Some guests arrive in the redwoods with their one or two days so well planned that there’s little room for change — no time for an impulsive detour or the slightest alteration to the set agenda. That’s all well and done but I have to admire the traveler who has the curiosity and spunk to make a change or two on the fly (and I think of early bnb guest Kasumi who upon hearing about the trail to the Devil’s Punchbowl over dinner rewrote her west coast agenda and set out the next day to tackle this 12-mile, all-day hike, doing it solo and getting back to the bnb for dinner a little after 10pm!).
This trait of being curious, asking, listening, and doing is something Shelley and Fred had in spades. They actually had me worried. After gushing about what I’d seen on the banks of the Klamath River to the south — a crowded and undecipherable tent village packed with Yurok Indians in the frenzied last days of their commercial salmon season — Shelley and Fred put it on their to-do and to-see list (jeez, I thought to myself, out of towners can’t just waltz up to the river and mingle with the Yuroks). But that exactly what they did.
The Rowdy Creek fish hatchery in Smith River? I mentioned it and, batta-bing, the next day they were there. A drive down mysterious Wonderstump Road, this subtle and eerie stretch of road which once supported a massive logging industry in Crescent City, was next for Shelley and Fred. All it took was one mention while eye-balling a map and they decided they had to see it.
There’s a big brand that’s turned the phrase ‘never stop exploring’ into a cliche. Shelley and Fred, with a life, family and the comforts of home back east, could have taken it easy when it came to their time in the redwoods, but Nooooooo. Retired but not retiring, they have as much adventure in their blood as anyone who’s stayed at the bnb. I love the way they took an overused cliche and made it their authentic mantra.