• Day 15: Monday

    After we broke camp, we headed back to 101 and traveled south until we found the turnoff to The Avenue Of The Giants, a side road that parallels 101 and goes through the red woods parts of which are old growth forests. Dave had studied this road on Google Earth, but as it turned out, he hadn’t studied the first part of it. He turned down an unmarked road where he thought the Founders Grove should be. It went a short ways to a turnaround spot and a dirt trail went from there. Like an idiot, he went down the trail for about 200 feet before deciding this couldn’t be the place, and had to back up along that winding trail to the turnaround spot.

    The drive was longer than expected. We came to a store and RV park where we used the bathroom and looked in the store, asking the employees where the Founders Grove was. They didn’t seem to know but thought it was back the way we had come. We traveled on what seemed a long ways, then went all the way back to the start but still couldn’t find it. Finally we decided we’d have to skip it and went back along the avenue, stopping a couple of times to take photos. Suddenly we came to a well marked turnoff to the Founder Grove and joined the host of tourists who were already there.

    Despite the crowd, the grove is very quiet and has many huge trees. As the oldest trees grow over 300 feet tall, they become vulnerable to high winds because their root system does not go deep since there is plenty of water on the surface. The original Founders tree, called the Dyerville Giant, was between 362 and 370 feet tall when it blew down in 1991. The noise was so loud that some people in the area thought it was a train wreck. It is estimated that it weighed over 1,000,000 pounds. The tall trees are impressive, but nearly as impressive are the fallen giants which lay for years hosting a community of plants growing on them. We spent a couple of hours walking a trail and taking photos before continuing on our way.

    As we down the coast, stopping to take pictures a couple of times, we eventually reached Fort Bragg. It was after 5:00 and finding a campground was a problem. We finally located one a couple of miles outside Fort Bragg that was commercial, and had a lot of broken down trailers that looked semi permanent. It cost us $20.00 but we were given fire wood and it was cheaper than a motel.

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Great Geezer Getaway II

big adventure

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