Thursday, February 28, 2008


It's been almost a year since The Kid, my mom and I made our way to Disneyland for a Griswald family vacation. So far, I've managed to write about the first two days of the trip, here and here, as well as this morbid little side story. But I am determined to get the rest of it out before the 12 month mark, which means I have until April 1. May Britney throw her babies at me if I fail.

Day Three. April 3, 2007. Brookings to Redcrest.
Not able to track down my sister (our sole purpose in Brookings), we decided that breakfast was the only reason for us to stick around any longer. We picked an average looking roadside diner on the south end of town. It turned out to be the kind of place where the waitresses wear pink dresses with white doily collars; the kind of place where 90% of the menu is dedicated to the senior specials; the kind of place where they still serve Freedom Toast.

"Uh oh, Mom. We're not in Kansas anymore."


"This place serves Freedom Toast."


"Freedom Toast."


"We're no longer in a blue state."

"I have no idea what you're saying. Have some coffee."

"Just keep your head down and your mouth shut. There's no telling what these crazy people might do."

"Whoa. Okay, maybe you should lay off the coffee."

It was only much later, in the car driving into California, that I was able to explain to my mother just what grave danger we'd so narrowly escaped. She still didn't really get it. We share our eye color, not our sense of humor.

Then we made our way here: The Trees of Mystery. Except that when you say it, you have to hold your hands over your head and shout it out in your best wizard voice, so that it sounds like this: THE TREES OF MYSTERY!!! Why a wizard? I don't know. You could probably substitute mad scientist and be just fine. But wizards have cooler hats.

Arguably, one of the most frightening aspects of THE TREES OF MYSTERY!!! was this gigantic blue ox and his proportionately gigantic blue balls.

To give you some perspective, take a look at the size of the people off to the left.

Anatomically correct ox? Probably not the best choice in this case, I'm thinking. It was absolutely impossible to take a snapshot of family members in front of the lovely sculpture without a pair of blue testicles sneaking into the frame.

Luckily, things inside the gates got much more PG. The first part of the attraction is basically a glorified walk through the woods, but it was nice. It's full of lots of TREES OF MYSTERY!!! that I didn't bother to photograph because... well, because they were pretty much just TREES OF MEDIOCRITY!!! Don't get me wrong, they were lovely trees. And the whole family enjoyed walking around looking at them. But the tree identified as THE LIGHTENING TREE!!! would have been far more mysterious had it delivered an electrical shock, rather than simply zig-zagging ever so slightly near its top. That's all I'm saying.

We did like this tree, whose roots The Kid decided looked like giant fingers gripping the earth.

And this overturned stump created an inviting vortex into a parallel woody universe.

But what we were most excited about was riding the skytrail. In fact, it's probably a good thing that I wasn't so interested in THE TREES OF MYSTERY!!! because I was forced to speed-hike past them, so anxious was The Kid to get to the skytrail platform. Once aboard, he settled down and took in the rather impressive view.

And then, in what was one of the most glorious moments of the entire trip, he snuggled up next to me, sighed contentedly and said, "I love this day." And now I know the sound of my heart exploding.

The top of the skytrail consists of a smallish observation deck, a bathroom, and a smoking section, which I thought was a nice touch. So we rode back down and toured the many chainsaw carvings throughout the rest of the trail.

Like this snake:

And this thinking man:

And this mossy dude:

The rest of the day consisted of a fair amount of driving, which was actually quite lovely considering the surroundings. Late in the afternoon, we veered of 101 and onto The Avenue of Giants to stay in Redcrest for the night. If you have children, and you insist on cooping them up in a car for hours at a time, at least have the decency to drive them here for a night or two.

1 comment:

Wendy Hughes-Jelen said...

You took the same trip we did! Check out our photos at

Fellow West Seattleite Wendy

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