Published: November 22nd 2008November 14th 2008
River in Redding
Beautiful river Justin took us to see
The past week and a half has been full of adventure, beauty, manifestation, and travel. The original plan was to stay in Arcata for the week to spend time with friends, as well as to make some money (at least enough to make up for the precious days taken off of work in Santa Cruz). But as is consistent with my life right now, the Universe had much more exciting and enlightening plans for me!
After the first few days in Arcata, Phoenix and I got pulled to continue our travels - first to Redding to visit her Grandmother, and then on to Oregon and whatever adventure that held. So on November 6th we headed west on Route 199, headed to Redding. From this drive on we were surrounded by incredible beauty as we winded through the woods and mountains. It seems that a significant motif in this adventure was water, and this leg of the trip was one of our first intimate connections with it. We had to pull over to get some pictures of this beautiful babbling brook, and some video of Phoenix’ climb to the perfect picture spot (Brook Video)
. We didn’t have a tripod,
Phoenix and Justin
Phoenix and her uncle Justin as he takes us to the wonderful river
so a lot of these pictures are taken by balancing the camera on a rock, tree, wall, car, shoe, drums, cooler, or whatever was handy. Of course we had to stop and breathe in and out deep to begin the trip with fresh, mountain filtered air.
When we arrived in Redding, I got to meet Phoenix wonderful Grandma! She’s so gentle spoken and endlessly loving like Grandmas naturally are, which reminded me of my Nan of course. Their house is decorated in a delightfully eclectic Victorian style, obviously created with great intention. Immediately we slipped into a “day in the life” as we family-tripped to Sears and Best Buy to price check a new washing machine. It was so fun! I used to hate errands like this as a kid, but now the time spent with family is precious AND it’s also an opportunity to play with tons of neat products. For example Phoenix and I spent a hefty amount of time exploring the work-out section of Sears and learning about the features of space-ship looking refrigerators.
After that Phoenix’ Uncle (who’s my age) took us to a special spot; a cliff overlooking an incredible river with an
Trying out Sears equipment
We spent some time playing around in Sears while Phoenix' grandma shopped for a new washing machine. Isn't she a beast?!
intoxicating mountain range horizon. This is the next great connection with water we had, and there are a few pictures for it. The next day Justin took us to see the Shasta Dam with more water and mountains, and a quick stop to take some excellent pictures in front of a church that had a huge gate and pathway to heaven on the wall. We stacked our drums on top of each other and set the self timer to get these ones! Shortly after, we wanted to get on our way for the next leg of the trip. So we headed to the grocery store to pick up some essentials: celery, jelly, bread, pomegranate, oranges, baby wipes, water, and boxed wine. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve had boxed wine, and it was just as awesome as ever. $12 for 5 liters of wine was perfect to get us two girlies all the way to Oregon and back to sit and having a relaxing last glass of cheap Cabernet.
On the road again! We headed west again on 199 to stop back in to Arcata to drop off a camera and give love to our beautiful friends,
Mystical little brook
Sure it took Phoenix a lot of effort to climb up there, but it was worth it. She looks so beautiful in nature!
then it was onward and northwards. We had been given directions to the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California. Basically we just needed to head north on 101 and then hop over to Route 169. That’s all our directions said, so that’s what we did. Well 169 dead ends into this creepy suburban-ish(?) area of Klamath that has no human activity in it as early as 8:30pm. The only people we saw that night, November 7th, was three zombie-esk Klamathians that sluggishly followed our car with their heads as we glided by their driveway. Totally creepy! We continued to follow what we thought was 169 until it forked at a huge “ENTRANCE” sign. We weren’t sure what we were supposed to enter into, but we decided to take the road marked “Boat-Ramp ”. With no life in sight, we drove slowly until we came upon a giant empty parking lot surrounded by trees, which accompanied the boat ramp. We could see that the very deepest part of the parking lot was in the dark and away from the eyes of any drivers by, so we parked there for the night.
