Monday, July 11, 2011

Avenue of the Giants, Part I

In addition to Yosemite, another big trip we planned while Dennis was visiting was the Redwoods in Northern California. We set aside more time for this one, leaving late Thursday morning and planning to come back Sunday evening. Jonathan and Dennis had looked at multiple possible places for us to stay on this trip, and ultimately Dennis booked a house that looked great and offered some nice views.

We had another rental car for this trip, and had no problems with the Nissan Sentra. The guys even managed to put up and take down the bike rack and bikes multiple times with no problems. We headed out of town and hit some traffic getting up through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge, but nothing horrendous.
Golden Gate Bridge
We stopped just north of San Francisco to grab some coffee and bagels, then drove for several hours before stopping for a picnic lunch at a state park. Problematically, they charged us $7 just to be in there for an hour. We found out the next day that we might have been able to finagle an hour-long free pass, but you live and learn. Another thing we learned pretty quickly... we were in the middle of hippie country! We must have seen 10 Volkswagen camper vans on the trip, if not more! We saw three of them at the park alone!
two of the vans were next to each other

As we got further and further north (it's a good thing it's not dark until after 9pm here!), we started to see some tourist traps, indicating that we were indeed in Redwoods territory. We switched off the highway and onto a more scenic route along the coast for a while, which gave us some nice views.
there were several similar things as well. This is a home inside a fallen tree.

We arrived at the rental house between 9 and 9:30pm and unloaded the car as the sun set. Our immediate impressions weren't amazing, but we continued setting things up and whatnot. However, by the time we had all seriously inspected the place we came to some pretty stark conclusions... First of all, there were no curtains on the windows, and there were several LARGE windows facing the wilderness. There was also no television... not a huge deal. BUT, when the advertisement boasted a large video selection, and there were NO videos to speak of, that was a downer. The dishes were kept in a bureau... not a deal-breaker, but strange. The thermostat was strange. The furniture didn't match up to the online photos. We did have the wireless internet promised, but the cell signal wasn't great. The bathroom had a dingy feel to it. The floor was simply painted, and there was a hole in the ceiling. Anyway, that's enough with the nitpicks; suffice it to say that it was not worth the price it was listed for, and instead of our three planned nights, we left after one.
The main rooms: dining/living/kitchen. you can see the large windows with no curtains.
Stay tuned for the second part of this trip!

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