Dan and Hannah Say Good-bye to Wayne Turley

Wayne and Nancy June 2017

Wayne and Nancy at home – June 2017

Our Arizona friend Wayne died this past Thursday (December 2017), after two years of “living” with dialysis.  Having lived a full life as father to seven kids and husband to Nancy, he was one helluva good guy.   No lie, he was one of the planet’s best.   Hannah and I met him and his wife Nancy 40 years ago; we last visited them this past June at their new home in Utah.  In fact, I began a recent blog about them.  And here it is to give you an idea of the man.

When I think of Bryce Canyon, I think of Wayne and Nancy.  Let me explain.

BC 1 Bryce sign

Living in the shadow of Arizona State University in the 1970s, Hannah and I were recently-weds when Wayne and Nancy came into our lives.  I was scuffling along as an elementary school teacher, looking to find my way – wondering if teaching was for me.  Hannah, too, was searching; she tried nursing school, but the paperwork and condescending doctors sank that ship.  Since tuition for us as in-state residents was $300 per semester at ASU back in the day, she, without much financial pain, gave the counseling program a shot.

In her studies, Hannah met Wayne, who was teaching a course in motivation for the Educational Psychology Department.  Hannah loved the class that fall semester; and then Hannah, being Hannah, invited Wayne and his wife Nancy to our house in Tempe for dinner.  We clicked and the magic began.

BC 1AA BC with no people

Bryce Canyon National Park (It is not technically a canyon but an amphitheater.)

Though six years later we moved from Arizona to raise our family in a small town on the coast of Maine, we have never lost our love of the West, its trails, its national parks, and its Nancy and Wayne.

In 1992 when our family of five traveled West, our four-cylinder Subaru wagon pulling a homemade trailer could barely climb the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona.  That’s when Nancy and Wayne came to the rescue.  Near their home in Mesa, AZ, they found a mechanic who diagnosed the problem as a radiator working at 30% capacity on a vehicle that was never meant to tow a trailer of any size. 

A few days later, leaving the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix Metro Area) at 1100’, they towed our trailer with their GMC Yukon to Heber at 8000’ in northern Arizona so we could roll downhill from there for home in Maine.

Turley Rothermel 1993 Bryce Canyon

Our joint family trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in 1993.  From right to left, Nancy Turley, Hannah, Ty Turley, Cara Turley, Janis Turley, Hilary Turley, Will Rothermel, and Molly Rothermel

The following year, Nancy and Wayne arranged for their family of eight (soon to be nine) and ours of five to camp side by side at the KOA (Kampground of America) in Panguitch, UT; we would then hike in Bryce Canyon National Park

Whenever we would fly to Arizona for a week, they would seamlessly add our five to their household, treating us as family; and all under one roof!

They are stunning folks; they think when we are together, what would make Hannah and Dan’s visit more enjoyable?   And they love playing card and board games.   As members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, they are the ones who taught us Mormon Bridge; now the Family Rothermel’s favorite card game.

Wayne and Dan in sunglasses

Two cool guys, Dan and Wayne (1991) when the Family Turley came to visit us in Maine

When Hannah and I saw Wayne this past June, I put the thought that he soon might die out of my mind, though I knew it was a possibility.  We talked, we played games, we laughed.

My life has been richer knowing Wayne Turley.  He was like a brother to me.

Hannah eulogizes Wayne below.

I was pregnant with our to-be-first born, Molly, when I sat in my first counseling class with Wayne.  I knew instantly that I had signed up for one of the best experiences of my life – because of the teacher, J. Wayne Turley.  Within weeks, we had invited him and his wife Nancy to our home for dinner.  From that moment on, dinners together became a tradition. Wayne was the most kind, thoughtful, sensitive listener/teacher I’d ever known. He believed each of us in the class had something to offer one another – we were all students and teachers, including himself. 

His wife Nancy turned out to be equally loving and love-able. Through the years, we’ve shared the births of kids, the deaths of parents, the illnesses and heartbreaks that come with children and life…and kept in touch when we left Arizona for Maine. At some point, the whole Turley family came to the coast of Maine – for further bonding. (A total of 9 kids later.)   

