Sunday 11th January 2009
For the last two days we have been walking north up Highway 101 towards our goal of McKinleyville. Someone once asked Amy how we choose our weekly goals which was rather stupid as she is a dog and doesn't speak. If they had asked me I would have said that they need to be about the right weekly walking distance from our starting point and, if possible, there should be something vaguely interesting about them. So what is vaguely interesting about McKinleyville? It has the world's largest single totem pole in the car park just outside Safeway's, that's what.
If you read the notice at the bottom of the pole you will discover that it is 160 feet high, weighing 57,000 lbs and 500 year old. This all sound quite impressive until you discover that it is not alone in claiming to be the world's largest totem pole - there are rivals in both Oklahoma and British Columbia - and it is 500 years old in the same way that my house - which is stone built - is 37 million years old. The redwood tree itself is 500 year old but it wasn't made into a totem pole until 1962. In totem pole terms it is a "celebration pole" and it celebrates the opening of McKinleyville Shopping Centre. For Amy and I it celebrated the end of another week's walking and for Amy in particular, it posed a challenge of monumental proportions. Now what would any self-respecting dog do to a 160 foot high wooden pole?