Trees of Mystery Does not Disappoint!

On our way back home, we made time for the Trees of Mystery, which was an excellent tourist stop.

From the parking lot, you can see Paul Bunyan and Babe. Unlike the Paul Bunyan that lives up the street from me, this Paul Bunyan talks! You can even hear This American Life‘s Ira Glass talk to Paul in this episode.

Here’s some info:

There was a huge gift shop (befitting any tourist trap worth its salt) and some chairs outside for resting.

And after we stop for a photo, we set off along the path!

I loved the signage in this place. It’s also a very popular attraction and has been for years, so it’s a well-oiled machine. The paths are nicely graveled and wide, the destination was clear, the things to see are fun.

Some of the signs could have used a bit more attention in the apostrophe realm.

These are signs commemorating weddings.

A lot of them recognized Mr & Mrs [husband’s first name] [husband’s last name]. Good job making the women disappear!

We made sure to take the Skytrail. Here’s half of a double picture in our gondola.

The Skytrail let us see the trees from the air, and get some good pictures when the cars stopped.

It was a long way down.

And here we are at the top.

Which provided great views, plus binoculars to better see them with.

We explored a bit and then headed back down.

Self portrait from inside the gondola.

A funny sign. Make your reservation now for 2620!

The path to the exit had redwood sculptures.

I like this one quite a bit.

Matt stopped for a picture with a statue.

Should you visit the California Redwoods, do make time for the Trees of Mysery.

With that, our last stop, we headed north. What a great trip!

A walk on the beach.

We visited Redwood Park, but did not stay. However, in our brief time there, we marveled at the tableaus carved into trees. Here is one we took a picture of.

The fog was still hanging out as we got to the beach.

The purpose of this photo was to mark where we left our shoes, in case we couldn’t find them on our way back.

The tide was coming in, but there was still some good low-tide stuff.

So much fog!

It was windy, and this crow is looking ruffled.

By the time we made it to one end of this section of beach, the sun had appeared.

But the other end of the beach still had some clouds.

Sunny self portrait.

Driftwood shelter

We recovered our shoes without needing the photo. And then we needed to sit down to wipe the sand off.

There were a lot of these types of flowers in bloom. I liked their color and their upright nature.

I’m always a fan of a weathered beach house. Especially ones with round windows.

An early morning walk around Eureka

One of my favorite things to do when on vacation is to have a walk around the town. Here’s what I saw in Eureka.

I was interested in this bricked off area in front of this house. It would be kind of front-porch-like, if it had any furniture.

The Carson House is a gem. You can read about it in the picture of the plaque below.

It’s too bad this Map of the Movies didn’t turn up in our pre-trip research. Then again, we didn’t realize we were staying in Eureka.

I checked around to see if we could watch this 100-year-old film and the answer is no. In fact, it was thought to be lost until 2010, when Russia donated 10 silent films to the Library of Congress. Cool!

And there she is! The Carson Mansion, now home to the Ingomar Club. You can see it by googling Eureka California, or just go to Eureka and see it in person. Though only from the street. The Ingomar Club is a private club.

I looked for information about this private club and there wasn’t much. Here is a link to a 1995 newspaper story in which the articles lists a $3,500 initiation fee and $130/month dues (which includes $50 worth of food). The club at the time was males only and required formal wear.

The view from this side shows some additions, cleverly hidden from the front view.

A detail of the house.

Leaving the Carson House, here is another mural, this one giving us a view of the house it blocks.

I enjoyed the name of this shop.

Los Bagels was my favorite Eureka find. Their bagels and cream cheese were delicious!

Here’s a handy Eureka plaque.

Having purchased bagels and cream cheese for our breakfast, I headed back to the room.

One More Walk

After the deluge of yesterday afternoon, look what I woke up to:

There was also a “wintry mix” forecast, which I experienced when I took one more walk before checking out of my room. Wintry mix! In May!

I had a bit of time to kill before my flight so I took one last walk of Minnesota neighborhoods.

I found this sculpture when getting to the start of the walk. Note the black framing in pictures is due to my camera’s lens not retracting all the way. I bump it open when I notice, but there are times I don’t notice.

New building going up here.

A grand vista of the art museum.

And a picture of the newer wing.

There were so many good apartment buildings in Minneapolis! I love the arches on this one, and clearly so do the current owners, given the name.

Behind the art museum is a college.

Another of those houses that make me weak in the knees.

I love all three of the signs on this sign. What happened on the 1989 Arbor Day???

