Thursday, April 1, 2010

Redwood Gondolas

No, this post isn't about gondolas built from planks of the redwood tree. Although it has been done; Jack Fesenmeyer of Florida built four or five gondolas using redwood.

This post comes to you from the Northern California region where Redwood trees grow.

I'm up here on vacation right now with my family, and when we heard there were gondolas here, we had to have a look.

Yep, It's April 1st, and that means we get to have a little fun here on the Gondola Blog.

I think the huge statues of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox fit the criteria of April Fools Day.

The "Trees of Mystery", an attraction located just north of the town of Klamath, California has some amazing trees and lots of interesting things to be discovered there.

We learned a lot about the history of the region, admired a dazzling collection of things carved out of redwood logs and stumps with a chainsaw (is there any other way for a man to carve things?), and of course we saw some ridiculously big trees.

Later on we made our way to the spot where the gondola was supposed to be:

Maybe this would be a good time to mention that there are many things in our world known by the name "gondola". And before you all send angry comments and e-mails, accusing me of "buttercowing all over the place", I should mention that technically I am writing about gondolas.

This type of gondola is often used in ski resorts but there are many other applications - getting a better look at huge trees is one of them.

Here's a clip of our boarding and departure. My daughter Isabella has some strong opinions of the way to pronounce the word "gondola".

Here's a very short clip looking forward during the ride up.

The cars (the things you ride in) came from Switzerland, while everything else was built in America. A trip to the top gives riders some nice views in many directions. I had seen several ads and brochures for this place and the photos showed clean and shiny gondola cars. I half expected the real thing to be much more beat-up and dirty, but they looked great.

Driving south on the 101, we crossed over the Klamath River and then the Mad River. Each time I did what I always do when I see water - I thought "hey, I bet I could row a gondola there". In the case of the Mad River, it would have to be downstream. They don't call it the Mad River for it's calm and easy nature.

To visit the Trees of Mystery website, go to


Tamás said...

In the future, Venezia will also have a cable gondola ride, this is how it looks like.

Bepi Venexiano said...

For those unfamiliar the giant man and the blue ox are Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox. Paul is a legendary woodcutter of great height and strength and Babe his best friend was equal. When they stopped to drink they would drain rivers, one of them is now called the Grand Canyon. Banished to the far north by mechanized tree cutting Paul and Babe spend their time playing and wrestling so rough it causes the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis.

staff said...

WOW, thank you so much for your comment Bepi. Hope to see you for the Vogalonga. Cheers, Nereo

Bepi Venexiano said...

Thanks Nereo, If you see me it will be proof of miracles.

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Just checked out the Trees of Mystery like last winter. I thought that the redwood carvings alone were worth half the cost of admission. Its much nicer than I expected.

Will be in the redwoods again next weekend. I drive down from Beaverton about every 10 weeks to hike and explore. This autumn, I'm trying to photograph the Grove of Titans redwoods one more time for prints. If it rains, all the better.


M. D. Vaden of Oregon