Monday, July 26, 2021



Several redwoods growing in close proximity to one another are called cathedrals.


Roger here....  Back to the trees ---Our second long hike in the forest (7 miles) took place in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  A park ranger concocted a series of interconnected trails for us that would lead us back to our SUV: Revelation Trail, Nature Trail, Prairie Creek Trail, Cathedral Trail.  My navigation skills must still be ok because we did not get lost.

Look at the size of that root ball!

Dianne stood inside a living tree.

I walked into a tunnel that was cut into a fallen tree.

(BTW, Roger's behind is not that big; that's a sweatshirt hanging from his waist! -- D.)

That little pink dot in the upper left of this photo is Dianne.  I took this photo from the other end of this fallen tree.

The "Big Tree" was a major feature of this trek.  Below are several pictures of this gargantuan 1500-year-old tree.


Most national parks do not allow dogs on the hiking trails.  The Redwoods National and State Parks are no exception --- except for the exception.  When I asked at one of the visitor centers, the ranger told us that there truly is an exception at Cal - Barrel Road.

Dogs share this narrow gravel road with occasional car traffic.

The bad news at the start of the hike was that it was all uphill.  The great news during the second half of the hike was that it was all downhill.

Dianne here - I think videos give a better perception of these awesome trees, so here's a short clip:


The awesome trees were the same as on the narrower trails and we were able to enjoy them with our dogs.

Poquita wanted to check out any critters that might be inside.

(I thought this looked like a little dog house, but Poquita opted not to go in!) -- D.


It was time to leave Klamath, so we waited another 
one-and-one-half hours to cross the last chance grade going north.  Our destination was Jedediah Smith State Park near Crescent City, where we camped for two nights.  We had no hook-ups --- no electricity, no water --- just quiet.   (Not even a Verizon signal.  We alerted our daughters not to worry if they could not reach us by phone. -- D.)

All of the photos below were taken at our specific campsite.  Surrounded by the giant redwood trees, we relished the solitude and felt no need to leave camp.  

I was so relaxed that I set up a "contemplative niche" on the edge of our site.  

Notice the green chair in the midst of "all the green".  So restful.

Sunsets here were a non-event; however, watching the sun's rays through the forest canopy was breath-taking.

The reason wine-thirty was invented

Chip and Dale were there.  Bandido (on a 25-foot tether) conducted an investigation of Chip's hiding spot behind a redwood log.

Nap time for Dianne and the doggies.

(Quite a change from the 100+ temperatures we dealt with the first weeks of our trip.  Even Bandido wanted under a blanket.  The dense shade of these huge trees made it chilly.  -- D.)

We had not had a campfire for months, maybe years, but the friendly campground host told me that they were permitted and safe in the tall fire pits.  Dianne loves campfires.  So during nap time I bought firewood to surprise Dianne.  She was a happy camper.

BTW.  We watched the fire VERY carefully.  What a setting!

Our next stops are along the magnificent beaches of Oregon.  More on that in the next post.


Bandido napping after the Cal-Barrel hike

Poquita helping Dianne with a cryptogram

Sunday, July 25, 2021


MAGICAL - giantic trees everywhere, fog, isolation.  The only thing missing is fairies flitting around in the ferns.

Roger here...  Our next destination was Redwoods State and National Parks, between Eureka, CA and Crescent City, CA.  This was one of the few major national parks that we had not explored because of its relative isolation between the ocean and the coastal range.  Dianne had been wanting to go there for a long time.  It lived up to her expectations.  It was, indeed, magical.

Redwoods National Park is connected to three California state parks:  Del Norte Coast, Prairie Creek Redwoods, and Jedediah Smith.  All four entities operate as a single unit, and honor national park passes.


We endured two overnight stops  (Santa Nella and Redding) along interstate 5.  We did little other than drive and stay in the Airstream.  Thankfully, our air conditioner continued to work well and kept us cool in 100 -112 degree temperatures. We then spent two nights in a higher elevation in Grants Pass, OR.  This was grocery/laundry/communication stop before crossing the coastal range and a different world. 

