I've been up in Ashland, visiting my old friends John and Jill Williams and enjoying the usual jam-packed mix of plays, wineries, chocolate, and hikes.
It's always hard to leave Ashland, Oregon's finest Shangri-La, but I loaded up my car with newly acquired vintage clothes, Rogue River Blue, Tempranillo, and marionberry jam and headed south along the coast.
Goodbye, manzanita. Hello, coastal redwoods, the tallest trees in the world.
Over Grants' Pass to California and onto Jedediah Smith State Park, along the Smith River, also named after him.
The weather was drizzly, as it often is, but that's why it's so green. Fallen redwoods provide a fertile base for the forest.
Moss-covered trees, like gloved fingers
Next stop, Battery Point, one of a series of lighthouses along the coast in Crescent City.
It was closed until spring, but the views were spectacular, and the sun came out for a minute.
Crescent City has suffered earthquake and tsunami damage, so the Army Corp of Engineers installed this ugly but functional concrete barrier. Doloes and tetrapods, indeed.
They looked at me with curiosity. They must not be endangered: there were elk burgers on the hotel's dinner menu. (I had a juicy bison burger instead.)
Not all the attractions along the Redwood Highway are natural. Trees of Mystery is an old school roadside attraction. They have a fine collection of Native American crafts in a museum hidden in the gift shop.
Tomorrow: more hiking among the giants, including the Hyperion tree, which stands 380 feet. But only a few people know where it is.
Taking the slow road back to town. Don't forget to breathe.