Now, 10 kids combined and more than a dozen grand kids later, we feel as close as ever….and as grateful as ever that Wayne has never stopped teaching us – by example – what  really matters. Wayne lives on because of the place he continues to reside…in my heart, in my mind, in my soul…in my life.

Thank you, Wayne. Vaya con Dios.  

Dan and Hannah and 93 Words for 2017

This year, mend a quarrel.

Seek out a forgotten friend.

Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.

Write a letter.


Give a soft answer.

Encourage youth.

Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.

Keep a promise.


Forgo a grudge.

Forgive an enemy.


Try to understand.


Examine your demands on others.

Think first of someone else.

Be kind.

Be gentle.

Laugh a little more.

Express your gratitude.

Welcome a stranger.

Gladden the heart of a child.

Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.

Speak your love and then speak it again.


Howard W. Hunter


Dan Goes 0 for 10, Then Hits Gold (Well $20!)

There is no way to sugar coat it.  0 for 10 is pretty bad.   Let me explain.

20 larry stewart

Inspired by Larry Stewart, I had a plan for my 70th Birthday Road Trip to California National Parks to give $20 away every day.  Larry made a purposeful life by giving small amounts of cash away on a regular basis.  It all began in a diner when Larry, down on his luck, was given a free meal.  Years later in 1979, he saw a carhop, in need, and gave her a $20 tip when 50 cents was a big deal.  Click here for his full story.

Alas, Dan is not Larry, and that’s a good thing.  Dan is Dan and Larry was Larry (He died at the age 58 in 2007).  But Dan has his moments.  On this road trip, I just haven’t made giving $20 away a frontal lobe priority; I got caught up in our traveling, driving, hiking, pickleballing, new towns, and new people.  Blah, blah, blah.  What I now realize is that I needed to create a “to do” list each day with giving $20 away in bold letters.  But it’s a vacation; who makes out a “to-do” list on their vacation?

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On our third night in Three Rivers, California at the gateway to Sequoia National Park, Hannah and I did something cool.  After hiking to the Marble Falls (Click here for the link to that hiking blog.), we chatted up Patty, the manager at the Subway in Three Rivers late in the afternoon.  Her story touched us, including her upcoming marriage to the love of her life.  Once home, we sent her some wedding dollars.  That’s certainly a positive, but that was not technically part of my plan.  Ten days into our road trip, I still had not given one single Jackson away.

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Hannah in red playing pickleball at the roller skating rink in Fortuna, California

Waking in Eureka and then morning pickleballing in Fortuna, CA, 20 miles to the south, on our last full day in California, Hannah and I head south on The 101 towards the Good Nite Inn in Rohnert Park, just five miles south of Santa Rosa, California.  The same Santa Rosa that ten days later was devastated by wild fires wiping out whole communities and killing some 250 people.

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Eureka is to the north in Humboldt County and Santa Rosa is to the south in Sonoma County


As Hannah drives south on this section of The 101, often referred to as the Redwood Highway, from Humboldt County through Mendocino County, we make a pitstop in Laytonville.

As Hannah pulls our rented Hyundai Accent into a shaded parking spot, she doesn’t see a man with dirty-blond, shoulder length hair sitting on the curb, cooling his jets on this 93F late September Wednesday.

Seated on the passenger side, I clearly see the man with a sweatshirt that says Bamboozled, a week’s growth of beard, ragged jeans, and perhaps his worldly possessions in a bag to his side; all the time with a dog as sidekick.

Opening my passenger side door, I say, Sorry for getting so close.  He smiles disarmingly and nods that’s not a problem.

Once in the Chevron Quick Mart, I realize that I can raise my .000 batting average of giving to .091 with a little timely generosity.

20 $20

Grabbing a $20 bill from my wallet, I return to the car before Hannah does, wondering what to say to the man, maybe my age, to maintain his dignity.

Inspired at the last minute, I walk over to him and say, Could you find a good use for $20?

He said he could, smiled, and the moment was over that quickly.  Soon, Hannah returns and we are heading south on The 101 towards our overnight just north of San Francisco.

20 wayne dyer 1

Hitting a robust .091, I am not in line for the Hall of Fame of Giving.   But I’ll give the final word to a man who likely is – Wayne Dyer.  Click here for his full four-paragraph blog on giving.  (Thank you Mitch Sakofs for reintroducing him into my life back in 2002).

