We just got back from our vaction to the Redwood forest and Ashland, OR. We spent two night camping in the Redwoods and three nights in Ashland. This entry will be about our time in the Redwoods. A later post will be about our time in Ashland.
We headed out early Monday morning arriving at the National Park in the afternoon. Our first choice for a campground, Gold Bluff Beach was full. Our second choice, Elk Creek was also full. This was not starting off so good. We headed south of the park to Patrick's Point State Park to find an open camp site. The whole family really liked this campground. Molly and Keenan highly recommend campsite 97 in the Agate Beach campground at Patrick's Point. After setting up camp, we headed down the road some more to Arcata and Humboldt State University, Kevin's Alma Mater. After picking up bagels for breakfast at Los Bagels, the family was hungry so we drove out to the Samoa Cookhouse.
When Marin was telling people where we were going for vacation, a few of them suggested this fine place. It is a set menu with family style seating. We started out with fresh home made bread, vegatable soup and salad. Then came the main entrees of southern fried chicken and ham with mashed potatoes and corn. For dessert we had home made apple pie with whipped cream. Delicious!
After dinner we drove back into Arcata. it is a beautiful college town, with the campus backed-up into a redwood forest. I showed them the dorm building I lived in, Madrone; the main building where I had most of my classes, Founder's Hall; and the track where I spent most afternoons running over hurdles. That night we settled into our campsite and got an amazing display of the stars.
The next day we woke to a foggy morning, with sunlight filtering through the mist and trees.
After breakfast we decide to wander around Patrick's Point and made our way to this rugged coastline. We could hear sea lions down in the water.
With a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches inside us, we drove into the coastal town of Trinidad. Marin has decided this town is on our list of places to retire to. Molly liked the HSU Marine Lab where we got to touch tide-pool creatures.
It was now time to discover the redwoods up close and personal. We headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. These trees can live up to 1500 years old and reach heights way over 300 feet. These trees are just massive and you don't get a true understanding of how big they are unless you stand right next to them.
I had one more stop planned for the family this day, Fern Canyon. It required us driving six miles on a dusty, gravel road with many pot holes. The whole family put up a fuss about how we should not drive on this road, but I kept going. About a mile from the trailhead, we came to our first stream crossing. Marin demanded we stop and said that I would have to walk the rest of the way there. She would stay in the car and knit. Molly was going to stay with her. I got out of the car, put Keenan on my shoulders (since that was the only way Keenan would go with me) and walked the rest of the way there. About 100 yards from the trailhead, I turn around to see Marin driving the car to the trailhead. She had decided that she wasn't going to wait in the car anymore. I don't think she was disappointed by her decision. Fern Canyon's walls are 40 feet tall and covered in ferns. There is a small creek that runs down it and fallen redwood trees across the trail that have crashed down from above. Both Molly and Keenan thought this was a cool place to hike around in.
On the drive out on the gravel road, we came across a herd of Roosevelt Elk and a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
The next morning we broke camp and headed north towards Ashland. Before we left the Redwoods we stopped at the Big Tree and the Cathedral trail loop. A great hike for a family with kids who don't like to hike. Tons of huge trees as well as fallen trees that kids can climb around on.
Our last stop before heading back into Oregon was the Trees Of Mysteries, with it's statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. It is a total tourist trap. Of course, we left with several souvenirs.