There is an ancient home video of my younger sister and I at my grandparents lake cabin when we are about 4 and 6 years old. We are hiking up a little slope and she grasps a little tree in her little hand and says "That's a youuuung tree, huh, Lisa?" (in her somehow southern accent - she was born in WV). I couldn't get that out of my head as we explored the redwoods these past few days. These trees are in no way young or small. I had been really excited to see them up close, but nothing can really capture how immense, huge, gigantic, and massive they really are.
We spent the night after driving down from Portland, OR in what was more a trailer park than a campsite in Crescent City, CA. But it was quiet and near the water, so not too bad. The next morning we headed south through Redwood National Forest for some touring and hiking. We found one of the famous drive-thru trees in Klamath, CA and got a few great pics of the Westy. We also found a great hike (Trillium Falls Trail
) through the elk grazing lands where we got up close and personal with some of the giant trees.
We even found a really neat "walk-through" tree off the trail a little ways that could probably fit 10-12 people inside.
That night headed for California's "Lost Coast", which is a side loop off of Route 101. We had heard that is was amazing, if a little rough and winding. It was truly stunning and practically empty of other cars and people. We found a nice pull-out from the road overlooking the ocean as the sun was setting. There was one other camper parked there but not much else going on. It was gorgeous! The next morning we woke up and hiked down to the beach just after high tide. After breakfast we met our camper neighbors who had been staying at the spot off and on for about a week. They live in the area and had just gotten into RVing. Unfortunately our visiting was cut short when a park ranger showed up and informed us that there was no camping at this particular spot. To be fair, the sign was about this big and hidden in the grass. We were able to get off with a warning, but our camper friends got stuck with a fine since a cranky local had complained about their extended stay. We headed out after that and continued the beautiful drive down the coast.
The way to get back to Route 101 was to drive a crazy winding road over the bluffs and then through Humboldt Redwoods State Park from the backside. The road was exhausting (both for the driver, and for the passenger trying to make lunch while flying around the back of the Westy) but the final stretch through the forest really paid off. The road was lined with giant redwoods and it was totally quiet and peaceful (except for the put-put-put of the Westy).
We spent another awesome beach-side night at a more expensive ($0 vs $25) but also more legal campsite right on the ocean. Today we explore Fort Bragg, CA and more of the classic Route 1 coast between here and San Francisco!