Much of the drive yesterday followed Interstate 5 southbound, and today it was time to head back to Highway 101 along the coast. I stopped along the beach in Crescent City, California
. I also found a road side art gallery by Val Polyanin
. There isn't much else I can find about this artist, but I enjoyed it's grotesque style.
A couple more hours of driving, and I reached my destination for the day: Redwood National Park
. I had seen pictures of giant redwood trees and wanted to see one in person. My experience seeing one of these giants in person can not be overstated—it was truly moving. Their size is humbling, but I think it's their upward reach that really inspires awe. I wasn't expecting the experience to be so profound, but it was more so than seeing the Rockey Mountains in the distant for the first time, any of the magnificent rapids running through valleys I saw, the unexpected drop in the badlands, or even the outer worldly pronominal caused by the Yellowstone hot spot
. So I learned something new about myself: I'm moved by seeing Cetacea
(whales and dolphins) and now also Sequoia
Naturally I attempted to photograph these majestic colossus, but much like mountains there isn't really anything that can put their size into context—that one has to experience themselves. So I tried for general documentation. In this trip I did not encounter the truly massive redwood like those seen in photos with people driving cars through. When I return one day I will make a better effort to seek out more redwoods groves.
This part of the trip marks the end of what I desired to reach in the in the westerly direction and it now was time to work my way back east. The Black Rock Desert laies on the east side of the California, and the mountainous terrain and sparse population means there are not a lot of options for roads. While mountain driving with it's tight turns and attentive driving requirements can be fun, I had been doing it for the last several days. I wanted to get on a main road where the driving isn't so involved, and gas stations are not such a rarity. So I decided to work south-east toward Reno, Nevada. A nice lady at the Redwood National Park visitor center recommended a route for me she said was a very pretty drive, and she was correct. The route rook me though Lassen National Forest and afterward as darkness fell I stopped in a rest area in Janesville, California.