Thus began our car-sleeping adventure! We had already worked
We take on the brook together
I had to haul booty up the little hill to get next to her before the timer went off, yay!
out a system in Redding, as to how we were going to sleep. Phoenix’ car is a spacey Honda Accord with back seats that fold down and give you access to the trunk. This became our sleep pod. We created a bed out of layers of blankets and slipped our feet into the trunk, lying on the back of the downturned seats. We placed our essentials on the back window’s shelf (you know, where people put their beanie babies back in the day) - knife, phones, pb&j fixin’s, duct tape, note books, and camera. We then used the two sets of sun blockers Phoenix has in her car to block the back window (this is what the duct tape was for), and the two back passenger windows. Our nightly ritual was created. First, move the five trash bags full of laundry (to wash at Grandma’s house!) from the trunk to the front seats, as well as the drums and guitar. Make sure emergency snacks were accessible. Then go find a tinkle spot (thank God for baby wipes!) and wash our face and brush our fangs. Finally we’d slip into our sleep pod and chat giddily about the day’s adventure as
Incredible scenery on Hwy 199
From Arcata to Redding, the scenery was stunning
we unloaded the day’s pictures onto the computer. (Oh, an invaluable tool to have while road tripping - an inverter that plugs into your cig lighter - THANKS Phoenix’ Dad!) This is usually about where boxed wine came into play as well, FUN!
That first night it rained a lot, and the sound of the silence broken by rain hitting the metal roof was quite soothing. Surprisingly we weren’t cold at all, in fact we had to roll the windows down a bit to circulate the hot air inside. The sleep was great, and I only woke a few times freaked out that someone would come knocking on the window telling us to move. Why that would freak me out so much…I’m not sure, but it does. The next morning was a cool, overcast day with cottony mist all around. We got up, brushed and washed again, then made peanut butter, boysenberry jelly, and apple slices sandwiches. Grabbing our drums and a towel, we headed across the parking lot and down to the boat ramp to the river (yes…ANOTHER body of water). The scene was stunning as we put our towel on a left-behind cooler to use as a
seat and enjoyed our sandwiches. The river’s current was strong and kept a continuous rushing sound to accompany all the birds chirping in the trees around us. The mountains went on into infinity and were carpeted in a coat of Evergreens (Klamath river video)
. It started to pick up raining and so we decided to retreat to the car for now. Phoenix did a bit of studying and I enjoyed the atmosphere and was inspired to pluck away at my guitar. A bit of a tight squeeze, but I managed to strum for a while without bruising anyone too badly. We free styled for a bit about terribly in appropriate things, because they are often the funniest…and we videoed it, but I’ll leave that video for my private giggly enjoyment. But here are two little verses I wrote while in the car for a new song called “Babble on”: The rain pitter patters, my teeth cha-cha-chatters,
being holed up with you in this back seat is what matters.
The notes bounce in my head, what’s that that you said,
You open your mouth, but beats flow out instead.
After an hour or two in the back seat
we realized - HEY! There’s so much MORE out there to explore! Even though it was still raining, we got activated and rearranged the car so we could drive on. Our goal was to head to the Mystery Trees for the day. We weren’t really sure where they were because our directions just stopped in Klamath, and the highway ends at the boat ramp it seems. So we headed back out of the creepy suburbs among the misty mountains and decided to stop at this “Diner” near the entrance of creepy town. I grabbed our purses and eagerly exclaimed “maybe we can eat lunch here!” thinking it would be a quaint little diner. Phoenix knew better though and said “Um, I don’t think this is a place we’ll be staying in for long…but we can bring some money in just in case”. So as we walk in, it’s actually a bar - not a diner. There were 6 people in there in total, all quite obviously locals. One lady had her back to us playing pool, three men sat on the bar, and one older Native American looking woman with long white hair pulled back, came from the kitchen. The
bartender was the only one that had some resemblance of “normalcy” but had an odd silence about him. We inquired about the Trees of Mystery to crow of locals and one man on the bar stool straight out SCOFFED saying “Pah! They’re LOST!” The man closest to us at the bar quickly and animatedly started giving us directions, asking colorfully “WHO’S THE PASSANGER!? WHO’S THE PASSANGER?!” I decided that we were now in a fun circus-type reality, so I tuned in and jolted my hand in the air saying “I’M THE PASSANGER! I’M THE PASSANGER!” so he started telling me to keep my eye out the window for a huge Blue Bull. Then the lady playing pool joined in with her directions, revealing that only half of her two front teeth were there and flailing her oddly blob-tattooed hand as she did. They were wonderful people! Very helpful, but very strange.
