Saturday, June 15th – Sunday, June 16th, 2013
After checking out of the motel, we paid the town of Bandon one last visit to grab coffee and walk around the shops. I really enjoyed the art they made out of trash that washed up to shore. It was a good statement and showed how much junk makes it into our oceans.
However, the seal sculpture might give me nightmares.
There was a park near town that we visited before leaving, and a birdwatcher with a telescope stopped us there to show us the flock of birds, the “common murre”, located on the rocky islands in the distance. The nature watching didn’t stop there. Once we got by the water, I could see green sea anemones, sea stars, and lots of seals.
The drive from the coast continued to be scenic, and we stopped on the side of the road where we found a waterfall that the locals frequented to fill up our water jugs. The drive got foggy as we approached Pistol River viewpoint where we took one last stroll along Oregon’s coastline.
We got gas and vacuumed the inside of van in Brookings, OR, then crossed the state line into California.
Our first stop was Crescent City, CA where everybody around us looked like they’ve had their daily dose of crack. We stopped by a visitor’s center to get maps and information on the redwoods before grabbing a few things at the Safeway nearby. The cashier looked like he was thinking about wearing me as a skin suit and we were sure to lock the doors as we ate and organized the van before leaving the parking lot.
We stopped by Ruby Van Deventer County Park to check out the camping. The sites were too close to the road for our liking, but we got to see our first sightings of Redwoods. We settled on a site at Florence Keller County Park, where we lounged around in the van and planned out tomorrow.
We started our morning off in Jedidiah Smith State Park where we hiked Simpson-Reed Grove Trail and Peterson Memorial Trail. They were some massive trees!
After making some coffee, we drove along the Howland Hill Road Scenic Route which was a bit congested. So we hopped back on US-101 and headed south, passing a crackhead pushing a shopping cart in the middle of nowhere along the highway.
We went to the visitor center at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park where an enthusiastic ranger informed us where the Cathedral Tree trailhead was. Among many other huge trees along the trail, we saw the famous “Big Tree”.
The Redwoods were amazing, but once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. The fascination gets a bit flaccid, so we continued on our journey making a brief pit stop in Eureka, CA. There, we got coffee at “Old Town Coffee and Chocolates” and took a stroll along their boardwalk before driving further south along the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. When no cheap camping was to be found, we continued on the long drive stopping at the Walmart in Yuba City, CA.
Jump Ahead to Part 53: Spanish Alarm Clock, Pringles & Truckee
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening