Friday, 20 July 2012

Washington: oysters, giant pancakes, more teenage vampires...and an inbox full of emails to tell us our home has flooded!

We crossed over the Columbia River into Washington State and into cranberry bogs and  oyster coves. The road took us inland to the old lumber town of Forks. I hadn't heard of this place until recently when  we came across some dvds in a house in NZ labelled Twilight!
The information office in Forks said they had experienced a 500% increase in visitors to the town over the last 3 years, even thought no filming has actually taken place there. The author, Stephenie Meyer, lives in Arizon and wanted to set her teenage vampire books in a gloomy place with high rainfall. In Forks they measure it in feet not inches.

Magi as an Oyster.

Looking over towards Vancouver Island.

Pike Place market in Seattle.

The floods at home!
Things are normally like this...

The river claimed the floor!

Oregon: July 4th

Avenue of the Giants: drive thru Redwoods

From Point Reyes, we took the coast road north on Highway 1. Past the gift shops selling Bigfoot/Sasquatch Tees and caps, we turned off into a small community with a Big Tree. Leggert is famous for having a really old Redwood - approx 1400 years old  - called the Chandelier Tree that was carved out in the '30s for carts to pass through. I guess that makes it easier for carbon dating and counting tree rings if you gouge out the middle.
My grandma had always had an old black and white photo of The Chandelier Tree on her living room wall in the Cornish farmhouse and I was keen to drive our hire Chevy, with surfboard strapped to the roof through it. 
That night we camped out amongst in the redwoods - in the Humbolt forest. We pitched tent at 5pm and it was already cool and dark under the trees. The kids explored; Bear and Magi got stung by bees, and we had more sausages and s'mores! Bear and Magi got themselves freaked out before bedtime about Bigfoot. At least it made them forget about the bears and cougars that really live in the woods!

Camping in Marin: Point Reyes

Leaving San Fransico on a foggy saturday afternoon

We said our goodbyes to the girls; Skylar and Kaitlin, and their mum Cynthia and Jolie and headed over the bridge with our new tent to Point Reyes. The first night we were entertained by a lad of 6 and his dad from Sacramento, who played the fiddle and the ukulele, while a couple of fat racoons tried to steal their food and have a noisy scrap.
Lucy, Siri, Bruce and Cath came and joined us the next day and we made a feast for the bbq  - I think there were about 16 jacket potatoes involved !

Left: with Siri in the tent. Right: Twas brillig. Bear reciting the Jaberwocky to beamish boy Bruce.

Digs and Raz at Point Reyes.

Mummy Magi and baby Siri Roo!