So, on we went to find the huge blue bull and the Mystery Trees. But by the time we got there the trails were already closed for the day. This was perfect because it was raining still, and we got to check out the free museum attached to
The Phoenix on her perch
the gift shop. Lots of beautiful Native American relics in there. And of course we got some pictures with Paul Bunion and his huge blue bull, Babe.
We then decided to head to the nearest city to find a place to explore and sleep for the night - Cresent City, California. Along the way we came across this excellent little beach. It had pretty black sand (which we got a sample of in an empty bread bag), and huge rock islands in the surf, and…a washed-up dead sea lion! Yeah! I couldn’t believe it! And no one else was really intrigued by it! I had to go look at it, though I couldn’t get too close. I did get a picture though. Anyway, we eventually got back on the road to Cresent City. Phoenix had been craving steak that day, so we kept that in mind as we headed scouted the area. The whole way there we saw billboards that exclaimed “GO WILD!”, and we would respond “WE ARE!”. As we got closer to the city, we saw signs for casinos and we thought that it would be a fun little adventure to go to a casino for dinner!
Fun with church paintings
This was on the side of a church in Redding, we had lots of fun with it!
It just so happens that the signs saying “GO WILD!” were actually advertisements for a casino. As soon as we got there we were making friends with the staff, specifically a security guard named Brandon. He showed us where the diner was in the casino and told us about how tonight was Steak Special Night! TADA, steak manifestation. So we split some artichoke dip and a $9.00 steak, which wasn’t as good as my dad’s by any means but it was fun. We also had to charge our phones and camera battery while eating because our cig lighter was busted and the inverter had stopped working. After we ate we gave ourselves a $10 limit for gambling, so we could have just a taste of the gambling experience. There was an Indiana Jones penny slot machine I was eyeing pretty intensely. So we spent a couple of dollars and then Brandon came over to check on how we were doing. He told us how to get $20 free of gambling money by starting a membership card! So we did, and got $40 to play around with and win back our spent few dollars. Which we did! When we were done
I like to hang on things
I think interacting with signs is much more memorable...
gambling we got everyone we had made friends with to sign our membership cards. Then we left to find a place to sleep for the night.
A quick stop at a gas station and we fixed the cig lighter problem with a new fuse. We were quite proud of ourselves! Crescent City is a beautifully ocean-lined community, and our destination was to find a quiet little spot along the water if possible. And oh boy did we! But first in our search, we came across this long pier that stretched out into a little bay, maybe a peninsula area. We had to run down it and take some fun pictures. Then we drove on and traveled down a long-grass lined road we drove until up ahead we saw a group of eyes and knew immediately - these were the Elks that we had been trying to manifest ever since we saw our first “Elk Crossing” sign. We didn’t get any revealing pictures and honestly spent too much effort on capturing a picture of them that we didn’t really enjoy them as much as we should have, or sent them love. But eventually we came across a perfect secluded little
Tree house swing!
I swung for a bit in Redding
parking lot at the entrance of a hiking trail and on a cliff overlooking the waves. There were some signs stating “No Overnight Parking”, but we had no use for those directions in this beautiful little cove. We got out and explored our evening home in the dark- looking out over the dark endless ocean and down to the glowing white crests of the waves below. Phoenix had an excellent idea to hike down the trail a little bit, but when we got to the entrance there was a warning sign about traveling in groups and such…Beware of the Bears and Mountain Lions! So we put off the hike until the morning and got our nightly sleep-pod set up. I have to admit, this is where my bear attack paranoia started. Nevertheless, we slept most peacefully, and I’m quite sure it was because of the pulsing waves’ lullaby. (Notice again, water water water!)
