Hi. Welcome back to day 4 of our Coast and Redwoods trip. Hope you’ve enjoyed it so far.
Originally we thought we might stay an extra day in the forest but after our first night in our “cottage” we knew it was going to be a one-day affair. So we packed up our gear and planned to spend the day enjoying the redwoods and then head back up into Oregon.
Alright, time to get up and start our big day sightseeing redwoods in the Humboldt Redwood State Park we had spent all this time and energy to get to. Was it worth it? Let’s see what you think. But first, let’s have a little breakfast, shall we?
At this point our main guide was this map/brochure we had picked up in one of the stores we stopped at before we got to the “cottage”. It gave us some idea of what we could expect but it was more a publicity and ads thing than a map.
For breakfast, since we were already pretty much at the Southern tip of the Avenue of the Giants in Phillipsville we decided to drive back up to Miranda to see what the Avenue Cafe was like. Here we are waiting for our order of eggs and such.
Food was ok but when I asked for some peanut butter for my french toast they said they didn’t stock any peanut butter at the Cafe. None. Period. Kinda strange to not even have the little individual serving plastic containers but c’est la vie. I’ll give it 3.5 stars out of 5. Chowed down and headed back out. Tree time!
Oh, I need to tell you that it was raining. Not just a pleasant light rain but a serious need-the-umbrella-to-get-anywhere-without-getting-soaked kinda rain. Our plan for the day was to visit some of the groves on the map above, stop at the visitor center and then plan the rest of the day until we needed to leave. Here’s a few pics from the first grove we wandered around; I think it was the Williams Grove.
One of the first things we noticed besides the big trees was what we first thought was clover all over the forest floor. We later realized it was wood sorrel and I was dumbfounded that I hadn’t recognized it! Some forestry school graduate I turned out to be! But seriously, that was oh, 40+ years ago and the amount that I have remembered just astonishes me sometimes.
From here we headed up to the visitor’s center as planned. Oh boy was that an eye-opener! First of all we were able to get a map that was actually a map!
And the ranger was so helpful. The first thing he did was to tell us how bad our previous map was. And then once we told him what we were interested in and didn’t mind doing some serious hiking to get there, he told us where to find the best trees and forest for our time there. He told us to not miss the Founders Loop or the Rockefeller Loop.
And here’s why.
(I just want to add that the visitor’s center is worth setting aside an hour or two to spend there if you have time. There are lots of interpretive displays and lots of history. Interesting fact: It was due to a picnic to which John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was invited amongst the redwoods that the park came to be. Rockefeller was so impressed that he donated a large amount of money to the Save-the-Redwoods League to help fund the park.)
The ranger recommended that we head up the Bull Creek Trail North as far as we had time for. Since it was early in the season and a very rainy day we’d probably not see anyone on the trail and it had some of the best trees in the park. And that was absolutely true. We saw nobody on the trail for the time we were on it.
Before I take you along that trail I thought I’d share this site which has a wealth of information about redwoods. One of the things the ranger told us was that the burls of the tree were not cancerous growths as I thought, but actually contained dormant sprouts ready to grow out if the main tree was sufficiently damaged. Sorta contained the tree’s version of stem cells, if you know what I’m talking about. Way cool. So that “lamb’s head” pic above is actually waiting for a chance to start a new tree, should it be called upon to do so.
And for how I got so many nice pics on such a rainy day, all I can say is I was lucky and had fantastic help. We had a drill between J and I. I carried the tripod and whenever I wanted to take a shot, she’d be my photo assistant and hold the umbrella over me while I got the camera out and everything set up. Since I was using a remote shutter release for long exposures once I was all set, I’d take the umbrella back and then if she was going to be in the pic, she’d get where we wanted her and I could take the shot shielding the camera from the rain. If she wasn’t in the shot, she’d just continue holding the brolly for me. Nice! Can’t ask for more than that from a partner.
Ok, on to the Bull Creek North trail, also known as the Big Tree Trail. Because it was such a rainy day we didn’t spend nearly as much time on the trail as we would have liked but the time we did spend was well worth it. There was a bit of bushwacking to get around some trees that had come down recently but that didn’t stop us. We’re from BC where that’s entirely normal 🙂
And that’s pretty much it for the Redwoods and Sequoias this year! We were more than satiated with big trees and in answer to the “Was it worth it?” question I asked above, we both gave a resounding YES!!
In a way, this was kind of a reccy trip. Now we knew that if we wanted to spend some time in really big trees, we could come here. We have a map and there are trails for backpacking so maybe that will be our next foray into the redwoods.
Back to the car and our plan to head up to Oregon. Now we need a place to sleep. So while J was driving I got on the web and found us a BnB in Brookings, Oregon, called The South Coast Inn Bed & Breakfast.
As we were traveling a bit late, we decided to stop for dinner at the Fisherman’s Restaurant in Crescent City. The wind was really blowing and it was quite stormy so it was a nice relief to get out of the car and into a friendly restaurant. I’ll give it a 4 star rating.
After eating we headed back up the highway to Brookings and The South Coast Inn B&B. What a difference compared to the previous night! Literally night and day. The rates were affordable and the accommodations were just fantastic. As it was so rainy, they had had several cancellations and we had our pick of rooms. We stayed in the Sea Breeze Room.
We relaxed and rested in our room and so ended day 4 of our Left Coast Trip. Ahhhh.
On day 5 we were planning on exploring our way up the Oregon coast and heading back East to Portland and I5 to stay with a friend before heading back home on day 6.
Stay tuned for days 5 & 6.