Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Blue's Labor Day weekend in NorCal Adventure - Day 4

The fourth and final day of our Labor day weekend adventure found us waking up at campground X in Humboldt County. We enjoyed the downtime immensely, but needed to get under way and head back home. We swapped phone #s with a couple we had hung out with a little at the site, gave a different couple a jump when they awoke to find their BMW's battery dead and headed on our way.

Just north of Campground X there is a spot where the road follows the beach. EP and I consider it one of our favorite roads to drive on. Below is Big Blue pulled off to the side of that road:

Then the road fights its way back over the hills, headed inland toward the town of Ferndale. For any car, this is quite a haul and for Big Blue, it was a 2nd gear, high rpm hill climb. Blue did fine, and we found ourselves down the other side and in Ferndale, an interesting Victorian-style town. Everything was closed for the holiday, but we did take a little time to walk around and see the place.

The road over the mountain into Ferndale.

The cows in California always have the best views.

After Ferndale, we turned Big Blue south on the 101. It's pretty smooth sailing once back on the 101, and it started to feel like the adventure was over. And, the further south we got, the more familiar the area became and then we knew we were home. Back to email, cell phones, our cat, chores, dishes, mail, bills, online banking, paychecks, gifts to buy, and blog posts to write. It was good to shut it all down for a few days.

This trip was good practice for our 9 day bus trip in October. I made a list when I got home of some things to do: re-seal all the windows, reupholster both front seats (the passenger side has a spring that pokes in a bad spot) and add under the dash parcel trays. This last one is something I was on the fence about, but I think it will be a nice addition to keep the bus a little more organized when traveling. I hope to have all this in place by the October trip.

We did make 2 cool stops on our way down. Places we have been a few times but not in Big Blue. The first stop was the Avenue of the Giants. This place is always fun to drive through, but driving Blue through there gave me the feeling of going back 40 years, to when Big Blue might have been seeing these roads for the first time.

Big Blue on the Avenue of the Giants.

And the last major stop of the adventure was the Drive-thru Tree in Leggett. We drove through this in our MINI a few years back, but had never had the bus there. It costs $5 to get in and, while paying, the lady warned me that the bus wouldn't fit.

"How tall is it?" I asked.

"Six feet eight inches," she answered. "You won't make it."

"Naw, I'll make it."

"Okay, I'm just telling you."

So I did some quick math. I'm 6'2". And Big Blue is taller than me but not by much. EP was pretty sure we were too tall, but I decided to try. EP got out and got into a place to take a pic should I make it through.

With a line of cars behind me, I lined up Big Blue, pulled up to the entrance, and, about 3 inches shy of the tree, I decided that Big Blue and I were not getting through. I backed up and went and parked. The tallest car I saw go through was a mini van, and that thing barely cleared it.

Here is a picture of the failed attempt:

Big Blue not making it through the Drive-thru Tree in Leggett.


Ludwig's Drivers

Next time you try to go through that tree, bring a bicycle pump along. Then let a bunch of air out of the tires right before the tree, and pump 'em back up right after.
Nice adventure.
Why are you worried about the parcel tray? I can promise you won't regret it. Drilling, schmilling. They don't all have to end up in museums.


Big Blue's Driver

Oh, I was more on the fence about the parcel tray just because I didn't know if we needed it. I had been thinking about it a while and finally realizes it would be a good spot for things like atlases and camera/phones, etc. Our glovebox was packed on the trip.

I like the idea about the bicycle pump. I am going to work on getting an exact measurement of the height of the bus - just to have that knowledge for future chances at driving through trees...


I like the new picture of you guys.

Looks like this was a great trip--and seriously, it did inspire us to turn our baywindow back into a camper.

I think I'm going to start using this bicycle pump trick for parking garages too. :-)


Aw man! I was really hoping you would have made it through the tree! I still think we should have jumped in the station wagon (or was it a mini van?) with that family last time.

Big Blue's Driver

Good news is there is another drive thru tree just north of there (in Myers Flat, CA) that is 7 feet by 7 feet. I am certain to fit through that! We'll try it next time we are up there.

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