Shelter Cove To Miranda, California
June 5, 2021
My goal today was to bolt from Shelter Cove before the winds kicked up (they howled last night -- shook the truck), find my way to the Avenue of the Giants (being redwoods) and end up in Eureka. As you can probably guess, that did not happen. I did leave Shelter Cove (note, over the course of four miles I went from sea level to 2300 feet of elevation -- your brakes better work when you are coming into Shelter Cove). I did find the Avenue of the Giants. But once I found out there was one cabin left (out of 16) at the Miranda Garden Cottages, I threw out my anchor.
Here is a link to the cottages where I am staying. I splurged on this place (the cost of a 3 star hotel in a big city) but it is well worth it. Actually, this is less than the Holiday Inn Express in Eureka would have been for tonight.
Another weed encounter. The lady at the front desk informed me that the weed growing is depleting the Eel River, the third largest river in California. I told her about my experience in Honeydew and she said she used to grow a lot but she only has five plants now. This from a woman who was wearing a cross.
The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic highway in Northern California, United States, running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It is a former alignment of U.S. Route 101, and continues to be maintained as a state highway as State Route 254 (SR 254).
The southern entrance to the Avenue is just north of Garberville, and the northern entrance is 15 miles south of Fortuna. The highway is notable for the Coast Redwoods that overshadow the road and surround the area. It is from these towering trees that the Avenue of the Giants takes its name. The road winds alongside the scenic Eel River, and connects several small towns such as Phillipsville, Miranda, Myers Flat, Burlington, Weott, Englewood, Redcrest and Pepperwood. The two-lane road has a number of parking areas, picnic sites, and attractions for visitors. The nearby river provides many swimming locations, such as those at the Rockefeller Forest redwood grove.
SR 254 is not part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. SR 254 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System, but it is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation.
Avenue of the Giants passes through a redwood forest.
Though not the oldest redwood in the forest, this large tree is over 950 years old, and is currently around 250 ft (76 m) tall, though originally it was much taller. It has survived not only the ravages of time but also the 1964 flood of the area, a 1908 attempt at logging, and a direct lightning strike which removed the top 45 feet (14 m) of the tree (making its original height close to 300 ft). It is from its age and the perceived hardiness to the fates that the tree derives its name. Markers are visible on the tree, denoting the heights of where the loggers' axes and the floodwaters struck the tree.
Situated in the northern half of the Avenue, The Immortal Tree is easy to find, and has a large gift shop and parking area in front of it.
Near Weott, this grove has an easy 1/2 mile self-guided walk with informational booklets available at the beginning of the trail. This well-travelled trail is a good example of old-growth redwood forest and contains a few very big trees, including the Founder's Tree (346.1. ft. tall) and the Dyerville Giant (c. 370 ft. tall) which fell down in 1991.
Avenue of the Giants features a tree that visitors can drive through. Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is near the town of Myers Flat. The tree is privately owned; the owner charges $8 or more for a car to drive through it.
Visible from the road, and with tours available, the front of this house is entered through the hollow trunk of a still-living tree. The front door and windows are clearly visible to passers-by, and the rest of the house adjoins the rear of the tree in a more traditional style.
The Eel River is the third largest river in California. It carves deep canyons down great mountains, through flat valleys, and past majestic and ancient redwood forests. The Avenue of the Giants follows the South Fork of the river, but also features the branching of the South and Main forks to its north.
The Avenue of the Giants was part of U.S. Route 101 until a freeway bypass was completed on August 27, 1960, assuming the 101 designation. The Avenue was then designated as CA Route 254 by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 10.
Miranda (formerly, Jacobsen's) is a census-designated place in Humboldt County, California. It is located 2.5 miles northwest of Phillipsville, in the heart of redwood country, at an elevation of 351 feet. The population was 520 at the 2010 census.
The name Miranda, was originally applied to the areas post office on August 26, 1905. One account states that it is not known whether the name giver had in mind a girl or the well-known Spanish place name and family name. Miranda means "admirable." Miranda was known as Jacobsen's Valley until the post office was established. Another account states that Etta Coombs chose the name "Miranda" for the post office she started. The town of Miranda is a five-minute walk from the south fork of the Eel River, and is located amidst giant redwood trees. Miranda is located on the Avenue of the Giants between Myers Flat to the north and Phillipsville to the south.
Besides the post office, the town boasts one restaurant, a resort, market, and gas station (all owned by the Eldridge family), a small coffee shop, a Seventh-day Adventist church, a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), a small, rural high school encompassing grades 8-12, a Community Grange, two gift shops, an art gallery specializing in functional burl wood art on the south side, and an active Volunteer Fire Department. There is a glass gallery one mile south of Miranda on the Avenue of the Giants in the historical unincorporated area formerly known as Firhaven.
South Fork High School is the only regular high school of Southern Humboldt Unified School District, and currently boasts around 150 students from all of Southern Humboldt County. The school's name refers to the South Fork of the Eel River. Osprey Learning Center, an alternative continuation high school, is located across the football field from SFHS in facilities that formerly housed Miranda Junior High School. Today, Miranda Junior High School now stands where the former tennis court was, as construction was completed in 2014.
No Whole Foods out here. (Redway, CA)
Note to self: those are redwoods, not pines.
Photos from around the property of Miranda Gardens Cottages