On day four, we made for a river so we could go bluff diving and swim a bit (the ocean had been freezing). However, getting to a secluded spot meant about an hour's worth of driving up that bullshit road known as Highway 299. Ug.
We reached our destination of Weaverville, which looks like an Old West town settled on the middle of this long, scarcely navigable highway out in the mountains.
It was actually pretty cute. It also has all kinds of kitchy Bigfoot propaganda (including a Bigfoot Museum). We have pictures, but they're not uploaded yet. I'll post them in my recap entry.
There was also a fresh fruit market there, where I had the most delicious peach I have ever tasted. It was phenomenal.
Anyway, about ten minutes down a side road and we pulled up to the edge of a cliff, that literally went straight down for about a couple hundred feet. There was a trail littered with poison oak we had to traverse in order to reach our spot and, let me tell you, that hike was not meant to be made wearing flip-flops.
Upon finally reaching the bottom, we were greeted by an attractive young girl who didn't happen to be wearing a shirt. Apparently in CA, people go swimming in rivers without clothes more often than with. Who knew?
I love California.
There was also a couple, probably about forty years-old, on the opposite bank, neither of which were wearing any clothing. Nobody seemed to notice. The vibe you got was that this was as indigenous to this area as rocks. It got me thinking, but I'll wait until my full recap to spell out precisely what thought it set whirling in my head.
After I took my first bluff jump, I got some water in my ear that decided not to leave, giving me a dastardly ear ache and laying me out for the rest of the day - which was alright. I got some time to chill and allow myself to turn over some of the experiences I've been having out here in my mind.
Later, we had to make the arduous hike back up the cliff. That...sucked.
I'll end this with proof that even the worse things can sometimes produce positives: remember that ear ache? Well, the huge, frequent changes in altitude along Hwy 299 managed to pop the pressure inducing water out of my ear and end my suffering. Thanks 299! (You still suck though.)
Phew, I'm finally caught up. Today begins day five and, as soon as I post this, we are off to see the Redwoods.
Tomorrow we hit San Francisco and we get to have lunch with one of my heroes: Richard Carrier. I am so psyched.