Thursday August 1st 2019
It was obvious this morning that I had arrived in an area with a different weather pattern. It was in the high fifties this morning. The high temperature for the day was around seventy, but it was still in the nineties inland. I was lucky to have sunshine.
With only one day in this area, I got an early start on touring. I backtracked along the route I came in on yesterday into the Redwood National and State Parks northern most unit. My first stop was the Hiouchi Visitors Center. It was a small facility with a few educational displays, an information desk, the requisite gift shop and an area for a video. The timing was wrong for the video, but I spent a few minutes learning about the redwood forest and the trees.
I’ve seen Coastal Redwoods before. They only grow in a narrow band along the coast in northern California and a little bit of southern Oregon. In the 1980s I visited the Muir Woods north of San Francisco a couple of times while on business trips. This area is more natural. There are living trees of all ages combined with dead and fire damaged trees. I think I prefer this area.
To get out in the middle of the trees I took a walk on the trails in the Simpson-Reed Grove. The parking area is much more than a wide area along the main road and a side road. The signage in the park is poor. Without a map to identify the location you’d easily miss the area. The trail is a flat gravel path about five feet wide winding through the trees. Sunlight filters down to the forest floor through gaps between the redwoods high above. Ferns and moss grow on the forest floor. There are several bridges across areas that would be filled with water in the spring. Today I could hear water running, but it wasn’t visible.
I only spent a little over two hours exploring the redwoods. After awhile all the trees start to look the same; big and tall. Next up on the touring agenda was a trip into Crescent City with a plan to drive down the coast a ways. Mother nature had another idea. The fog bank that was just off shore north of Crescent City was on shore on the south side of the city. Visibility was very limited so I turned back to the north. I turned toward the shore when I found a sign labeled “Coastal Access”. That was the last sign I saw. After about half a mile the road turned from a westerly direction to a southerly direction. I never found another road toward the coast before I was back in Crescent City via a different route. Taking that as a sign of futility, I returned to my RV home for a late lunch early dinner.
Tomorrow I’m moving on north to the Coos Bay Oregon area. It’s about 130 miles north. I plan to tour the areas of Oregon south of Coos Bay over the next couple of weeks then the area north of Coos Bay after I move a short distance in the middle of the month.