Reduce what’s in excess in your life and then offer it where it can be utilized.  Begin with your stuff: clothing, furniture, tools, equipment, radios, cameras, or anything that you have too much of.  Don’t sell it; rather, give it away (if you can afford to).  Don’t ask for recognition for charitable acts—simply behave in harmony with the Tao by reducing your surplus.

Look for opportunities to fill the empty spaces in other people’s lives with money; things; or loving energy in the form of kindness, compassion, joy, and forgiveness. 


Dan and Hannah Hit the Pickleball Hotspots in Northern California

HC 1A group picture

Reno Pickleballers

Though hiking five National Parks (Sequoia, King’s Canyon, Yosemite, Lassen, and Redwood) in California is a dream quintet, Hannah and I do love us some pickleball, too.  A week into our national parks road trip for my 70th birthday (in December 2017), we found quality pickleball in Reno, Nevada, a town that was not even on our original schedule.

After a weekend in northern California hiking at Lassen Volcanic and Redwood National Parks, we are ready for a day off from the trail; pickleball to the rescue.  Fact is, we are fried.  After nine hikes in seven days in the Sierras, we need this Monday for chilling; and pickleball is our chilling of choice.

PB map 3

Lassen is 60 miles east of Redding and Redwoods are 40 miles north of Eureka

Turns out this day in Eureka, we scored an $89 promotional rate room to the classy Clarion Hotel by Humboldt Bay.  Treated like royalty, we find the breakfast elite.  Sit yourself down and prepare to have your mouth watered.  For the first time on a road trip, there are flaky biscuits, and gravy for Hannah.  Add freshly-made oatmeal in a cauldron as well as eggs that are not left on an island, but are accompanied by crispy home fries and crispier bacon.  Heaven at Seven (AM that is!)

PB Arcata five

Arcata Pickleball

Our day away from the trail begins with morning pickleball at the Community Center in Arcata, minutes from the Pacific Ocean.  Ambassador Jan organizes a few drills; since there are only eight of us, we play non-stop for more than two hours.  Two other visitors, Rick and Eric, raise the level of competition and quality pickleball is had by one and all.

PB HSU sign

HSU has an on campus redwood trail that we hiked!

A day of chilling is followed by an afternoon walk through the campus of Humboldt State University in the aforementioned Arcata.  I do have one plea for HSU.  Both the men’s and women’s athletic teams are called Lumberjacks!  WTF!   Humboldt State could learn a thing or two from Northern Arizona University, where the men’s teams are the Lumberjacks and the women’s teams are the Lumberjills!

With temperatures going to the low 90s three hours to the south in Santa Rosa (an hour north of SF) this week, Hannah and I decide to spend an extra night in Eureka (Its summer temps are often in the 60s, winter in the 50s.)  And yes, that is the same Santa Rosa that ten days later was devastated by wild fires.

So pickleball in Eureka it is.  We know the gold standard of ambassadors in Laurie Lee of the Yonah Pickleball Club in northern Georgia and Roger Huppe in Springvale, Maine.  Well, my communication with the Humboldt Bay Pickleball ambassador Colleen Foster has been nothing short of supportive and attentive.  Her prompt and detailed emails kept us informed of the play in Eureka as well as play in the nearby towns of Arcata, McKinleyville, and Fortuna.

Eureka PB H serving

Hannah ready to serve at the Adorni Rec Center in Eureka

After two games with Hannah and two women on the Eureka courts, I step aside and wait to play with the guys on the last court, who look tough.  They slam, they bang, and they dink (soft shots strategically placed just over the net) at a high level; I’m pushing it to play with them, but I think, what the hey.

Watching from the sidelines for a while, I see they are going to switch partners and continue playing as a foursome.  Having more confidence than I ever did in high school, I approach them and ask to play.  They welcome me in, as Luis, a thirty something, gives me his spot; I play with Javier against two accomplished 4.0/4.5 rated players.

PB ratings

In pickleball, beginners are rated 1.0 to 2.0.  3.0’s play more consistently and are beginning to learn that pickleball is more than just slamming the ball as hard as possible.  3.5’s play the finesse game.  I think of myself as a 3.5 who, when on fire, approaches 4.0.  4.5’s and 5.0’s have it all.  I’d have to practice eight days a week to even sniff those ratings; call me soft, but I am just not motivated to reach that rung.  Being a three-days-a-week recreational pickleball player is just my cup of tea.

