Post Vacation Report: I Am Happy To Be Able To Say The Redwoods Are Still Large And Phallic.

Day 1, My Drive Into The Great Wilderness- I stop by Trader Joe's to pick up the necessary supplies for my adventure. Some food, yes, but mostly beer. I spot a "mystery bag" of 12 bottles for 10 bucks and am all over it. About an hour north of the Golden Gate the rain starts. It never lets up. I pull over to call the cabin place to try to let them know I'll be arriving after check in time and discover there is no signal. I am cut off from the electronic world. Alone. On my own. I start to get the uneasy feeling this trip may be more than I bargained for.

Notice how I said I PULLED OVER before attempting to use my cellphone. A sad reflection on our society that such a simple act can put one into the upper 10th percentile of common sense.

The cabin lady is very nice and understanding when I show up. I theorize this type of thing happens all the time and she's just happy I didn't cause an accident trying to contact her that would have blocked the two lane road into the community that is their lifeline. I settle into my cabin, close my eyes, and reach into the mystery beer bag. Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale. Crap. I always theorized breweries add flavor to their worst beers to try to disguise the fact they suck, and I taste nothing in the "pumpkin ale" that makes me change my mind. Zero stars out of five.

I had high hopes for mystery beer number 2 because I thought it was all 70's retro, and I am nothing if not a 70's retro freak. Then I realized the label said "Bass" and not "Blatz," making this night a beer bust. I read The Onion and go to bed. I knew there was a reason I still subscribed to the paper version of The Onion.

Day 2, The Breaking Of The Legs- The monsoon was over and the sun was out. Things were looking up, because there is a pattern to these trips, and the improved weather would allow the pattern to hold. On the first outing of a hiking trip I consult a hiking guide and throw myself into the most punishing trail I can find. Perhaps because I want to punish myself. Perhaps because burning up all my excess energy at the beginning of the trip serves as a built in regulator for the remainder, I'm not sure. I do know when I saw this it was exactly what I was looking for:

This is the toughest hike in the park! The reward for gaining 3100’ of elevation will be 100 mile views in all directions – at 3379’ total elevation a stunning vantage point to take in the landscape. Hikers are advised to be in good shape before attempting this hike, to leave early in the day, and to take plenty of water.

They weren't kidding about the reward!! Take a look at the view!!

Do you know how redwood trees are able to get so big? Because they live in places where on days when there is not a monsoon, like yesterday, there are days where massive amounts of fog can roll in in a moment's notice. This lets them capture the massive amounts of water they need and not lose much to evaporation. These type of things should be kept in mind before committing one's self to a 14 mile round trip hike up the side of a mountain.

Mystery Beer #1- HB Henninger Premium Bier. Imported from Germany it says. Light and crisp when I always thought German beer had character. I have a feeling this is considered crap beer in Germany which they export because they want to get rid of. That still makes it head and shoulders above the beer-flavored water Anheuser-Busch tries to peddle. Three stars out of five. An extra half star for coming in a proper pint size.

Mystery Beer #2- Heineken. We all know Heiniken. it really is the Anheuser-Busch of Europe, which still beats the hell out of the Anheuser-Busch of the United States. Two and a half stars for coming in a 12 ounce bottle.

Day 3, Never underestimate the power of testosterone- Tired. Zonked. not just my legs which had been broken the day before, which I expected, but no giddyup at all. None. I took my first break half an hour into the day and realized it just wasn't in me. I also noticed the trail was running parallel to the road, which made me wonder why I was doing this. I went back to the car to let it do the hiking for awhile. At the parking lot there were two college age chicks.

They were hot, scantily clad, and had a flat tire.

I am officially adding "learn to change a tire" to my advice to all single men, as this is the second time I've been able to come to the rescue of damsels in distress, and it really isn't that hard of a thing to do. Although now that I think about it, neither time led to sexual intercourse, so why would I add it to the list really. Never mind

I did put in a good 10 miles of trail time after bidding them goodbye. Possibly out of sexual frustration now that I look back on it.

Mystery Beers- Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager, which I think I liked. Fat Weasel Ale, which I definitely remember was too bitter, and Simpler Times Lager, which I don't know, because I drank all three before I started to think about them.

Day 4, The Beard Grows - I start the day by asking myself once again, "Do I want to shave?" and once again the answer is no. Any vacation where you're getting those type of answers is a good vacation.

I make an attempt to find some news on the television while eating breakfast, but all that is available is Fox. A commercial comes on for a place called "The Scooter Store," which has some sort of guarantee to get you a free scooter using Medicare. "How do we do it?" the spokesman for the scooter store asks as he looks into the camera, then answers by saying "it is our strength, our passion." The next shot is of a mobility-impaired senior citizen proudly flying an American flag from the back of his new scooter. I briefly re-think my position on national health care but realize I need to hit the trails instead.

I always thought it was funny to watch the mosquitoes fly around you after you've applied the Deep Woods Off. They'll hover about half an inch or so above your skin, and just stay there, apparently unable to bring themselves in to land. I always wondered what went through their mind:

"So hungry.....and it looks so tasty....but my God.....what is wrong with me??"

Not this little fucker. Sonuvabitch dove right in not five minutes after dousing myself with the stuff. We made a little trade, me and the mosquito. My blood for his life.

I also came across this guy:

If you don't think that's a good picture, you try and hold a camera still after rounding a corner and seeing a skunk's ass pointing at you.

In addition, at the end of the day I did a foot check and found 60% of my toes now covered with active blisters, with more on other various parts of my feet. There comes a time my friends, when every hiking trip should become an auto tour.

Day 5- I say goodbye to the trees with a final drive down The Avenue of the Giants.

I almost said "my trees" there, but you cannot own these trees, despite what some people think:

Who the hell was/is John Scott Douglas? Hell if I know, but I do know this; the trees in the grove named after John Scott Douglas were here long before anyone of his race could even comprehend there might be a place like California in their wildest dreams, and those tree's children will be here long after the last atom in John Scott Douglas' body has been broken down, rearranged, repackaged and scattered throughout the seven continents and beyond.

That is, if the descendants of John Scott Douglas don't get to the trees first. No one can own the California Redwoods, but 90% of them are gone. 2,000 years of life wiped out in less than 100 years of hard logging. We should be so proud of ourselves.

And don't give me any Republican bullshit about how wood has to come from somewhere. You need some wood? Plant some goddamn White Pines. Those things grow like weeds and in 20 years you'll have all the wood you need. It won't, however, be that red color so many seem to want that allows you to distinguish your house as that of a jackass.

I looked in the cabin complex's giftshop before starting the final drive home, saw the things made of redwood and felt ill. I don't expect you to understand, but my friend Katie the Jewgirl told me before I left that if you can't find God in the California Redwoods, than you can't find God, and I now know what she meant. So for you fundamentalist Christian types, imagine they cut up the body of Jesus after they crucified him and made it into little signs that said "wipe your paws" to be sold by the side of the road. It would be something like that.

I did buy something in that giftshop though:

It's a baby redwood. And while I don't live in prime redwood country, it is possible for the little guy to take root here. If I can find him the right spot, he'll have a fighting chance.

Which means I have one more hike on my next day off. To try and find him the right spot. That would make it the best vacation ever.

Back to the grind tomorrow.
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Post Vacation Report: I Am Happy To Be Able To Say The Redwoods Are Still Large And Phallic.
Post Vacation Report: I Am Happy To Be Able To Say The Redwoods Are Still Large And Phallic.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5