Two year-olds have their own gravitational pull. Two year-old TWINS have a pull exponentially stronger. That explains why, for the second year in a row, our road trip brings us first to Oakland. That’s where these cuties live–our pseudo-grandkids. (They’re actually some sort of cousin, but who looks at anthropological charts when they can look at these guys?)
But much as we’ve looked forward to being hugged with little sticky fingers, The Mate and I have not rushed headlong to Oakland. There are too many pretty places in between. After a short visit with vibrant old friends in Eugene, we zipped off the interstate and headed for the California redwoods, which exert a pull of their own. And that meant…
Oh boy! Highway 199! We love this road. From the bowl of Grants Pass (“Grass Pants,” to our family), it winds up through mixed-forest hills to the high valley of the Illinois River, near Cave Junction. Acting on a tip from a friend who grew up here, we turned off on Eight Dollar Mountain Road and went for a bike ride and then a hike-picnic in a very unusual ecosystem.
Pine trees + manzanita = Dry. Moss + pitcher plants (tall, insectivorous swamp-denizens) = Wet. This little mountain features both of them together. How weird is that?
Another cool feature of our outing: serpentinite. Yes, I did read the info kiosk that told me exactly what makes this glossy green stone so green and glossy–and no, I don’t remember what it said. All I know is, I picnicked sitting on something we dubbed “the emerald throne.”
And then, yes…off we drove to our happy place among the redwood giants, about whom I’ve written before. And from there along the crashing coast, back up and over the hills, moving through fog from redwoods to oaks to vineyards to the Bay. And the babies. Feeling gratitude for all creatures great and small.
I like that you refer to redwood giants as people — using whom.
I definitely think of them that way.
Thank you for inviting us along on your journey. ‘As always, am enjoying it immensely. I’m in the ferry line, just leaving Lopez. It’s one of the island’s patented mystical magical mornings — clouds that do something–dip and swirl in this case, thru field and tree. The next line of that childhood favorite escapes me but I think it had to do with ships at sea, one of which is about to take me to Anacortes. You missed a fascinating group session yesterday. And we missed you. Lots of thoughtful feedback Marty’s story. I’d love to have have heard yours. What an incredibly talented group…. Your plants are thriving. Daffodils are about in your field. Drive safely.
Thank you, my friend! It’s nice to have a bit of Lopez to carry with me.