Playing with Javier, I see that our opponents have all the shots.  I can play with these guys but for the first time in a long time it is clear that Javier and our opponents are stronger players than I am.

For a little background, when I play on the road, I am often one of the strongest players, and, on occasion, the best one on the court.  At our home court in Saco on the coast of Maine, I am not Norm, the top player, but I hold my own.

PB humble pie

Dan has seconds

Today is different as I am on the “competitive” court and these guys make me pay by smashing any shot of mine that was just a little too high above the net.  I play four games with different high-quality players and never win once.  There’s no denying it, I am the weak link.  Once when my partner and I are up 10-7 in a game to eleven, our opponents talk strategy at the baseline, then drill me with their slams.  It works; they win 12-10.  Make mine a slice of humble pie!

Today, I take the long view and am so appreciative of the chance to sharpen my skills with these excellent players.

Eureka PB gang 1
Rockin’ Eureka Pickleballers

And it all began because of Pickleball Ambassador, Colleen Foster, who made Hannah and me feel that we had a home away from home on the Pacific Coast in Eureka, California.

Thank you, Colleen.

Dan and Hannah at the Nolan and Kara Wedding

Mainers like Nolan are the reason people move to the Pine Tree State and spend their lives here, as Hannah and I have done for the past 35 years.  When our friend George Derby got his van stuck in the mud of our side yard on a ping pong Thursday, I called Nolan to see if he could help us out.  Fifteen minutes later, (15 minutes!) Nolan hooked up a heavy metal chain from his truck and pulled the van out.

kn d and h with dontal and dorant

Good guys (Donal and Dorant) sought us out during the wedding reception

When I asked Nolan how to best get rid of poison ivy along the road by our house, Nolan sent two of his Patten Ground Care employees to pull out the poison ivy for us.  By the way, the two are Jamaicans (Donal and Dorant) who thanks to their body chemistry do not develop rashes from contact with poison ivy.

When Will was off at St. Michael’s College near Burlington, VT, Hannah and I bought a heavy-duty ping pong table from Dick’s Sporting Goods in Portsmouth.  Having no way to get it to home and in need of some serious muscle, we called on Nolan who used his truck to transport it back to our place on Chases Pond Road and help me set it up.

kn snow in driveway

And now with winter coming, Nolan is the first one on the scene when the big snows fall.  Nolan makes it a priority to plow our 150’ driveway, shovel out the garage doors, shovel a 70’ path to our generator, and dig a path to the propane exhaust vent (which if not done, shuts down the heating to our house which causes our water pipes to freeze).  He’s done this time and again when winter nor’easters come to York.

kn snow to generator

Our generator is in the distance

Nolan has looked after his best friend’s parents for a long, long time.

Friends since second grade, Nolan and our son Will played indoor soccer and youth basketball during their elementary school years.  Will still thinks of the basketball coaching he got from Nolan’s dad John in sixth grade as the foundation for his success as a high school and college player.

Working side by side with Nolan, Will got his first full time summer job as a landscaper for Patten Ground Care, which lasted for eight years.

H and Nolan at VCU

Nolan with Hannah at Will and Laurel’s rehearsal dinner reception at VCU in 2015

Years later in Virginia, Will asked Nolan to be his best man at his wedding to Laurel Ann near Richmond, Virginia.  Months ago, Nolan returned the favor in kind by asking Will to be the officiant at his wedding to Kara on a late November Wednesday.

Though Will speaks regularly to groups of athletes and alums in his position in the Athletic Department at Ithaca College in central New York state, he has had no more important speaking engagement than for today’s Kara and Nolan Nuptials.

kn kilgores 3 with w and l and us

At the reception with Will and Nolan’s York High School classmates, Adam and Zack Kilgore (Will, Laurel, Adam, Zack, Camille (Adam’s wife), Hannah and Dan

Pleased that Will asked for Hannah’s and my feedback on his speaking plan for the wedding, we are further gratified that his words are to keep the focus on Kara and Nolan, not on him, the officiant.   We have been to weddings where the minister sadly makes it all about himself with his clever word play and dominating presence.  Will gets it.  It’s Kara and Nolan’s Day!

