Monday, November 16, 2009

San Fran

After having spent a week in a suburb of San Francisco, we are well rested, cleaned up and ready to go again! We've met cool friends of Urtica's in town, took a tour of Pixar studios and strolled down to the Golden Gate Park , Haight & Ashbury and that steep zig-zagy street.

The weather's great, next stop - King's Canyon, home of the world's BIGGEST trees!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Big Trees in California

A lot of good things have happened to us since we left the ever-sprawling Sacramento and headed to the Redwood national Park on the West Coast. While we were making our way through a beautiful town of Weaverville, almost EVERY passing driver showed us this mysterious sign. We decided that it was the locals' secret excuse sign. Puzzling, isn't it? The couple that eventually stopped for us, turned out to be the ex-owners of the bar that gave name to the town of Big Bar. The lunch they brought out for us made our day: in case you can't tell, that's smoked salmon and crackers on the left and vegetarian wraps on the top right. The day kept unrolling in the most sublime way, and when we were dropped off in a sea-side park in Trinidad, a buck-skin clad gentleman seemed to be waiting for us there. He welcomed us to Humboldt county with his bamboo pipe and stories about his true hippie life - he spent five years living in a teepee!
Tired from taxing life on the road, the noise of engines, truck stops and stinky exhaust, we went for a walk amongst the world's tallest trees. We think that we saw THE tallest one in the Tall Trees Grove, but we did not have the pamphlet to tell us which one it was. In the four days that we spent in the park, we forded cool streams, walked among giants and strolled on beaches.

The tree on the right in this photo is about three feet in circumference.
We saw elk, deer, newts and big banana slugs.
This rough-skinned newt, as we learned later, is of a very poisonous kind. If we would have licked his orange belly, we would have died for sure. It develops the poison as a defense against the snakes that hunt it. The snakes, in turn, build immunity to the poison, and the newt increases the poison's potency. The competition has been going on for ages.
After we came out of the forest, we met a very interesting and kind person, Jay, a vegan lawyer, who lived in his off the grid cabin in a beautiful valley near Garberville. We stayed with him for three days, reading, resting and eating delicious vegan meals. This is the view from his balcony.
The day we left Jay was the most perfect hitch-hiking day. Charged with good karma and positive vibrations we got to the on-ramp at 9, and as our cardboard sign "SAN FRAN" was half done, two ladies stopped for us. We had our second breakfast (huge American portions) with them at a small restaurant in a small California town. They dropped us off in San Francisco later in the day. Once in the big city again, we did not fret, but called up our friend Urtica, bought some beer and went to her fancy place in Emeryville. We'll stay with her for a week or so, and then continue:)