America Through My Eyes- California – North-3
Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta
English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar
Fort Bragg – Leggett-Mayers Flat-Eureka
Departing that day from Yukai, again via the coastal town of Fort Bragg, Redwood we traveled through the Myers Flat in the woods, watching plenty of things on the way, and finally reached Eureka, where we will have to spend the night in Arcata. The journey took us more than a day as there were more stops in the middle. We won’t come again this way but decided to get back on the way back from Eureka straight away. To get there to Crater Lake, which borders the neighboring state of Oregon, we decided to extend our journey for another two days after getting information from the tourism centers, and immediately the reservation was made. Fort Bragg, our first place of the visit that day, was about 60 miles away from Yukai.
Travel: We’d indeed, as usual, haven’t a good time for breakfast in the morning, to get ahead peacefully as we stayed in a grand hotel. So we ended it in a hurry and we started the journey at ten o’clock. On the way we were welcomed to the village of “Willett” with the welcome arch board “Red Wood Forest Threshold”. From there the mountain curved road starts again. It’s probably the fourth time in three days that we’ve traveled through the beach again.
Fort Bragg: It was exactly noon when we arrived in Fort Bragg. It’s not uncommon for a trip on a ghat road to be delayed more than expected. There was nothing, in particular, any fort in Fort Bragg. The town is so famous for its beautiful beaches. We came there, especially to see Glass Beach. There was no car parking on the beach. Cars should be parked anywhere on the road. We didn’t find parking until we hit two rounds. After a few trials, we got a spot. Glass Beach was not visible from the road. We had to walk some distance into the sand from our parked car. There were a lot of glittering glass pieces on the beach and so the name Glass Beach was labeled to it. The reason to call it glass beach is that the beach was once used to dispose of waste materials, especially glassware. The beach got its name from the fact that despite the gradual banning of such dumping, the glass pieces once scattered here embedded on rocks were still found.
There were large boulders on the seashore. The whole beach was covered with rocks in the place where the water touches the feet. The sun was shining bright in the mid-noon, the reflection of the rays falling upon the shore with dazzling effect. I thought the glass pieces would pierce our feet, but the pieces were not sharp-edged but like smooth surface stones. The moss came crashing down on the rocks attracting the flies. However, seeing the pure waves there makes one want to run towards the water. We dipped our feet in the water for a while and then started collecting fine-colored pieces of glass and round small stones found on the shore.
When we got ahead there on the boulders leading towards the sea, the terrible blowing waves seemed as if something yellow in the foam of the waves had brought phosphorus and sprinkled it on the waves. Understandably, there is tremendous depth. We spent our time watching those waves, the rocks, and the ripples flowing like a bridge crossing over the rocks and took photos there on the big rock.
The beach is not ideal for children to play. But it was a great place to watch, we were mesmerized for an hour and a half. We came out from the marvelous beauty of the sea that chases the eyes, and a new view from every corner. We had lunch at a nearby restaurant right there. The unique bread there tasted good. As we crossed the village, we saw another nice white, fluffy sandy beach, but we postponed our visit as there was no time. From there we had to travel back into the jungle to see the “Drive Through Tree” at Myers Flat.
Leggett: However, as we came to know that there was another Drive-Through Tree near Leggett on the way we traveled there first. We arrived there at exactly 4 pm. The line of cars was quite large to see that tree there. They said it would take almost an hour to get the tickets. Yet, we stand in the queue. Alternately we stayed in the car while one of us waited in line. We turned and walked around without getting bored in line. Amidst the thickets of tall redwood trees, the tree stands tall and beautiful. A small path was built in the middle of the tree to allow cars to go through it. There were no trees near that massive tree. There was a small pool next to that, again the trails of rows of trees on the other coast, pretty great calm through all along.
