May 22, 2021

The Avenue of the Giants

8:00 This morning we are getting an early start and I’ve decided to record this in real time, or at least near real time. We have another 50 miles on Highway 1, so more slow going on twisty winding roads. I’m writing this as we go today. We have left the coast and are amongst the redwoods. The road is super narrow but lined with trees, its just beautiful the way the sunlight filters through creating shadows all around us. There are few turnouts , so no real opportunities for taking photos.

9:25 still a few more miles to go before we get to the 101.

9:39 Just saw our first advertisement for the “Drive Through Tree”! We will not fit, but hopefully we will see it.

9:45 We are on the 101, but a sign advises us that there are sharp curves for the next 9 miles and we are advised to slow down. 😜. Lots of tourist traps for “tree houses” and Confusion Hill House, and the “one log cabin!” An entire log house made out of a single log. It looks like more of a hobbit house or a culvert with a door, but whatever.

9:52 We are on the freeway, at least for a short time…

10:03 - the legend of bigfoot! complete with three highway patrol officers with their lights flashing. I guess we will not stop to buy any bigfoot souveniers.

10:20 We are now on the Avenue of the Giants. We are heading for Founders Grove to make a stop and enjoy the Redwoods for a bit. Some of the Redwoods in founders grove are over 350 feet tall!

Lots of pictures looking straight up today!

11:08 Just finished the nature walk at the visitor center. Amazing! There is no way our pictures are going to capture the size and beauty of these trees!

12:00 Just finished our walk at Founders Grove! Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. The Founders tree is 349 feet tall! More than a soccer pitch! The diameter is over 12 feet and the circumference just over 40

12:10 pull over by some big trees for a picnic lunch along side the road. A most picturesque lunch spot!

Roadside lunch stop

12:24 back on the road — 2:17 minutes left to our destination. The rest of the day will be on Hwy 101.

1:30 Gas stop in Eureka! Last stop before our campsite…

2:25 Arrived - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

2:45 We have determined that our campsite and our camper are incompatible. The site is steep and it is impossible to get our camper anywhere near level. Jane seeks out the Ranger to see if there are any cancellations.

3:00 they have two possibilities for us. After a little walk around the campground we determine that one is super small, and level, but there would be no room for the truck. Luckily the other will work great for one night. Its a bit exposed with the slide hanging right out to the road. But most sites near us are already occupied so we don’t expect much traffic.

3:45 we are finally in our campsite with the trailer leveled up and the solar panels plugged in.

4:00 we take off for a hike, having abandoned the idea of a 20 mile bike ride.

4:20 we arrive at Fern Canyon for our hike. It is for the best that we didn’t try to ride our bikes here after all. Its a steep one lane road with the barest of turnouts for when you meet someone. Thankfully the hike makes it all worth while. Fern canyon is a coastal bluff left behind by the retreating oceans years ago. The steep walls of the bluffs are covered with ferns, and the little steam running down the middle makes for a beautiful hike. Again the pictures surely do not do it justice.

5:25 depart Fern Canyon for Lady Bird Johnson Grove. This is completely different than Founders Grove as it is higher in elevation, on a ridge top where the winds challenge the trees all the time. Its great that this is named after Lady Bird Johnson, who fell in love with this grove when she came to dedicate Redwoods National Park in 1968, but it is pretty humbling to consider that when many of these trees have been here for 1,000 years!

7:00 Back at the campsite! Time to make some dinner and relax. Tomorrow we head to Crater Lake where we will stay for two nights.