In Portland it sometimes it seems that every single block hosts a houseless person. But this was one of the only sign of homelessness I spied in the Twin Cities. I saw people who looked like they were down on their luck, but they didn’t look like they were also living in a tent on the sidewalk or an old RV.

Informational sign telling us of a huge lovely house that is no more.

Look at this little gem!

And across the street this great church!

Some beautiful stone.

And a sort of mini castle.

I loved seeing a few different stages of development here. The three on the left, probably all built around the same time. Then the two on the right, also probably built around the same time. Were they built before or after the freeway was put in? For the first set, definitely before, for the second set, maybe after?

From the looks of that dirt pile, there is a big freeway project happening.

Gorgeous little mansion down the street from my lodgings.

Statue and center that are directly across the street from that lovely little mansion.

Walk over, I packed up. I left the book of neighborhood walks at the house, but first I added notes pointing out the three walks within walking distance of the address.

And then I took the Green Line all the way to downtown St. Paul. On the way there I looked out the window on one side of the car.

On the way back, I looked out of the opposite window.

I learned that I have some St. Paul exploring to do. Its downtown has a great number of beautiful buildings. Also, I saw the MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) headquarters!

After that, it was back to the airport for a flight home.

What a lovely trip!

Various tiny state natural areas

Today we needed to get gas and, after a stop in Tillamook to refuel both car (gas) and people (food), we explored some random places.

Munson Creek Falls State Natural Area. It’s not often that my life arranges itself so I can notice a sign and then take a detour to explore what’s going on with that sign. But this was vacation and I could!  We took the turn and were rewarded with a short hike to this lovely viewpoint, which the state website tells me is 319 feet tall, and the tallest waterfall in the Coast Range.

It must be something to see after a good rainstorm. Look at all those trees piled up. This area is also a salmon spawning ground.

Self portrait at the falls.

Sitka Sedge State Natural Area was our next stop.  Here’s what the website says about this park: “Sitka Sedge State Natural Area is all about the views–of open water, tidal flats, saltwater marshes and forested wetlands of Sand Lake estuary; of the estuary animals, birds and plants; and for those willing to hike, beach views stretching from Haystack Rock to the south and north to Cape Lookout.”

We did indeed see all those views.  Here’s a tidal flat.

And a salt marsh.

I became less enamored of the trail when it turned to sand. I don’t love hiking in sand as I learned on this hike in Olympic National Park in 2016. 

However, we did make it to the beach, just in time to see this contraption fly by.

The signs alert to a Western Snowy Plover management area. There are a few areas along the coast where activities are restricted during the Snowy Plover nesting season. I was excited to lay eyes on these areas because I remembered the letters to the editor published when these regulations were put into place. There were angry feelings.  “Why can’t I let my dog run on the beach?!?”

This natural area had a very nice bathroom, and also many places to lock your bike, as well as a bicycle assistance station. Being right on the Oregon Coast Bike Route, it makes sense to have these amenities.

Our last stop was Clay Meyers State Natural Area at Whalen Island. Here we took another walk until we found the ocean. 

Cape Lookout Hike

Cape Lookout, while being an excellent state park–the campground is right on the beach–also has an incredible hike called the Cape Lookout Hike.

And we saw a whale!!!!!!  This was the first whale I’ve ever seen in person. It was very exciting.

Many other people also stopped to take a picture of the whale. This dog wasn’t super interested in what we were looking at, but waited patiently for the humans to be done with their sightseeing.

Matt checks out the drop from the edge. (Of note: the black in the corners of this picture are because my lens cover was not fully retracting.)

The water was very sparkly in the sun.

Our view at the trail’s end.

What I thought was a buoy turned out to be a small boat. (You’re looking at a camera in maximum zoom.)

Self portrait at Cape Lookout.

Eating in Tillamook

We hadn’t visited the Tillamook Creamery’s visitor center since they had done the renovation, and it was fun to see the improvements they made. It’s now even easier to buy things, from souvenirs to ice cream.

I really like the profile of the new building.

Which is immortalized on one of the new pressed penny designs. But also check out the one with the bus on it!

A friend recommended Tacos la Providencia for a meal and so we went. It turned out to be a food cart.

There was a covered area next to the food cart and also a building where one could eat inside if the weather was not very good.

We ate outside and had a delicious meal. It was one of those delightful post-hiking feasts where the food is amazing.

On the way back to Tillamook

More gorgeous coast views.

I liked how each of the interpretive signs had bases that reflected their subject matter.  Way to bring it, interpretive signs.

This was also the location where I ran into Patrick, one of the lifeguards at the pool. He had come with his friends for a day hike.  I let him know I wouldn’t be swimming this week, due to vacation.