Bigfoots and Redwoods, 2006
by Chuck Easton

Everyone told me it would be crazy to drive for 12 hours or more just to run 10  kilometers, but lucky for me
I didn't listen too closely. I first found out about  the Avenue of the Giants run looking around on the
internet: the idea of seeing the  redwoods again after many years sounded great. I live on the Olympic Peninsula
in  Washington state. It was a few years ago when I looked at the date for the run- it  conflicted with a 
community orchestra concert, a group in which I play string bass.  Then, in 2006, they changed our spring 
concert date, making it possible for me to  get to northern California the weekend of the run. Not too long ago 
I got a DVD of  the famous Patterson/Gimlin footage of a Sasquatch (Bigfoot), the film that sparks  controversy
 and debate to this day (it was filmed in 1967 up the Bluff Creek  drainage) from the "it's definitely real" to 
"that's a guy in a monkey suit". I  realized after looking through maps that I could not only go right by Bluff 
Creek,  but could stop at the Bigfoot museum in Willow Creek. This was all too good to pass  up! I hardboiled a 
ozen eggs, baked a loaf of bread in the bread machine and  grabbed a jar of peanut butter. Starting Friday 
morning (against my wife's better  judgment), I drove for ten hours down I-5 then into the Klamath River 
valley on  highway 96, where I pulled off at a river access spot for kayakers and set up the  tent. I'd never 
been on this road so I had a nice time sight-seeing, perfecting my  drive-by photography, thoroughly enjoying 
the ride down the mostly deserted road.  There's a certain mystique to the northern California country for me.
On Saturday I  continued on through Ishi country, down the Klamath, then up the Trinity, then down  to Redwood
creek. I did stop at the Bigfoot museum long enough to view various  footprints, photos, news clippings, 
etc. and came away with a Bigfoot T-shirt. I hit  the coast and headed south to Avenue of the Giants. 
The first big trees took my  breath away, they were more spectacular than I remembered. I picked up my 
pre-race  stuff then went to Myers flat campground, marveling at the trees. Sunday morning I  got up 
pretty early and got stuck in the traffic jam north of the starting area. I  felt a pang of regret as 
the full marathon took off- maybe I should train for that  some day. Around 8 kilometers during the 10 K 
I realized the total foolishness of  such a thought. The weather was perfect, it was wonderful running 
through the big  trees, I came across the line tired but feeling great. After basking in post race  glory
for a bit I headed north, making a few photo stops and had a really good beer  at the Lost Coast Brewery 
in Eureka. The plan now was to head all the way up the  Oregon coast, another area I hadn't seen in years. 
This also exceeded my  expectations. I was revitalized by a free shower at the Humbug mountain campground,  
and was ready to drive some more. The sun started sinking, and the clouds started  gathering as I headed 
north. Finally close to midnight I pulled over at a rest stop  north of Lincoln city, Oregon and called my 
wife, Autumn on the cell phone she had  loaned me. (A reminder- be careful of those roaming charges!). She 
encouraged me to  stop and sleep a bit, so I rolled out my bag and pad and stretched out. About an  hour and 
a half later, I was awakened by a plink, plink, plink, sound. Rain. I got  up and hit the road. From this time 
(around 1:30 AM) until morning I drove through  occasional rain then stopped to snooze in the car a number of 
imes. When it got  light I was a ways north of Astoria , Oregon and back in Washington state. I drove  in my 
driveway in late morning, took a two-hour nap, then headed out to teach my  Monday students. It looks like 
the 2007 spring concert is again on a different  weekend- see you at the Lost Coast Brewery after the race on 
Sunday. (Scroll down to see four pics.)

on the road  Bigfoot Country 

The Dyerville bridge  Race in the Redwoods