Saturday, June 23, 2018


Yesterday, we began our long journey to California's western coastline. To get there we had to go through the Redwood National and State Forest. The Redwood trees are the tallest in the world topping out at 200 to 300 ft. The largest tree in this forest is 286 feet in height, 21.7 feet in diameter and has a circumference of  74.5 feet. It's estimated age is 1,500 years. Boy, what stories it could tell. The following photos do not do the trees any justice in showing their height.

                              The above photo gives you some perspective on the height of the trees.

The photo above shows me standing in front of a fallen tree's roots. You can see how large the roots were.
Whilst at the visitor centre getting my National Park's Passport Book stamped I overheard the Park Ranger telling someone that there were some bull moose nearby. I hastened with my passport stamping not wanting to miss a chance of a good photograph. The result was the following-

We continued on through the Redwoods and came across a fallen tree with a tree growing out of it's side.

The tree growing out of its side was itself very tall..

The above photo shows a limb growing out of the side of the tallest tree. It was the size of a large tree.
After leaving the Redwoods we made our way to California and spent the night at Crescent City. There was not much to photograph as the city was hit with a Tsunami in 2011. I did come across a mother squirrel and her two offspring who were hiding in a hole in a bank side.

We drove down to Crescent City's harbour and saw some seals relaxing on dock made especially for them. Seals are smaller than sea lions.

Today, we left Crescent City and planned to drive to the Pacific Ocean along the famous highway 1. The road turned out to be quite exhausting to drive due to the many sharp turns and bends. I am glad I was not driving as I would have had many cars behind me because I was going so slow. The road ran along the coast and gave you great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Well, we made it to Berkeley without any incidents but tired after the long, winding road. Because we were tired, especially Gary after having to drive route 1, we decided to go into San Francisco the following day, Saturday.
Saturday arrived bright, sunny and warm. The weather forecast temperatures to be in the high 70s, which is unusual for San Francisco. We decided to use the train and bus to go into the city to save Gary having to drive and battle the traffic. Before leaving the hotel we found out that the city was flooded with visitors due to the Gay Parade tomorrow. So, we made a wise choice to use the public transport.
Arriving in San Francisco we decided to visit the Golden Gate Bridge first. Luck was with us and the bridge was not hidden in fog. At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 4,200 feet (1,280 m) and a total height of 746 feet (227 m). The length of the cables that hold the bridge could go around the earth 3 times.
 There also was a nice garden overlooking the bridge which is celebrating its 81st year.

There were several tourist areas we wanted to see: Lombard Street (the windiest road in the U.S.), the seal lions on Pier 39, and the cable cars. Prior to seeing the tourist areas we decided to take a boat ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The trip lasted an hour and was well worth the $15 each we paid for the trip.


The crossing across the Bay on the boat was a little rough due to the swift current and the large waves and wake coming from other tour boats. The view of the city upon our return was spectacular but, unfortunately I did not have my telephoto lens with me so the city in my photo is a little far away.

After the boat ride we went in search of pier 39 where we had heard the sea lions liked to hang out. To get there we passed a beach and swimmers who were braving the cold water of the bay. I did not know that San Francisco even had a beach.

It took us a while to find the sea lions but when we did there was not as many of them as I had imagined. I read that most of the sea lions were males and they could weigh up to 850lbs and be 7ft long whilst the females if there were any, would be 200lbs and 6ft long. I was surprised at the difference in weight between the males and females.

Our next stop was to see the cable cars and Lombard Street. The cable cars ran on Hyde Street which is a steeply inclined hill. We had an hour to wait to ride the cable car so we decided to walk up or, should I say shuffle up the hill. And shuffle we did taking frequent rest breaks. The cable car passed us on our climb up and people were hanging off the side. It seems to be a San Francisco tradition to hang off the side of the cable car.

We finally made it to Lombard Street out of breath and tired so took a short break before descending down the steps. As I have mentioned before, Lombard Street is the windiest road in the U.S.. It descends one block and has 8 hairpin turns before reaching the next street. The sun was at the wrong angle so my photos did not do the street justice.

On the way to Lombard Street we passed a bicycle for hire shop and got a kick out of its name - "Blazing Saddles".

Tomorrow, Sunday we are off to Yosemite National Park.

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