Date of Trip: September 2004
We started our anniversary mini-trip with a stop at Founder’s Grove, Richardson’s Grove and Avenue of the Giants, located on California’s Highway 101. Not only a perfect are for a picnic in either a shady redwood grove or along the picturesque river, these gentle giant trees are sure to take your breath away, no matter where you’re from.
We’ve grown up in Northern California, and this area never ceases to amaze both my husband and myself. There are scores of trails and countless ventures for the traveler to suit your various desires, whether it be a gentle short walk, or a longer, more challenging hike. There are also, it should be noted, restroom facilities in this area (always crucial on any roadtrip). If you are up for either a B&B, or tent or RV camping, this area can fill your platter! There are campsites with and without hookups, with firepits, barbecue sites, and a few various inn-type accommodations of various appeal. It should be noted that the food options in this particular stretch are slim, unless you feel like driving forty-plus minutes. My husband and I enjoyed the picnic that we had brought, wandered through the trees, and then we were off to our destination of Klamath.
After a beautiful drive along the California coastline, we found the Rhodes Inn, secluded in the heart of the beautiful towering redwood trees of Northern California. Located in Klamath, California, the Rhodes Inn has three guest suites: Country Corner, Garden Gate, and the Snow Queen, where we made our home for two wonderful nights. Dusty and Lynn gave us a most warm welcome into their home, making us feel immediately cozy, despite the definitely chilly weather outside. As we walked in, our first impression was of the beautiful wood living area, the grand fireplace, the couches, and sitting chairs, all assembled to make you want to sit and stay. Early in the evening, Dusty served some absolutely devourable home-made blackberry cobbler which we happily enjoyed two servings of (hiccup), and some great chamomile tea to go with it. We left shortly after that for a five minute drive to dinner at the Steelhead Lodge. We dined on some spicy tender BBQ ribs, accompanied by “fishbowl margaritas” (these are the Big MacDaddy of margarita-world, weighing in at a whopping 32 ounces each: YUMMERS!!!!). Dinner came with all the fixin’s: Corn on the cob, salad, hot moist biscuits, and (as if we needed it) dessert. After we gorged ourselves there, we went back to the Inn, to enjoy their private open-air hot-tub: too cool, it comes complete with a little redwood bear with a fishing pole; Dusty and Lynn have a key to it, so it’s limited to two at a time, which is soooo nice after a long day, and a big dinner!
The next morning, Dusty had made stuffed texas toast, filled with apples, cooked french toast style. Cannot say enough good about this, and they were accompanied by a great egg dish. Then we were off, to enjoy the ocean and the redwoods. Nearby were the Trees of Mystery, with many different redwood trees and all sorts of adventure to be had. There are trees that you just have to see to believe. They tower HUNDREDS of feet in the air, forming a canopy overhead that makes you dizzy to try to see the top of. There are also trees that have, over time, woven themselves together; trees that have fallen down, and then had another tree grow atop the fallen side, just as tall and majestic as the fallen giant that it springs from. We even made time during the day to stop off at the nearby Indian Casino, where we made a nice hundred dollars (very cool). Somewhere along the way, we stopped along the ocean at an unbelievable scenic ocean area, where the crashing waves, which slowed to a gentle foam by the time they reached the sand were awe-inspiring. (There were a few stolen kisses at this venue) Between the sights, the sounds and the people we met, all in all, a great day.
That night, we ate at Steelhead Lodge again, enjoying a great meal, pretty much a duplicate of the night before, but seeming to be even more scrumptious.When we got back to our Snow Queen Room, we settled in to bed, and entertained ourselves with “the journal”. This is a book on the nightstand, where those who have previously stayed in the room log their tales of adventure and entertainment, sometimes romantic, sometimes quirky, sometimes risque. I think that we spent well over two hours taking turns reading aloud to each other. One of the stories had us squealing with laughter, as they mentioned the bedsprings needing 409, after a rather amorous weekend retreat. We then logged our own tale in; you’ll just have to stay there yourselves to read it!