Sunday, April 28, 2013

Redwood National and State Parks, Saturday, April 27, 2013

It was another day of seeing big trees and exploring new territory.  Redwood National and State Parks are located along the coast from Trinidad, Ca.(about 15 miles north of Eureka) to Crescent City, Ca., about 70 miles.  We stopped at the first Visitor's Center, Kuchel, we came to and got some information about the parks and recommendations of what we should be sure to see and do.  The Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway as an alternative to US-101 is where we started.  At the southern entrance of this Parkway is another Visitor's Center that was pointed out as a place to see as the building had been the headquarter building of a camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps years ago.  Then we got underway on the Parkway stopping to walk to The Big Tree.  Some trees in this area were heavily covered with moss giving an eerie look.  These Redwoods can grow new trees from their  roots and we saw some that even after toppling over had new trees growing from the roots.  The floor of these forests had lots of vegetation, such as ferns, growing.  The climate along this area is cool (today the temperatures did not get out of the 50's) and damp- heavy fogs are present most mornings.  The banana slug, a yellow slimy critter, thrives here by eating everything in site except the Redwood seeds and trees.

We had lunch at a diner in Klamah and then traveled on north to the Howland Hill Road, just west of Crescent City. This drive was mostly on unpaved roads twisting around and close between the huge trees.  At the Stout Grove we walked the loop trail through the grove.

Returning to the Crescent City vicinity we located the Battery Point Lighthouse but the tide was not low enough that we could walk across the pathway without getting wet feet with cold water.  We did walk out on a jetty owned by the Corps of Engineers.  The water on the bayside was so clear we were able to see the huge rocks and some star fish attached to a concrete tetrapod (giant jacks used to protect harbors from damaging currents).  There were 2 tall ships, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain in the ocean firing off cannons.  These ships were in Crescent City for a Tall Ship Festival on April 20 and 21 and were staying in the area from April 19-29, 2013.

As we were returning back toward Eureka on Highway 101 (called the Redwood Highway, not the Pacific Coast Highway, in this area) we passed Elk Meadow.  Sure enough there was a herd of elk grazing in this meadow.  And then a little further down the road at Dry Lagoon there was another herd of elk.  After taking pictures of the elk we continue on the road to Dry Lagoon Beach to take more pictures.