Day 6 of our road trip (September 11th) was pretty much a driving day – leisurely of course, and the distance we covered was only from Petaluma to Eureka (about 240 miles/380 km). It was also good for me because Shuwen was driving and I could doze in the passenger seat, struggling with the cold.
We only interrupted the first leg of the drive with a brief visit to the Drive-Thru Tree Park, doing the tourist thing, driving through a giant and life redwood tree (yes, it’s terrible;-). From there, we continued to the small town of Garberville where we had lunch, to then continue to California Highway 254 aka “Avenue of the Giants”, a scenic alternate route that begins just south of Phillipsville and more or less parallels Highway 101 and Eel River while passing through multiple, beautiful stands of redwood before ending 32 miles further north near Pepperwood, joining Highway 101 again.
Needless to say, there are many possible stops along the road, and a couple of side-trips. We drove on Bull Creek Flats/Mattole Road to see “Giant Tree” at Rockefeller Forest – an almost unbelievable specimen of a redwood! Its height is 363 feet (110 meters) and its circumference 53.2 feet (16.2 meters). The surrounding forest however is not so beautiful, and as usual, special trees like these are “developed” with special walkways to protect the surrounding soil from being compressed to much by the countless visitors (translation: sorry, no photo).
Near Pepperwood and the end of Avenue of the Giants, a stretch of the forest was almost in complete shade and despite being pretty exhausted, I couldn’t resist to wander into the dark and lush woods there a little bit with the camera – and in my delusional state completely forgot to look out for Poison-oak, and promptly walked right into some while looking for a useful camera position (still got some tiny blisters).