Epic RVing with the Gradys - Day 16 - Redwoods National Park

Posted in Family with tags vacation -

The day started out with a smash, literally. Jenny was making breakfast on the stove, but didn’t quite prop the stove up correctly. After setting off the smoke alarm a couple of times (a feature), she turned the stove off and moved the pan to a different burner to cool - that’s when the tempered glass that covers the stove when it’s not in use shattered. In her brain fog, Jenny forgot to put it up, and in my early morning fog, I failed to notice. So that was an unexpected 45 minute cleanup exercise and now will be an unexpected expense upon our return. Hopefully that’s the worst thing that happens - the stove still works, it just doesn’t have its handy cover…

We headed south on 101 somewhat early after our breakfast and surprise cleanup activity. The drive on 101 was a lot of fun… in a Jeep!!! It would have NOT been fun in Harvee. There was one part of the road that was completely washed out, so they were closing it for 6 hours a day during the week, so it was good timing for us to do this hike on the weekend. This trip has had lots of good timing! We wound our way around past Klamath to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, which also happens to be in the Redwoods National Park - our fourth national park on this trip!!! We parked on the side of the road - when we returned later to the jeep, the entire road was filled with cars - another incident of good timing! We then hiked along a couple of short accessible trails before tackling our “main hike” of the day - a 3.5 mile hike thorugh lots of big trees!!!

Starting with a smash

A big tree, but not THE big tree

Another big damn tree

Good place to hide

Trail through the woods

OK, here's THE Big Tree


The hike was pretty flat and easy for most of it, so it took much longer to get the inevitable complaints that come with most of our hikes. “My legs are tired.” “I’m hungry.” “There are bugs on my face.” Ah, family hikes… We returend to the Jeep around noon and ate the sandwiches, chips, and snacks that we packed, then got back in the Jeep and headed back north. The drive itself is worth the trip, honestly. There are so many gigantic trees and I would assume great ocean views (it was foggy when we travelled it), it’s worthwhile to do it sometime.

On our way south we saw a sign for “Tour Thru Tree.” We presumed this was where you could drive your car through a tree, so we stopped on the way back, at exit 769 (man, California is LONG). Luckily it was right off of 101. We stopped at the booth where a scary old lady demanded $5 “cash” and we headed into the “park,” which meant we traveled about 100 feet, took a sharp right up a very steep hill, and the tree was there. All this time I figured this was some sort of major attraction - I was a little disappointed to find out it was just sort of a crappy roadside attraction. Oh well, those are fun, too! I managed to get the Jeep through with only some minor scratches - the tree is not all that wide! The scary lady at the front assured me after studying my vehicle that it would fit, and technically she was right.

Driving through a tree

We went back north towards Crescnt City. It was still early, so we stopped at Crescent Beach to look for a short beach hike. We hunted around a bit and ultimately found the hike we wanted to do, but we would have been pushing our luck to demand another hike this day, so we headed into town. That’s not before we observed Californians at what I would think is their most crazy. There were several people at the beach that day. Not a ton of people, but several. And they were in swimwear. Doesn’t seem crazy at all, you say, right? Well, Crescent City has failed to reach 65 degrees the entire time we’ve been here, and the sun has not yet shown its face, so these people were out swimming in 58 degree, cloudy weather. They were also not entirely properly dressed. I mean, a thong swimsuit probably looks good on some people, but not so much on others - and in 58 degree weather??!!?!

Northern California Beach

Overlooking the Coast

We headed into town, determined to try out one of the town’s breweries. We tried Seaquake Brewery but there was a 30 minute wait to get in, so we went into town a few miles to Port O’ Pints brewery where we were able to have a couple of very delicious beers and some snacks. We then headed back to Seaquake for dinner proper (and a couple more delicious beers).

Well deserved dinner

We made it back to the campsite around 7:00 where we started a fire and basically hung out for the evening. It had been a good day, outside of breaking our stove! It was tiring enough that I decided not to blog it until today, however, a full day later…

Written by Brandon Grady
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