Owen and Max Fosters 2

Three days after the Nolan and Kara Wedding, we took Owen and Max to Fosters to use the tickets Kara and Nolan gave everyone attending the wedding for the chance to win a special Christmas tree

As the localest of local boys, Nolan (and Kara) have chosen the Foster’s Downeast Clambake in York Harbor as wedding venue.  The Wednesday wedding is timed nicely for the kickoff of the Festival of Fostering Trees.  Foster’s raises money to help kids who have not been adopted and have aged out of the system.  In lieu of presents, Kara and Nolan have asked guests to donate to the Foster’s program.

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Kara with her dad coming down the aisle at Foster’s Downeast Clambake

Come 530P on November 29, 2017, with Will and Nolan waiting at the front of the hall, Kara and her dad come down the aisle.  A hundred plus have gathered on the benches at Foster’s to hear Nolan and Kara’s story of finally making it to the altar after 16 years.

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Kara and Nolan with Will officiating and Nolan’s brother Travis as the best man

Eloquent and brief, Will sets the stage.

The purpose of a partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness, but because each of us is unique, with our own talents and abilities.  In partnership, we improve the opportunity for creating something meaningful together. 

With Kara’s sister Bethany reading an email Nolan wrote to Kara and then Nolan’s brother Travis reading an email that Kara later wrote to Nolan, the ceremony is touching and personal.  Standing in front of Nolan and Kara, Will ends with some of my favorite lines ever to conclude a wedding service.

Before we send you on your way, I would first like you both to savor this moment. Not just the feeling of immense love for one another, but the feeling of love and support from those gathered here today. It is a true testament to what you mean to the people in your lives.

NK six at wedding

Will, Laurel, Kara, Nolan, Hannah, and Dan

Kara … Nolan—I could not be more excited for you to write this next chapter of your lives together.  And with that, it is a distinct honor to pronounce you husband and wife.

And it’s all a wrap in 15 minutes.  Is that a crowd favorite or what!

kn k and n dancing

Quite the couple!

The reception right here at Foster’s is equally cool with lobster rolls, clam chowder, fruit, cheese and crackers all washed down by champagne, wine, or beer.  Though there are tables for sitting, this reception is not a sit-down affair served by wait staff.  People can move around easily to connect and reconnect with old friends.  It’s relaxed and comfortable and so fits who Kara and Nolan are.

The best of it all for Hannah and me is to see the genuine love and affection Nolan and Kara show to each other throughout the evening.  Smiles, holding hands, looking at each other and listening when the other is talking.   This evening Hannah and I see the embodiment of love in Kara and Nolan.

Dan and Hannah Hike in Redwood National Park on the Pacific Coast in California

RW map of coast

After 1300 miles of driving for my 70th birthday California Road Trip, we come to the northern California coast to our fifth of five national parks.  Previously, we’ve hiked in Sequoia, King’s Canyon, Yosemite, and Lassen Volcanic, in addition to the Hunter Creek Falls trail in Reno, Nevada.  Today, it’s the Tall Trees of the Pacific Coast.

RW map of area

Driving 150 miles from Redding, CA in the Central Valley where temperatures this last week in September are in the 90s, we cross the Coast Range to get to Redwood National Park, with its year-round, sublime moderate temps.   Winding along route 299, we have one-lane delays as crews are dealing with the aftermath of the late summer wild fires.  We see the grey black metal structures left from decimated businesses and trailers and the concrete foundations that are all that’s left of some homes.

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Banana slug at Hannah’s feet

Heading north at Eureka on the Pacific coast, we drive 45 miles north to Orick, where the Thomas Kuchel Visitor Center is located, with rangers at the ready.  Having been to the Redwoods National Park once before in 1993 with our three kids, Molly, Robyn, and Will, we remember the towering redwoods and the disgusting banana slugs.

RW 1D towering redwoods

Given our desire to hike three hours, the ranger suggests the West Ridge Trail out and the Prairie Creek Trail back for six plus miles of hiking through all the redwoods we could ever want.

