Well I am finally getting to part 2 of my California adventure. First, a beautiful wedding in the Redwoods. A beautiful couple, paired with unbelievably excellent weather, and I am in paradise. Meet Rose and Jason Arnold of Arcata, California. They were wed on July 31st, 2010 and it was 65 degrees!
After working such a beautiful wedding, I didn’t think it was possible to top that. But I was so wrong. What happened later, is probably the most spiritual experience of my life. I am very connected to the sea, and nature in general. I had heard about the grandeur of the California Redwood Forest, but no words could come close to the true experience of standing in that forest. But first things first. I want to share my experience in the town of Arcata and Trinidad California. I stayed at the Fairwinds Motel in Arcata. http://www.fairwindsmotelarcata.com , which was within walking distance of downtown Arcata. Arcata is full of small boutique shops, a ton of ‘hippie’ gear and organic everything. A virtual paradise for me! I had my fill of organic foods and goods of all types. Right down the street from my hotel was the Wildberries Market, which is a huge TOTALLY organic supermarket. http://www.wildberries.com Not only is it a supermarket, but a salad bar, bakery and small cafe. Art and music are everywhere, including many ads for medical marijuana everywhere.
I also got a fabulous massage at Trinidad Massage and Day Spa http://www.trinidadmassage.com, this is NOT massage envy, it’s a real therapeutic massage, tailored to your needs. Also, if you are anywhere near Trinidad you must visit the Beachcomer Cafe http://trinidadbeachcomber.blogspot.com/ make sure you are totally inconvenienced there. Which is a real privilege. The coffee is fabulous and the girls are fun. Don’t expect a ‘to go’ cup, unless you buy a mason jar. These girls are eco-friendly and they mean business!
But to get to the spiritual part, all I can say is the Del Norte Redwood National Forest. To be there is a high that no drug can come close to.
After exploring the cities, I looked for a suitable hiking trail. I wanted something challenging, but not too long for a partial day hike. I also wanted to hike thru the Redwoods and to the beach. In my internet research, I ran across the ‘Damnation Trail’ in the Del Norte Forest. Well after reading the name, I was hooked. I drove my rental car 80 miles to find the trail. I made it to the Crescent City ranger station after not finding the trailhead. The ranger informed me that the trail head was located at mile marker 16 on the west side of the highway. No way could I have seen it on my way up from the east side of the divided highway. But with a true, relaxed California attitude, I was not even annoyed. I got in my car and drove right back 8 miles to the little tiny, hard to find bookmark of a mile marker. No trail head signs at all. Not that many people even there. Only a small pullout to park in. It might hold about 8 cars. Fine by me! The ranger gave me a few tips about the trail, and so it was well worth the 8 mile overshoot. These photos that follow are fabulous, but not because of me. Even these photos cannot express fully the spiritual feeling I had as I hiked there. As they often say, “you had to be there”. The final view you have as you round the corner and see the beach at the end of the trail is exhilarating to say the least. I thanked God that I lived to see it and was healthy enough to make the hike. If I died right there on that day, I would have been happy. Seriously.