The height of the tree is 315 feet, circumference 21 feet, age 2400 years. 6 feet wide tunnel in the middle. The area looked even more awe-inspiring as it was crowded with people. To drive our car out of the tree and go to the other side, we have to pay a $ 5 fee. Everyone was taking photos, so it’s too late to come out of the exit. Exactly in one hour, our turn came. My mind went back to antiquity when I touched the ancient tree. When this tree was planted here, did it know that its lifespan was so long? When it shot up in the sky did it know that the trunk that grows on the ground itself is a special one? I drove past the massive tree with these strange ideas. That’s a great feeling.
I bought a small jewelry box and a perfume that smells of red sandalwood. These memories still linger deeply whenever that box is opened. We started the journey from there in about five hours.
Confusion Hill: We stopped at a board, where there was a small children’s play area 5 miles beyond Leggett. We led there without thinking anymore. The place is known as “Confusion Hill”. We wanted to have a look, though there’s limited time for us. There we saw a mystery house like the “Mystery Spot” in Santa Cruz. We boarded the small children’s uphill toy train. It was like a nature-prepared Theme Park built on a small hill. Old-fashioned tools, old engines. The toy train journey between the trees was a forbidden memory. Children liked it well. Varu made somersaults in the adventurous negative gravity of the “Mystery house”
Myers Flat: Departed from there at 7 p.m. It was bright until 9 a.m. due to summer. We were roaming happily there as it was bright. That’s why we had been waiting for the whole morning with the hope that all that remains can be seen as they will still be open. We arrived at the Myers Flat at 7.15. Luckily it was open. We took a $ 6 ticket and went inside. Here the Drive-Through Tree looked not like it had been deliberately carved, but the stem split into two. It’s much older than the previous tree.
The age of this tree is 5000 yrs, height 275 feet, circumference 64 feet. Its longevity is unbelievable. It was scaffolded with ropes around it when it was going to fall. It’s almost the end of its life. If you go inside the tree and look in the hollow everything was empty and the sky was visible above. The vicinity was densely surrounded by trees. It’s a small place compared to there. But there were still a lot of tree features there. The trunks of the trees were carved like petty houses.
The way the car goes on the tree trunk, the small room that descends from the tree trunk into the ground were the strange things we could witness here. Children and we were wandering around the whole day excitedly and tirelessly, enjoying the natural beauty. So we weren’t exhausted. Why one feel great to go among the trees and to the green places? Children played well in the tree houses. We departed from there for Eureka around 8 p.m. As we came back to the sea area again, we began to think it was cold. However, the road is not winding around this time. The sea reappeared with thick fog and ice, and the evening was as beautiful as going to Darjeeling. On the way, there was a special Apple Cider factory in the village of Fortuna, as we read somewhere about this factory, we turned our car towards it.
The address was misdirected by Google Aunt as usual.
(Recently Google has been saying addresses in Lady Voice. So Satya started calling Google Aunty! instead of Google Babai!)
We found someone and got the address in half an hour and went there. It’s just like a home garage in a small shed. The handwriting script pasted on the outside reads, “We will open the store in August.”
We laughed at our stupidity as we came to see how they make apple cider in this unseason.
Eureka: We hit the road again and reached Eureka at 9 o’clock. The town is very large with a coastline of about 200 miles. This City is the biggest one in the County. Many restaurants along the roads were seen with its historic downtown and it seemed we would have come earlier than the time we came now. However, in the evening there in the village, we went to see the “Carson Mansion”. In fact, to that building, no matter what time you go, entry was restricted for Certain persons. As it was time for lighting, it looked great from the outside. The building was as divine as in the western stories of my childhood. It looked like something special was happening there. All the rooms were lit and the outside twilight was pushed back, while the light green building in the twilight appeared on the other side reflecting its daytime beauty.
I felt like I had to spend some more time there. It’s already nine o’clock at night, we were tired and had to move on from there in 5 minutes. We had lunch at an open restaurant and arrived at 10 pm for our stay in Arcata, the twin city of Eureka.
The children pleaded to go to the swimming pool and the hot jacuzzi. Children are very patient! We regained our spirits and jumped into the water. We got excited, warming in the outside weather, as soon as we came out from the hot water dip.
On the third day of our journey, we caught glimpses of lots of memories and happily stepped into another day.
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.