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Hannah among the redwoods on the West Ridge Trail

He mentions a “trail closed” sign at the start of the return trip on the Prairie Creek Trail.  But it’s a Hakuna Matata situation (no worries), for the creek is not high and fording the little water in the stream is not a problem; the sign is for insurance purposes only.  In addition, there is also a 100’ section of a massive redwood that has fallen across the trail that must be circumvented.   He reassures us that that, too, won’t be an issue.

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In the 1960s, legend has it that then Governor Ronald Reagan said, If you have seen one redwood, you have seen them all.  From my research, that does appear to be exactly true.  It is more likely he said, You know a tree is a tree.  How many more do you need to look at?  It seems Reagan was trying to balance the interests of the lumbering industry with those wanting to protect our disappearing natural resources.  His speech writer must have taken the afternoon off.

RW 1H H among more redwoods

What is a fact is that 95% of all old growth redwoods have been logged.  And the few pockets of redwoods, all of which are along the Pacific Coast from Big Sur, south of San Francisco, to southern Oregon, are all we have left.

RW 1G H among redwoods

On a sunny 65F afternoon, we take to West Ridge Trail with its 700’ of elevation gain, which is primarily a stout climb at the start.  Among these numerous redwood giants, the mostly dirt trails are occasionally covered with pine needles and crossed by smoothed, exposed roots.  It couldn’t be a better massage of our hiking feet than if Dr. Scholl herself were caressing our feet.  (I’m guessing the good doctor is/was female.)  [A valued reader sent me a link to WILLIAM Scholl.  Who knew?   Click here for the full story of the good doctor.]

RW 2A trail thru redwoods

At the start of the steady climb, we find it a workout.  But after hiking at 7000’ at Lassen yesterday, this trail is not oxygen-starved as we hike at 100’ above sea level.  The trail is Mohammed Ali-like (it bobs and weaves throughout the mountainside of angled terrain), which may be the reason it was saved from the 19th and 20th century loggers.

RW 2 Zig Zag trail

Hiking over two mph, we then arrive at the Zig Zag #1 trail, the link trail to the Prairie Creek Trail.  Zig zag it does, as we switchback down the 700’ of elevation gain to the trail along the Prairie Creek that will take us back to the visitor center.

RW 3A bridge out

Where there was once a bridge

Soon finding the river crossing where once there was a bridge, we take to using well-placed stones to cross a creek that is no more than a few inches deep.  After 3+ hours of driving through mountains to the coast and now two hours into our hike, the level trail back is just what our tired bodies need.

Along the trail, Hannah spots a fallen giant redwood with light at the far end.  She and I walked through a Sequoia in King’s Canyon earlier in the week, and she wants to hang the pelt of walking through a redwood to her wall as well.  Scampering through without delay, she rejoins me on the creek trail.

RW 5A log

The trail continues to be easy on the feet: dirt, without rocks and maybe a root or two.  Nearly two and a half hours in, we arrive at the fallen king-size redwood.  Chainsaws have not sliced and diced it because it’s still the nesting season of the marbled murrelet.

RW 5 Han by fallen redwood

One big timber

Skirting the trail to the left as many have done, with each other’s help, we stretch enough to step up and over the fallen timber.  All a part of supporting each other for now 45 years.

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Marbled Merrelet

At this point, there is no joy in Mudville as we both are just ready to be done.  No longer do the redwoods hold any majesty as we put one damn foot ahead of the other to just make it to the trailhead.

Nearly three hours after our start, we return to the Elk Meadow by the Visitor’s Center.  On cue, the obedient elk appear and munch away for our viewing pleasure.

RW muir woods with hannah

It turns we are tough graders.

Redwoods National Park earns the bronze on our list of impressive redwood parks.  The gold goes to the boardwalk trail of redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument, fifteen miles north of San Francisco (Click here and here for these blogs).

The silver is the little known but amazing Big Basin Redwoods State Park near our friends Tammy and Mike in Boulder Creek, near Santa Cruz (60 miles south of San Francisco) (Click here for that blog).

That said, bronze gets you on the medal stand.

Driving an hour south from the park on The 101 to our Clarion Inn in Eureka, we celebrate, as only we can, by tapping a fine boxed merlot to celebrate our afternoon among the northern California redwoods.

If you are thinking, these are two wine connoisseurs, you couldn’t be more right.