No bears or people bothered us that night, and we woke up totally refreshed and ready for our morning hike! The day was pretty cloudy, but there was this really mystical fog that stayed with us the whole day and added to its awesomeness. We definitely
A view from heaven
On the road back to Arcata to Redding it got suddenly foggy and enchanting.
weren’t as afraid of bears and mountain lions in the daylight, so we head out immediately on the hike trail. It winds down the coast a bit, along the cliff overlooking the ocean. To one side of us was the ocean and the other side was steep rocky hills and cliffs. We got some great photos and video of the atmosphere and such (Cloudy Hike Video)
. There were some wild blackberries that we tasted, though it was kind of a risk since we didn’t know it was edible for sure (Blackberry Video)
. Down the trail a bit there was an option to go deeper into some woods and a bit away from the ocean, so we took it. Trees furry in moss surrounded us and we could hear the rushing of a creek. There was a small path that led down a steep muddy hill, which lead to the stream…I had to check it out. Phoenix took a little convincing to risk the muddy hill, but when she got down there she was glad she did it! The path ended on a natural platform, big enough to stand and gawk at the beauty. There was a
Up in heaven perhaps?
The top of this mountain let us look down on the clouds in the valley. It was stunning
tiny waterfall to our left, a rapid and pool to our right, and the stream split around a moss carpeted rock-island right in front of us. I had to go out to it. It wasn’t hard at all, only a long step from the land, and sitting on that little island and feeling the water whip past you…it was almost cleansing really. We have some good pics and videos from this area too (Rushing Stream Video). After a while there, the time came to hike back to the car and get ready for our next adventure - The Trees of Mystery!
Immediately when we pulled up in the parking lot, Phoenix rambled quickly about getting in the photo with some cute little Asian tourist family. I was confused but she popped out of the car and went over encouraging the dad (who obviously was the camera man with his huge camera bag) to get in the picture with his family. It was beautiful and probably the only picture of all four of them together. Then we headed into the info/gift shop to find out and pay for the trail. They had these EXCELLENT pinwheel pens that we really wanted
We scratched our initials into different coins and threw them into the water or hid them in a tree, here and there.
to get. It was so fun spinning around with them, and I wanted to take them on the “Sky Trail” with us, which is like a big ski lift up the mountain. So we set a limit - if they were $2 or less we would get them. Alas, they were $3.95. So instead Phoenix had the idea to just video us playing with them (Pinwheel Video)
! I love how you can hear the conversation going on in the background. The entrance to the trail is through an old Redwood log, which already makes it super cool. The first tree you come upon is the “Family Tree” which has 12 full grown trees that sprouted on the branches of the mother tree. It’s incredible. There were a lot of other excellent trees there, some that got recognition and some that were just as beautiful off the trail. Of course we slipped off the trail for a little bit, and found an excellent little area with some beautiful trees - one that specifically called to Phoenix. There was the Cathedral, which was a grouping of 6 trees that had grown together almost as if they were singing Christmas Carols
Boxed wine on the road
The first time I've had boxed wine since college!
together. Many weddings are held here and if you stand in the curve of the trees and look out, you can understand why. You are faced with a massive hill filled with rows of incredibly proud trees that look like they have all gathered there just to witness what was going on at the Cathedral. It’s very powerful and beautiful. (Cathedral Video)
A poem painted on a redwood plank at the Cathedral trees proclaims: This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awe-struck soul;
For here we sense life’s proper goal.
To be like these, straight, true and fine,
To make our world, like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.
There was also the Brotherhood tree, which was 16 feet around and almost 300 feet high, dedicated to the brotherhood of man and all its beautiful diversity. And a fallen tree that was over 3,000 years old and still had its roots intact (which we took pictures with). Trees struck by lightning. A tree that were half cut into but for some reason left to stand
Making PB&J with apples
Breakfast after our first night in the car
by the loggers in the 50s. We took the sky trail up the mountain to a look out that usually you can see the Ocean from, but it was too foggy that day (Skytrail Video)
. And then at the very end of the trail there were chainsaw carving statues depicting the story of Paul Bunion. At last the trail brought us back to the gift shop, where we got free fudge samples before leaving with a wonderful Mystery Tree glow.
