Knut Hildal from Odda, Hordaland, Norway, visit Peggy and Keith Wheeler in Mad River in northern California.

       "Knut from Odda," an active member of the Internet Norway List, traveled to California for a week's visit in November 2001. He would visit relatives and List members in the San Francisco Bay area and then travel north to visit the Wheelers in Mad River where Keith had invited him to see some huge redwood trees. After his Mad River visit, he would travel east to see more of this northern part of the State before visiting more relatives in the Sacramento/Folsom area. Here are a few photos from his visit.

  What a day! It is now time for Knut to enjoy a local micro brew in the Wheeler's home. A long day driving up from the San Francisco Bay area, with some problems along the way, put Knut in the Mad River area after dark. Fearing that he might not be able to find our rural home, he stopped at the only place open with a phone, the notorious Mad River Bar. While Keith came to the rescue, Knut had a Coke with the "boys" and had the cultural experience of a mountain cowboy/logger tavern!

 After a meal and relaxing a bit, it did not take long before Knut and Keith were in the computer room talking of genealogy and things Norwegian. No one was surprised when Knut started spotting some of his ancestors in Keith's database. Yes, they are distant cousins.

Starting our tour on Wednesday morning (Nov. 7, 2001), our first stop was at the local U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station. Here USFS's Steve Pollard and Knut discussed wildlife in this area as well as Norway. Among the many deer Knut had seen on his late drive in, he was privileged to see a local mountain lion.  Steve also made recommendations on places to see redwood trees. 

Driving west toward the coast from Mad River, our next stop was the small but pleasant Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.

Finding a redwood to pose in front of is no problem in this convenient State Park along State Highway 36.

Driving a little further west from Grizzly Creek we come to the Cheatham Redwoods State Park that Steve had recommended. Here Knut poses down the trail in this beautiful, quiet and seldom visited redwood grove.

Here is another photo of Knut in the Cheatham Grove. We are hopelessly trying to capture the height of these majestic trees.

Knut poses in front of one of the larger trees in this grove.

Driving on to where Highway 36 meets 101 and then turning south, we are soon in the much larger Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We pull off the highway and drive up the narrow Mattole Road along Bull Creek. Here we stop to photograph a fallen giant that has been cut for a trail access.

Keith begins to find that it is fun to take a picture of Knut taking a picture, this again with the fallen giant redwood tree along Bull Creek.

We continue along this road in this area also know as the Rockefeller Forest to the parking area for the Giant and Flat Iron trees. Here we discover that the Flat Iron Tree fell a few years ago and that the summer bridge to the Giant Tree has been removed for the winter. Oh, well, .. we still find massive trees to view and photograph.

Knut is able to do a better job of documenting the height of these tall trees with his video camera.

Loaded with his cameras, Knut stands along the trail in this redwood grove in the Bull Creek Basin.

Here Knut checks out one of these big trees that was hollowed out by fire many years ago.

Driving back near the freeway, we go south on the Avenue of the Giants to the Founders Tree, one of the many famous and named redwood trees. Knut does not get far with his climb!

Here Knut gives a more standard pose at the base of the Founders Tree. No, those are not Groucho Marks eyebrows ... those are his flipped up sun glasses.

Again Knut tries to capture the height of a redwood tree as Keith jokes that he is going to tell everyone that Knut only fell over backwards 3 times trying to get the camera pointed to the top of the tree.

This is Keith's feeble attempt to capture the height of the Founders Tree with a single photo.

To make sure we remember the statistics for the Founders Tree, Knut poses by this attractive sign. For our metric oriented friends:

Height = 105.5 Meters

Diameter = 3.9 Meters

Circumference = 12.2 Meters

Height to lower limb = 58 Meters

Up early Thursday morning, Knut has a quick breakfast before he leaves Mad River to continue his tour of northern California. He had graciously given some helpful language lessons to Peg, he gave up on language impaired Keith, and could not be convinced that Keith just spoke the California dialect of Norsk.

Just before leaving, Knut, wearing his local Dinsmore camo cap, poses by the welcoming sign at the entrance to the Wheeler home. We wish you good travels, Knut ... and mange takk for visiting us in the northwestern California mountains.

We meet Knut again, this time in Norway, on Day 4 of our December 2001 trip

(another photo on our "Photo Sampler" page)

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