The Redwoods and Northern California Coast
We had a wonderful drive from Redding to Eureka on the Trinity Scenic Highway 299. Our first stop was the Whiskeytown Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area Visitor's Center near Shasta, California. We enjoyed seeing the rafters on the Trinity river and decided that we need to come back and give the river a try. We arrived at the Eureka KOA and prepared for a couple days of exploration.
On the way to the Redwoods, we spent some time in the cute little town of Ferndale. This historic town contains beautiful buildings. We enjoyed a walk around the downtown shops and bought a wood carving and iron bell. One of the shop owners talked about the devastation caused by the 1992 earthquake.
In addition to their distinction as a historic town, they are also known for the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. Started in 1969, artist Hobart Brown decided to make his son's tricycle into a mobile sculpture. This led to a competition over who could build the best (in the eyes of the beholder) human-powered sculpture. With categories like spirit, art, speed, and others that get invented each year, everyone feels like a winner. People come from all over the country for the annual event in May. The local museum contains examples of prior winners, losers, and everything in between.

Coastal Geocache
Just outside Ferndale on a cliff overlooking Centerville Beach we found a geocache next to a tree. It contained rocks for families to "adopt" and take to another geocache. We adopted Mom and Pop rocks. After some time all the ocean overlook, it was time to head back inland.
We enjoyed the backroad drive from the coast through farmland to Rio Dell. We then caught Highway 101 down to the state park.

The Redwoods
We arrived at Humboldt Redwoods State Park after noon, so we knew we would have to pick out a hike carefully. We decided to stop for a picnic at Williams Grove. It was interesting to sit quietly among the huge trees. Next, we drove on down the Avenue of Giants and stopped at a nice redwood furniture shop. We talked about adding a nice redwood table to our "pretend" living room with the buffalo couch we saw in Taos, New Mexico. When we reached the end of the road, we headed back north and stopped at the Founders Grove for a short hike on an interpretive trail. This trail provided some interesting information about the redwoods.
On the way back to Eureka, we stopped at the Samoa Cookhouse for a wonderful supper.
The next day we headed north to the Redwood National Park. The ranger at the visitor's center was very informative. We discussed how the tree designated "tallest" keeps changing as old trees fall over and new trees are still discovered. One of the oldest groves has limited access. Passes were still available, so we checked in, unhooked the car, and headed north through Orick. We headed west on Bald Hills Road to the Tall Trees Access Road where we had to use a combination to gain access. After a few more miles on a gravel road, we arrived at a small parking lot. It was misty, so we wore our jackets. As we started down the trail, we felt like we were in another world. We enjoyed exploring all aspects of the ancient forest. For example, we spent some time watching a bright yellow banana slug crawl up a log.

After hiking 1.2 miles downhill, we explored a loop trail through some of the oldest trees. We also walked out to the stream and relaxed on a huge log. Unfortunately, it was a mile and a half back uphill to the parking lot.
As we continued north on Highway 101 through the rest of the Redwoods area, we discussed the lumbering issues. Behind many of the tree lined roads, we could see acres of logged areas. The highway was filled with lumber trucks. We worked our way north up the coast into Oregon.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01.
Updated 5/02.
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