After our Trees of Mystery adventure was complete, it was time to move on to the next…which we weren’t really sure what it was. All we knew was that our general plan was to head up into Oregon a little bit and swoop back down on highway 5 to hit Ashland. So we set out again! The road to Oregon held some extremely beautiful and magical sites. By this time we had already seen some incredible things, so we set out a challenge to reality…to “Show us what you got!”. And it sure did! The drive started out with unimaginable beauty as the road wound through the mountains and along a liquid emerald river. We had to
Sandwiches by the Klamath River
That cooler was the perfect breakfast chair
stop at several times to take it all in. The river seemed to create a mote surrounding “Tree Island” as we called it. And the island shot forth secret waterfalls from rock cliffs and mossy covered boulders. We literally squealed in ecstasy at the sight and found a small path down to the river to take a few pictures and put our feet in the water. Hurried on by the knowledge that MORE breathtaking sights were ahead of us before sunset, we took in as much as we could as fast as we could.
“We shall not STAGNATE! NO STAGNATION!” was our giddy mantra as we jumped back in the car. Then as we turned a bend going down the mountain, I happened to look up at the sky. I gasped and squeezed Phoenix’ arm yelling “Look up! Oh my GOD! Look UP!” She joined me in my indescribable delight as we were faced with the most obvious blessing of the entire trip. The most perfectly solid and arched Rainbow with every color showing bright, floated above the trees in front of us. The pre-mature full moon took its royal seat on the outside right of the arch, creating
Yay river food!
Rocks make perfect tripods
an almost alien skyscape. Phoenix immediately pulled over and before we got out I grabbed her and looked into her eyes with all seriousness - “We are NOT. We are NOT going to take pictures of this. We have to just live it.” She agreed and we jumped out of the car, climbed a little hill and gawked at this Cosmic Gift. Several cars went by and no one stopped, I couldn’t believe it. Were they not seeing this?! We felt truly blessed and thrilled that this was the beautiful reality that we were creating. The Rainbow lasted so long that after a few minutes we decided that it was ok to take pictures now, so we snagged a few. The moon isn’t quite as impressive as it was in real life and the Rainbow started to fade a bit…but it’s still incredible. The oddest thing is that the sky was relatively clear, almost like a magical rainbow for us!
Not long after we left the Rainbow spot it started to get dark and we knew we’d have to keep our eyes open for another sleep spot for the night. We wanted to at least get into Oregon before
calling it a night, which we did. We saw signs for the Oregon Caves and so thought maybe we could get there before they closed or maybe even find a place to park nearby for the night. The sign for the caves said it was only 17 miles away, but that ended up taking nearly an hour with the ridiculous curves that snaked us up t he mountain. By the time we got to the caves we were there to watch the staff drive away and leave us in the parking lot in pitch dark. So we tried to take in the essence of the caves through a quick meditation and then headed back down the crazy windy road. Eventually we came across a side road that had potentials for sleeping. We drove up another curvy road with sporadic houses, which gave me the creeps. Eventually the road stopped being paved and we were driving on gravel…which creeped me out even more for some reason. I started imagining weirdo yokles coming across our car in the middle of the night…or even worse…bears! I just couldn’t get the bear fear out of my mind from the previous night’s sleep spot (as
Our first attempt at the Mystery Trees in Klamath, but it was closed already.
well as a previous camping adventure we had where our tent was attacked by killer raccoon-bears intent on stealing our chicken and devouring us).
Finally we found a spot to park that we felt comfortable and safe at. The first spot we almost stayed at had strange burn spots marked with pentagonal placed rocks. But a bit more up the mountain was our humble cove on the side of the gravel road. Again we set up our sleep pod with extra effort to bring positive safe energy to the place, and settled in for a night of wino-ing. The wino-ing eventually led to the creation of a ridiculous plan of how to fend off a bear if one should attack, of which we recorded (Bear Attack Video)
. Now as you watch the video realize we’re crammed into the backseat of the car with the seats down, allowing access to the trunk. Also realize that we had a few drinks and get a little crazy…I apologize in advance for my potty mouth towards the end!
