In the midst of one of the finest Pacific Northwest indian summers on record, I headed out with my best friend on a loosely scheduled road trip. We drove south on Interstate-5 until we learned that at the rate we were traveling we'd arrive at our destination two days earlier than we needed to. With Garmin - our GPS system - screaming at us to continue south, we did the only sensible thing; at Grant's Pass we cut west.

Crescent City, just over the border in California, is famous for having survived not one but two tsunamis. The first and perhaps most famous caused by the Alaska earthquake in the early half of the sixties; the second more recently, it's cause Japan's major tumbler and subsequent nuclear nail-biter of March 2011.

We arrived at the dinner hour and grabbed a room at the Curly Redwood Lodge, a fine fifties-style motel from motor camping's heyday. No magnetic keys here, just clean, neat rooms with kidney-shaped coffee tables and a motion-forward architectural design. Think fifties automobile styling applied to a building and you'll have some idea what the lodge looks like. The wood used throughout the establishment is not only strictly cut from curly redwood, it all came from the same felled tree.

Crescent City is also the terminus (or beginning, depending on which way you're headed) of The Redwood Highway, a scenic route consisting of several roads that wind their way along a breathtaking stretch of Northern California's coastline, ducking in and out of ancient stands of forest. Highway 101 is the road most traveled, passing through Trees of Mystery where statues of Paul Bunyan and his ox Blue tower over the parking lot greeting visitors. From there it proceeds through Redwoods National Park, Lagoons and a bunch of other state parks in California's famous Humboldt County. It's visually stunning, and even taking our time we arrived in San Francisco before the dinner bell.