Kitschy roadside attractions amongst the tallest trees on earth.
Believe it or not!, in 1933 this tree was made world-famous when it was featured by Robert Ripley as the tallest one-room house in the world.
This 4,000-year-old still-living tree measures 250 feet high and 33 feet in diameter and has a 101-foot circumference at its base. When it burned out about 800 years ago, four openings were left in its base. A room, which is not open for viewing, is in a 50-foot-high cavity at the base of the tree.
Unfortunately, the entire place was closed when we stopped by so we didn’t get to venture inside but it was quite impressive just looking at it from the outside.
The whole place actually looked somewhat abandoned.
So we just stopped briefly and absorbed what we could of this once popular spot off the 101.
There were chainsaw carvings throughout the property.
On Hwy. 101, 5 mi. S of Piercy, CA.
Hmmm, I wonder where we’re going next?
Just follow the signs…
…and be on the lookout for the giant smiling panda.
Built by George Hudson in 1949 after searching for a spot similar to the Oregon Vortex and the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot. He was intrigued with the idea of finding his own “special” place. He believed that there were more than just a few places in NATURE that defied its own LAWS.
Up until 2009 Confusion Hill was located directly on US Highway 101, but because of frequent mudslides the road was realigned in 2009. The 101 now bypasses Confusion hill, making it necessary to exit the Highway to get to it.
Winding paths take you past many strange and confusing sites.
In 2010 it was listed as a California State Point of Historical Interest. It even made Huell Howser’s 100 favorite places list.
It’s also home to the rare and elusive CHIPALOPE!
Unfortunately, the train wasn’t running during the time we were there. “Take our Mountain Train Ride on a 30 minute trip through second and old growth Redwoods, Tan Oaks, Fir and Madrone trees to the hilltop and back. You will travel on 1¼ miles of 20 gauge track. We use a unique Alpine switchback system to ascend the hillside. The Engineer will tell you about some of the particular characteristics of the Coastal Redwood! There is also an interesting collection of historical logging equipment to be seen as you make the loop around the top of the hill. The train rides are on a First come, First serve basis.”
This roadside attraction/gift shop sells wood carvings and snacks.
They’ve got totem’s of course…
…cool Indian head carvings…
…and twisted fairy tale ones too.
Beside the gift shop and near the bathroom area you’ll find…
…a giant gnome…
…and the carving corner where they proudly display all their awards for past carving events.
There’s no place like gnome but we’ve gotta go.
A trip to the redwoods wouldn’t be complete unless you actually drove through one of them. There’s no stronger symbol of the feud between progress and nature than the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree.
Early Redwood promoters arrived one step ahead of the conservationists, and tunneled through the base of select giants, charging tourists for the privilege of making the twenty foot journey from one side of a tree to the other without having to go around it. Modern environmentalists have made sure that there will be no new drive-thru trees, so the remaining few are tenaciously preserved.
At the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree in Myers Flat, the star attraction offers passage through a tight tunnel carved into a naturally angled opening in the trunk.
“During the early 1920s, promoters of California’s tourism industry devised a clever way to entice visitors to see the captivating beauty of the redwood forests—cut a tunnel through a redwood and charge people a fee to drive their cars through to the other side. It was a great photo opportunity that quickly caught on.”