found starfish, anemones, crabs, mussels, and a couple other examples of marine life only Star could pronounce. Nearby fishermen were cleaning ten to 15 pound salmon with pelicans flying and walking right up to them. Star actually caught one of the pelicans - when she was holding the long nosed bird it reached out once with it's long beak and almost caught Pee Wee in the Cho Cho. Later we saw deer and a wild turkey on the side of the road, but missed out on the bear that has been terrorizing Star's chickens and goats the past few nights.
Tonight we're experiencing a first for all of our journeys; we're staying in the same hotel we stayed in last night. We're pretty sure we're going to take the advice of several friends and head south to the Pacific Coast Highway. The only way we could get there was to backtrack so backtrack we did. And it set up one of our two good deeds for the day. The hotel managers are brothers somewhere around 30 years of age. They are both very kind and took an interest in our trip. When I called them on the way back to the Old West Inn the brother I was talking to remembered us and said he would take care of us. They gave us their best room and went out of his way to be helpful. We try not to show favoritism with the good deeds but it's hard not to repay kindness. So when we finished our meal tonight we picked up a couple of milkshakes and presented them to the brothers along with a good deed doers card.
The other good deed today we carried out at Chandelier's Tree. There was a neat large plaque near the tree with a poem explaining how God had his hand in the formation of these magnificent trees. But there were some plants weaving their way up the plaque which made it difficult to read. We figured it was important for future visitors to be lifted spiritually so we made like gardeners and cleaned the place up.
That's it for Day 5 and Trev - I'm turning my phone off!