We made it through the night, obviously, and the morning showed me how beautiful the area really was. We wanted to get
Awesome beach on road to Crescent City
It's still only about 4pm, but it was so cloudy it looked dark
up early this morning so that we could have a sunrise drive through Oregon. Slowly we wound down the mountain and back towards the highway, but stopped to get gas first. That was our first experience with full-service gas stations…it was confusing! We didn’t know whether to tip the guy or not, so we did (being of the service industry) - plus he checked our oil and tires too. Then we went to this cute little coffee shop that was there called “Coffee Heaven” and got some Chi Latte for $3 and no sales tax! We had decided that we wanted something a little different then peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast so set out for the nearest city, Grants Pass, to get something more substantial. When we got there we got set on having a roasted chicken a salad, but it was so early still that Albertson’s didn’t have the chicken cooked yet! So we went to the next town and Alberson’s…Still not ready! We passed through a town named Phoenix in search of Chicken also - we had to get some pictures of Phoenix next to the Phoenix “this way” signs. I also couldn’t help take some video of
wonder how it died? Maybe a shark attack!
her squawking like crazy- she thought I was taking pictures still (Squawking Video)
. Finally we reached Ashland, which was much smaller than we thought, but finally we had our chicken. We found a perfect spot next to a church, overlooking the mountains and chowed down.
Ashland was our last goal to hit in Oregon, so now we were officially on our way back. But that doesn’t mean the adventure stopped! We wanted to reach Redding again by the night, so we could spend more time with Phoenix’ grandma so we jumped on highway 5 and headed down. BUT, we were jolted to a stop when we came within viewing distance of Mount Shasta - Oh my god. As it came in to view I could see the snow peaking through the clouds so that it looked like a mountain in heaven. The vibrations there are buzzing they’re so strong. I actually, honestly, had to pull over from how excited I was -my head was swimming! I took some video of when we pulled over, it’s pretty silly ridiculous (Shasta Video)
. Our route took us actually into Shasta city, which we had to stop and check
Bathroom of the Casino
Gettin' ready for steak and gambling!
out a bit. As we parked in town Phoenix began her own freak-out session as she realized she had just dreamed this the night before. We pulled up perfectly next to a travel shop and went in to flip through books of Costa Rica, finally settling on an info card that had the different butterflies of Costa Rica on it (which now hangs on our “Costa Rica Wall” in our room). Then we cruzed around to some different shops and book stores, picking out a book called “Manifest Your Desires” and a journal for Phoenix at this beautiful little book store. After that we decided to go to lunch and split an Alfredo special with salad and tried an experiment on manifestation. The book we got says: With only a few seconds of focusing your attention on a subject, the Law of Attraction begins to respond. Within 17 seconds of focusing on something, a matching vibration becomes activated. And now, when you repeatedly return to a pure thought, maintaining it for at least 68 seconds, in a short period of time (hours, in some cases, or a few days in others), that thought becomes a dominant thought. And once
you achieve a dominant thought, you will experience matching manifestations until you change it.
Illegal photo in the Casino
Brandon, the security guard told us we couldn't take pictures after this.
So we each picked something to manifest to try it out. I picked getting the server to bring us more bread, which wasn’t as neat as Phoenix’. She decided that she wanted to experience something involving Hawaii - anything, a license plate, a picture, whatever. So we timed each other for 68 seconds of concentrated manifestation. Right before Phoenix started her 68 seconds she took off her sweatshirt and halfway through timing her I look at the shirt she was wearing…it said “HAWAII” on it! When she opened her eyes I told her to look at her shirt and we both started giggling madly - she hadn’t consciously known she was wearing a Hawaii shirt. After that we got back on the road for Redding, and a couple hours later I got a text message from my dad saying “Hi! I was just going through the pictures of you and your brother when we lived in Hawaii!” WOW! Totally random text message! That was a lot of fun. And again at Phoenix’ grandma’s the topic of Hawaii was randomly and separately brought up. Psychology would
Fixed the fuse
We figured out that our cig lighter (and thus our inverter) wasn't working because of a busted fuse!
probably define this as the availability heuristic, but it confirms to me that thoughts can bring about reality (in the least, awareness of the reality we’re seeking whether it was always going to be there or not).
So finally we were back in Redding to relax and sleep in a real bed. Oh, it was heavenly for sure, as grandma beds usually are. And we got to get in a Jacuzzi, which I was wanting earlier that day. And the next evening we headed back down to Santa Cruz to pick up our life where we had left it off. What an incredible adventure that was…
There are more photos below