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Redwood National and State Parks Car Camp
By Aaron* Jones
| Ground cover is exponentially more significant. Those were the words of Jerry Hatch as we toured through Redwoods National Park. My words often spoken on the trails is that we were not in Utah anymore. We started the trip following what initially seemed like an unusual route cruising through southern Oregon to get to northern California. Mapquest had called it right and a look at my watch convinced me we had enough time to take in Oregon Caves National Monument. Grabbing time by the forelock we were able to visit the caves and dash to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State park to set up our tents before gathering at the Seaquake Brewpub at the recommendation of Bob Grant. It was a memorable start to a memorable trip.
Our hikes started with the Boy Scout tree and the Stout Grove Loop. These are remnants of old growth forest that provide habitat for the Spotted Owl. The current Redwood forest is a shadow of its earlier self as 95% of the forest has disappeared. The next day's hike, Damnation Creek, seemed shrouded in mystery as we heard tales of a rickety bridge necessitating a scramble over a ravine. One by one we crossed the bridge and savored a dramatic beach setting.
One treat not to be missed is Patrick's Point State Park. A trail loops around the point with several offshoots to lands' end. Whales and tidal pools display some of the oceans most fascinating lifeforms and we were blessed to see Harbor Seals swimming in the waves. The next day saw us knocking off one trail after another as explored the Tall Trees Grove, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, and Trillium Falls. Thursday, we hiked in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park following the California Coastal Trail along the beach until we exited to Fern Canyon which exhibits a magnificent display of seven types of ferns.
Bidding farewell to the National Park and the three state parks it encompasses a herd of elk stopped us in our tracks as everyone reached for their camera or cellphone. We were off to another adventure, the Blue Ox Historic Village in Eureka California, where Victorian era craftsmanship is turned out on 19th Century tools. It was a perfect stop for what turned out to be a rainy day. The entire town is bedecked with Victorian structures some of which have been enhanced by the workmanship of the Blue Ox proprietor. We ended the day at the Lost Coast Brewery where we once more hoisted a glass to celebrate a great trip, great people, and a great club.
Participants: Susan Allen, Bob Grant, Jerry Hatch, Aaron Jones, Robert Myers, Russell Patterson, Marilyn Smith, and Leslie Woods.