Top o’ the morning to you all!
Let me present you with a potential hazard of traveling in Northern California: herds of elk.
The elk is indeed a magnificent creature, and sightings don’t happen very often for most of us, so we naturally want to stop and take pictures when we do see them. Something you need to bear in mind, though, is the elk can be an aggressive creature, especially in herds. In fact, as we were driving away, we saw two of them fighting, then booking it towards the road we were on. That’s when WE decided to book it.
Clearly, stopping to take pictures is fine, but in the words of Elmer Fudd, “be vewy, vewy quiet.”
Another more common sighting in Northern California: trees. This makes the drive up US-101 aka Redwood Highway absolutely gorgeous.
… I was driving, so I have no pictures of this drive. Sorry. But aren’t you glad to know that I wasn’t driving and using my phone?
Some trees in Northern California are so big that, in fact, one could plausibly live inside of one. At least, this was the idea of Art Smock back in the mid 1940s when he and an unnamed helper created the ONE-LOG HOUSE- 705 US-101, Garberville, CA.
Smock and his buddy carved out this 42 ton section of a 2,000+ year old Redwood tree found near Orick, CA and made it into a small house. The log was then placed on a trailer and taken to several fairs around the country. Since then, the house has had several owners (the history of all of which is still being researched) until its current owner permanently chose this section of Redwood Highway for display and tours.
To see the inside, you only need to pay $1 inside the gift shop next door and they will give you a code to unlock the door.
I apologize for the bad focus; it’s a little dark inside the log, and did it occur to this ex-portrait photographer to turn her flash on? No…
The crafting of this thirty-two foot long, seven foot tall living space took eight months, resulting in a small dining room, bedroom, and living area. No bathroom. Two guesses where you need to go for that.
This is a good little spot to stop, stretch your legs, and see a cute yet innovative house. Clearly, the tour won’t take long, and I know I just showed you pretty much the whole thing in pictures… but it’s only $1 and seeing these things in person is always so much better (and more in focus). The gift shop has espresso and other drinks as well, so it will also be a place for a pick me up along the road.
There is also another gift shop in the building called Captain Shon’s Thunderbird Mountain Trading Company, which sells Native American,handmade gifts; their speciality is footwear such as moccasins, boots, and mukluks. A shop employee informed me that the beadwork on the moccasins and the like is embroidered onto the footwear with moose hair and each design has a deeper meaning than just looking pretty. It’s worth checking the impressive craftsmanship in this shop.
My personal interest (and budget) lies in the alpaca fingerless gloves, which are pretty soft and come in a large variety of colors.
Until next time, dahlings…