Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm taking the day off to take it all in

We walked our last day along the Avenue of the Giants. At a snails pace it was far too fast to appreciate what I was seeing. The massive trees all have personality of their own with burls growing like faces over a lifetime. I noticed several whose trunk had been shaved flat decades ago with chain saws to save the tree and allow for the road to be cut through. After all the years the old tree had been growing around the old wound but also sends an extra twisted knotted burl out toward the roadway for it revenge on some motorist who strays too close not noticing the boxing glove in the shadow. I am happy the people who could were able to help preserve what they have of the old growth stands. Life goes on, for now they are left to grow, if not alone. When there was no traffic on the avenue, and the echoes from the nearby "freeway" fell silent it was amazing to hear the soft sounds of the big trees. Some cars would stop at the pull-offs here and there but far more are motoring past to say they'd seen it, windows up and the bump and buzz of the stereo reverberating in the air as they pass. Once a not-so-sporty car revved by at what the driver must have thought was high speed, leaving a trail of smells that the poor car had been through enough. I had to deflate the World I Phillipsville at the southern end of "the Avenue" using it as an uncomfortable stiff canvas pillow with hints of everything it has rolled over all these years. I had an unusually restful sleep at a pull-off at a sharp curve causing everyone passing to loudly decelerate and accelerate overlooking on the other side a full campground facility bustling with the final weekends campfires, playing children of a dozen families. Because of the "freeway" restrictions on the World and the sudden heat after clearing from under the Redwoods we were on the road to Leggett and the Shoreline Road, Route 1. Down the street from Leggett's closed restaurant, next door to Leggett's closed market I went into the post office for some advice on where I should resume walking. The woman there obviously knew all of what happens being the hub of the community who all come for their mail and the police scanner squawking in the back room. She was very helpful as we reviewed my options from her perspective , given the area I was about to attempt to walk, the distance, the difficulty, the narrow crooked path through the forest road, the cooler temps over on the ocean ( thinking of Nice (the dog) and his feet on hot afternoon roadsides to go to the coast and begin again. It is the best for the dog you understand. The road out of Leggett wound up and down, in and out with sharp and banking turns. Half of the way thru I had to stop to let the brakes on the old van to cool. The woman at the Post Office was right with her advice as there is nothing but one day use parking area and little room at all for anything other than the cars, trucks, rented R-V4 and motorcycles. The forest is beautiful so having to idle through the second have to keep the brakes cool was fine with me. It could have taken days for us to safely roll through those miles to the ocean. Before we broke out to the shoreline the air cooled so that even in the noonday sun laying on the gravel Nice (the dog) sleeps with a rested breath . You can call me a wimp, that I took this "free pass" thing too far after the C.H.P. said I couldn't walk on 101 but between all the well meaning police and people of the "triangle" this is the best, most humane decision. Rolling around those rolling and pitching roads would be fun. I don't know exactly where we will begin, tomorrow or the next day. For now we rest and enjoy the scenery.

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