Saturday, May 15, 2021

Majestic Trees and Magical Shores

 May 5 - 9, 2021
Redcrest, California

Our first full travel day on Hwy 101 and it feels like "finally!" All (most of) the stress and uncertainty of the past year melts away as we return to our favorite summer route. 

Having our vaccines and knowing our family have theirs is a huge relief. COVID continues to be a concern, we aren't out of the woods completely, too many people continue to insist on keeping it around, but I'm definitely feeling optimistic that life can return to a safe normal this year.

Not feeling the same optimism about the return of our country to decency and social consciousness. Sadly, even after the relief of January 20, the hateful racist hordes continue their nonsense. COVID is not the worst thing that's happened to us :-(

But alas being on the road gives us a positive focus, surrounded by nature and the blessing of protected public lands. I intend to immerse myself!!

On previous years we've stopped in Fortuna, California, to visit the redwoods and nearby coast. This time I reserve five nights on the Avenue of the Giants, staying at Ancient Redwoods RV Park. While the park is cleared of all trees, we're surrounded on every side by a dense forest of redwoods and hard woods. 50 amp FHUs on good size, level, paved sites surrounded by well-maintained green grass. This is an immaculate park with easy access and wide interior roads. The water pressure is a little low, and there is zero cell service. They provide several "tickets" to sign in to fast Internet that lasts us the five days (no streaming). It's a 20 minute drive in to Fortuna or they have a small store on site. Super nice staff who take real pride in their park.

Until the last day we have the park mostly to ourselves.

Lovely outdoor space we enjoy several times during our stay.

Arriving on Cinco de Mayo means we head to Fortuna for Mexican food and margaritas. Las Cazuelas Cantina serves up tasty portions of both. Like all businesses in the area, it's "no mask, no service", with distancing established throughout. 

Ferndale is a quaint little town between Hwy 101 and the coast. We visit one afternoon, taking our time, just seeing.

I want to know people who paint their door pink.

Different hair stylists.....

Many gardens have huge rhodies on display.

Softened by age.

One comes here to see the incredible giant trees, and certainly they are part of the draw for us. But after "discovering" the Lost Coast two years ago, it's the biggest draw for us. Bill finds a new route that adds even more to a perfect day of exploring.

Bear River Ridge Road takes us through several farms, over lovely rolling hills.

We stop numerous times to appreciate the incredible views.

Occasional sections of wet and mossy forest.

Hard to capture just how long and steep this "driveway" is.

Groomed and posed for our viewing pleasure.

The new route brings us out on the main road to the coast. Narrow and steep with more pot holes than asphalt, the "trail" tests shocks, brakes and several body parts. UPS and other trucks use it so it's passable, but plan to take your time. 

The reward for the last section of the drive.

Lupine covers acres of wild coast here.


Raw and rugged basalt sand and rock.


Dunes and grasses soften the southern stretch.

Turning inland, meadows steal the show.

Old family farms are scattered throughout the valley.

This old growth Eucalyptus is nearly as wide as the road we're driving beside it.

Gotta love FedEx drivers who are always prepared. This one pulls out a tow strap to move this fallen tree from the road.

There are a few options for moving among the historic redwoods, and we visit all of them over our time here. The smells, the sounds (or the complete lack of same), the overall feel of these old growth forests is magical. 

Feeling small among the giants.

Many different sizes, all reaching high.

A mystical world awaits.

Through the portal......

New life from fallen giants.

Tall Tree, impossible to capture all 359 feet. 

Monday morning we continue north, hoping to resolve our motorhome registration issue at the Cummins in Arcata - and looking forward to spending a week with the wild Elk herd of Trinidad.



18 comments:

  1. Awesome pictures of CA's 'Lost Coast'. It's an amazing look into the ranch life of what is left of the undeveloped CA coast. Hope the developers never put in condos and golf courses :)

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    1. That's our hope too! It is such a special area that needs to be saved forever.

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  2. Lovely photos Jodee and I can feel the joy in your writing of finally being out on the road again.

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    1. I'm so glad we decided to do this route again!

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  3. The trees are HUGE!! it's so hard to imagine just how giant they really are until you stand next to one. The campground looks like a good find :-)

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    1. Even when you've seen them before their size is still breath taking!! We'll stay at this park again for sure.

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  4. I love the different hair styles shot, looks like "someone" cut their own bangs.....

    Such a lovely route, I miss those wide ocean views and mammoth trees. I've made and canceled a similar trip twice now, here's hoping we'll get there in the next year. In the mean time, thanks for taking us along with you three!

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    1. LOL, yes, that one had a very different look :-) Always love having you three along with us!

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  5. What an outstanding post! We did parts of this route on a motorcycle trip many years ago, and I've wanted to return with the MH. You are doing an awesome job planning for us!! The Avenue of the Giants was one of the best ever motorcycle rides, but now I need to spend more time and hike around. Love the Ancient Redwoods RV Park. Your photos are wonderful and very creative. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You really do need to come back and spend some time hiking along the coast. There are a gazillion trails, although not any we saw along the section of Lost Coast we visited. I definitely recommend this little park although there's no cell service. Just tell them you need a satellite site!

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  6. Those trees snd coast really are magical and prehistoric feeling. Our times can be so chaotic but nature us do peaceful and healing.

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    1. Yes, all this natural beauty is the very best cure!

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  7. I so love the lost coast area and want to explore it in depth some day. Thanks for taking me to it virtually!

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    1. Glad you're along for the ride. It's a beautiful area with so much to explore.

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  8. Could not agree more with your first 3 paragraphs. Covid is at least tied as the worst thing that has happened to us. It is possible to vaccinate against it and hopefully return to normal. I despair that we will ever return to a caring and less violent society.

    I too love the pink door and know I would like the people who painted it. Gorgeous pictures of the coast. They make me draw a big breath and relax. Thanks. And those Redwoods. Remarkable!! May they forever reign unharmed.
    Safe travels!

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    1. Thanks Sherry :-) It's odd how such a raw and rugged coast can indeed be so relaxing. I think it's that it feels so untouched by humans.

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  9. Oh, Jodee....I love this post. Your opening paragraphs are so eloquent, and echo exactly what we're feeling. As devastating as the pandemic has been, we share your feelings that Covid has not been the worst thing that has happened. And we also know that we need to find joy where we can, and to try to find some return to normalcy. Your immersion in the beauty of the coast and your photographs bring me such peace. Hugs to you guys.

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    1. Thank you Laurel. Finding peace along this beautiful coast has been very therapeutic in many ways. We are blessed with the option to find our joy here. We're looking forward to getting north to some of the areas you introduced us to, while enjoying taking our time getting there :-))))

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