We spent parts of Tuesday in the Muir Woods. There is something about really big trees that makes a person only able to take pictures of very small things. Well, at least this person.
Here we have some of the ferns that were everywhere in the cold dark underneath of the forest. I think they make the air cooler just by being there in the shade. It's probably psychological, but I couldn't help feeling like I was in the frozen foods part of the grocery store instead of the cereal aisle whenever I was around them.
The bark of the redwoods and the enormous douglas firs is just wild to look at. It's so intricate that I felt like I could have taken bark pictures all day long and still not actually expressed how different it looks from each angle and on each tree.
Speaking of bark, this is a closeup of another tree with some of its bark stripped off and moss growing on it. I think I want these colors in my kitchen one day.
We headed north, and spent the next day driving through the redwoods, and spent the next afternoon in the Jedediah Smith park, with these beautiful views along the river. We camped there for the night.
We'd packed the camping gear in case we ended up having to stay in an unpopulated place at the end of one of the ride days, and it came in very handy for an enjoyable night in the woods.
Amongst all the enormity of the trees, I loved capturing the delicacy of something like this dainty white flower in the groundcover. And sorrel is just one of my favorite plants, so I love to photograph it any time I find it.
This redwood sorrel that we saw everywhere in the park was large like the trees and purple on the undersides of the leaves. It still had the great tart taste of the more common yellow wood sorrel.
Out of the camping site, we knew there was still a ways to go, so GB headed out the "door" and was on the road around 8am. It was a little later than other days, since camping requires you to live by the setting and rising of the sun, which wasn't until about 7 in the morning. He headed into the cold mountain air, and I went back to the last town and got a bit of work done.
Once I left town to chase him down, I got the pleasure of the beautiful scenery GB had been enjoying all morning. The mountain streams. The neverending lines of trees. The sunshine warming everything up. The reflections off the water. I could have stood there and soaked up the natural beauty for days. But there was a bicyclist that was waiting for me to catch up. Apparently I lollygagged a bit too long, and he was well passed our rendezvous point by the time I caught up with him.
In fact, he had passed this sign before I caught him:
We met at Grant's Pass, ate a bit and tried to decide what to do next. GB was tired, but he wanted to just go until he was completely out of steam. We were so close, you see. So we mapped out the rest of the route to keep us off the highways, and I leapfrogged him in the car pretty close. That turned out to be a good idea, since he was going through the liquids really fast. We'd started the morning in our coldest start of the trip, and we were ending it in the hottest afternoon. The temperature was up in the mid-30s (mid-90s), and the sun was beating down on him hard. At Medford, we saw a sign that said we were just 7 miles to Ashland, so GB pressed on, and we arrived in town about 6 in the evening. The route for the day ended up like the map below.
It was such an impressive ride, and so much was learned about future trips we might want to take. One lesson is the next time we come to Oregon, we're taking the train. It was a great experiment, though. Now we're enjoying our weekend, and we'll head back on Monday taking all the freeways we've had to avoid for the last week to get back in a fraction of the time it took to get up here.
- Time on the road: 10 hours
- Time in the saddle: 7 hours 37 minutes
- Maximum speed: 67.4 km/hr (42 mi/hr)
- Average speed: 25.4 km/hr (16 mi/hr)
- Distance ridden: 194 km (120.5 mi)