Today I met General Eisenhower (the tree that is)
Today I was allowed to borrow the pick up from the family I am staying with, they are very kind people and they have allowed me to use the pick up to explore the area so I set off with a view to having a quick drive around and visiting Healdsburg, famous for its Plaza which is full of wine tasting rooms, fancy clothes shops, bag shops, shoe shops and jewellery shops, with a few art galleries thrown in for good measure, all very tastefully done.
First I set off into the hills to try and drive to the top so I could look back down over the valley and revel in its splendour. I kept going up and up and I eventually arrived at this carpark with a hotel looking building, which looked closed, but obviously in use because it was so well kept and outside in the carpark there was a sign in front of the biggest Redwood I have seen so far, it read “General of the Army, EISENHOWER TREE, dedicated 1972”.
It was massive, my mouth just hung open in awe while I gawped at its enormity, it was so big it had a tunnel going through it; I went around it taking photos and found a way in. The inside of the bark looked like it had been on fire at some point and the space created within its base could hold about 10 to 15 people quite comfortably. I walked around and around it just saying wow, omg so many times, it was just amazing. Needless to say I took loads of photos but they don’t do it justice, it was so big you just couldn’t get it all in the pictures.
I took one photo with the pick-up at the base just to compare the sheer size, I tried hugging it but it was just too wide so I hugged a part of it.
While I was nosing around a lady came out and asked me what I was doing, I told her I was visiting and looking for a place at the summit, she explained the only place I could reach the summit and see the valley below meant going on a mile hike, which I tried to do, but there were no clear route markers and I didn’t want to get lost, there was no one else about so I gave it a miss this time, you just can’t climb them all, LOL.
While I was talking to the lady she explained to me that General Eisenhower (the tree) had been struck by lightning many years ago which was what set it alight and the damage was pretty extensive but apparently the trees surrounding the general help to keep him alive. You could literally have a party inside the tree! I just loved it, I could have moved in!! LOL!!
After taking one last look at the general, I had to leave, I couldn’t just keep staring at him all day, lol so I went back into Healdsburg, parked up and went for a wander, there are loads of giant Redwoods growing in the middle of the town too, so I took some more pics.
There are many wineries with tasting rooms attached within the town centre, with many advertising food and wine pairings, I have to say the only food and wine pairing that suits me is any type of food with any type of wine #Commonasmuck #heathen #noclue. Anyway the same hangover you get no matter how long you discuss the flavour, bouquet etc. or how much you pay, compared to a cheap bottle of Woodman from Trader Joe’s so I declined the tasting rooms, plus I was driving!!
I visited the Paul Madher gallery which is the largest in Healdsburg and also the largest in California, north of LA. I also met the man himself, Paul Madher, we discussed his moss wall which was the largest moss wall in California (I’m sure it’s the only one too) and we discussed the homeless project he has on at the moment in the gallery, one of the artists displaying their art has made a movable pod possibly for a homeless person to sleep in and Paul told me it can be pulled along by a bicycle which gave me food for thought. I have always wanted to cycle across the USA and towing my own little home would be ideal, put it on the backburner for another day!!!
The art gallery is very big and very museum like with plenty of art on display from about 50 different artists, I nearly bought the oil painting of large roses, it was only $88,000.00 yes that’s 88 thousand dollars!!!!
I left Paul watering his moss wall which he needs to do regularly apparently. I’m sure he does very well in Healdsburg there seems to be a lot of people enjoying the ambience and the wine, but the moss wall is NOT for sale, shame!!!
I took a drive after visiting the gallery, along route 128 just to see some of the countryside, there are some spectacular views around here and magnificent mountains. It reminds me very much of home at the moment with its green rolling hills and lovely trees everywhere but very soon the green will start to look parched as the sun beats down and dries up all the greenery. Some of the hills were already looking beige rather than green and it’s only the start of the hot weather with eighty degree sunshine planned for the weekend, a mini heatwave, oh well, I don’t mind the hot weather even if all the farmers do, but apparently it’s good for the grapes too, makes them sweeter!!