Driving the 101 (Part 2)

My second day on Highway 101 and I get my first glimpse of the stunning North Californian coastline. Dark sand, huge boulders and crashing waves. Having worked the Pembrokeshire coastline for years looking for film locations I know what gems we have at home. These beaches are completely different, our wild Atlantic coast, though windswept is lush and green with a colourful mix of flora and fauna, the coastline here gives you a thump in the stomach and tells you who’s boss, huge waves and the constant deafening roar of the sea.Next stop was a roadside tourist attraction – The Trees of Mystery. I’d stopped specifically to say hello to Paul Bunyan and Babe. In the car park there are two 35ft + statues of the two American folklore characters. Bunyan was said to be a giant lumberjack of incredible skill who was often accompanied on his travels by his companion Babe, the Blue Ox. I’d happily make a home for these two in my back garden.The Trees of Mystery are also home to a Native American Museum. They had cases packed with artefacts from tribes across North America. One thing in particular caught my eye – an intricately sewn parka made from seal intestine. I wonder if I could make a pork intestine coat?As I crossed the Oregon border, I stopped at my first indoor farmers market in the town of Brookings. There were five or six stalls outdoors selling fruit and vegetables and another six or so indoors selling local crafts, soaps and home baked goods. It reminded me of some of the small country markets at home.After buying some sugar free carrot cake I wandered across the road to an antiques mall. If I had unlimited baggage allowance half the store would have come back with me, however as I need to stick to my 20kgs I only bought two drawings. They come from the collection of Film Producer/Dirtector/Editor Elmo Williams. While working in England, any visitor to his office would be asked to draw a picture of a pig while blindfolded. Amongst the drawings on the wall were ones by Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland, I settled for some more modest priced ones by cartoonist Jack Davis and actress and author Helen Palmer Geisel (who was also the first wife of Dr. Seuss). The drawings are all wrapped up, so sadly there’s no picture to show you for now.Heading north, just before twilight I stopped at the Prehistoric Gardens. There are two animals that I absolutely love (in addition to pigs, obviously) – bears, and dinosaurs. The roads all along the coast are scattered with bear carvings, emblems, posters and all manner of depiction’s, so I’d had plenty of sightings to settle my appetite. Dinosaurs however were few and far between. The Prehistoric Gardens have been open to the public since 1955, 23 large dinosaur models are set within mature temperate rainforest. Considering it borders the highway, it’s a peaceful stroll through some beautiful woodland (with AWESOME dinos). Final stop of the day was a spot of Fish & Chips, American style (via Norway). It was good to have a taste of home, though I’m reaching the point in the trip when I can nearly count on one hand how many days I have left.

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