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September 7, 2010

4

Traveling the Pacific Coast and Seeing Redwoods

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I think I was still in the Pacific Northwest west I got to the coast in Reedsport Oregon.  Only 400 miles further south than I’d planned for.  That’s chump change compared to the way I’ve been bouncing around lately.  Most importantly, I’m glad I did make it over.

It’s not everywhere you get to see forests and cliffs butting up to the ocean.  Or boulders strewn in it at the shore.  There was even a gray whale spotting at an overlook in California.  Grizzly bears don’t seem so big now, but I still don’t want to come across one.

Wave Crashing at Hidden BeachWave Crashing at Hidden Beach

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Wave Crashing at Hidden Beach

 
Stand of RedwoodsStand of Redwoods

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Stand of Redwoods

 

The main reason for this route though was to go see the Redwoods, the worlds largest trees.

The Redwood parks are actually somewhat confusing as three state parks butt up to the national park and many of the activities are attached to the state parks.  It didn’t help that I missed the first ranger station after taking a scenic coastal route detour.  No big deal normally, but I wanted to get a driving permit for the Tall Tree Grove.

Instead I ended up at the Klamath Overlook and took a hike to Hidden Beach.  It was wonderful being able to walk along the coast without running over other people.  The couple hundred miles I did on Highway 101, while beautiful, did reinforce my decision to travel inland in California later on as you spend more time watching out for cars and construction than the coast.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that no matter how big or long a road construction zone is only 5 people are allowed to being do work at any one time.

An unexpected highlight of this hike was coming across a banana slug working its way across the trail.  Never seen one before, but it was easy to see how it got its name.  Plenty of time to get some closeup shots of it too.

Banana SlugBanana Slug

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Banana Slug

 

Once at Hidden Beach I had the place to myself and spent an hour watching the waves come in over the rocks and around the outcrops in the ocean.  Time seems to go away doing this as the ocean drowns out all other sounds.

I finally did reach a ranger station later in the day, but all of the driving permits were gone for the day.  I checked the attached campground thinking I could do it in the morning, but California wants $35 to camp at a state park due to their budget crisis, no way!

Redwood TreetopsRedwood Treetops

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Redwood Treetops

 

Instead I rode to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and took the short hike there.  The trees here are massive, it’s hard to believe they get even bigger.  Its a very serene place as the forest absorbs the any sounds.  You automatically find yourself slowing down and stopping to stare up at the treetops.  This doesn’t go away either, even on the way back seeing some of the same trees they were still just as impressive.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 7 2010

    Amazing pictures, although I don’t know how you got the banana slug to sit so still for your photo…being the fast animals that they are.The trees, wow I would love to try and climb one of those1

    Reply
    • Sep 8 2010

      Monkey heaven – tall trees and slow moving bananas!

      Reply
  2. Sep 8 2010

    Amazing photos. Reinforced my desire to see them for myself!!! I find that so many Europeans think they know the US because they’ve “done” Disney or NY, and they have no idea of the majesty of the natural beauty. Thanks for revealing it!

    Reply
    • Sep 8 2010

      Well said! Thanks for the support. It’s such a huge country that you do have to concentrate on different areas, but there is so much more to it than what you always hear about.

      Reply

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