As we neared Crescent City we found ourselves in a fog-filled botanical tunnel with giant redwoods on both sides of the road.

Our initial elation was short lived.  In order to get to our RV Park in the tiny burg of Klamath (private land surrounded by the parks), we were forced to pass through the "last chance grade".  Months ago a rock-slide demolished a portion of Highway 101 completely closing the only roadway into the parks from the north.  Work had been in progress for months, but there was still much to do.  During the time that we passed through, 101 was completely closed to all traffic in both directions after 7:00 a.m.  At noon the roadway was opened for a three-hour window --- one lane at a time in half-hour intervals.  Since we knew about the system in advance, we made sure that we were in line by 11:30 a.m. to hopefully get through during an early interval.  We ended up waiting for about an hour and a half (not as bad as we expected).

We eventually arrived at our RV Park in the small Native-American town of Klamath, CA.  This was (and is) a part of the Yurok Indian Reservation.


Our five nights in Klamath proved to be an excellent location for exploring the south portions of the redwood area.  The campground was not our favorite, but other than the absence of wifi, it was adequate.  We did not spend much time there anyway.

The best feature of our campsite was the view of the Klamath River.  

We had space to set up our outdoor furniture on the grassy site.  

Dianne set up her outdoor kitchen so that she could enjoy the river while cooking.

The sunsets on the river were beautiful, probably enhanced by smoke from the numerous western wildfires that we have managed to avoid.

The nearby Pem Mey Convenience
store was a true plus.   It was so well-run, friendly, well-stocked and easy to use.


This particular hike was a mile-and-a-half loop in the mist.  Hiking here was obviously good for our leg muscles.  As you can see from the picture of Dianne, it was also good for our neck muscles.

As we wandered along the trail, I had feelings of insignificance.  These trees are hundreds of years old and so massive.  I wondered if this was how an ant feels.  

Some of the trees had odd features and imperfections that did not seem to affect their health --- notice the weird massive trunk in the photo below.

It was hard not to notice the burned-out center of this otherwise healthy tree.  

I wonder what animals find shelter here?

Here is another much larger tree with a hollow center.

I am pretty sure that Hobbits live there.

The trees were the show-stoppers, but the ever-present fog that encourages the growth of the trees was preeminent.  

Flora and fauna?  

There was other plant growth in the forest.  Ferns were prevalent.  These orange wildflowers added color.

We really did not notice any animals (though I am sure they were there).  However, Dianne found this dazzling snail along the trail.

I am trying not to overstate this, but we did feel "oh-so-small" on this day.

Fun in Eureka...

We will get back to our redwood adventures in the next post.  Too much of the same is often not interesting and variety is good for the soul.  One day we decided to explore the Victorian town of Eureka on the southern boundary of the parks. 

However, along the way, serendipity found us a new experience.  Bandido (in his crate) was insisting that we take a break.  The scenic vista parking area appeared on the side of the road so we stopped.  The view was great, and...

... we noticed people down below, as well as a trail.  As we walked down the trail we wondered what the images were on the beach next to the estuary.

As we descended, we determined that they were sea lions.  What fun!

One last photo of this scenic estuary before we move on to Eureka:

We stopped at the Eureka visitor center to find the location of the boardwalk that we knew was dog friendly.  It was only a couple of blocks away.

We wanted to find an outdoor restaurant that was dog-friendly.  We walked along the old part of town and found a perfect place --- The Greene Lily.

This cool little place was serving brunch and the outdoor seating area welcomed dogs.  The excellent waiter even brought out water for our dogs.  Dianne loved her signature breakfast order --- crab cake benedict.

By the way, in addition to the outstanding waiter and food, the coffee was excellent and addictive.

The next post will also be from the Redwood National Park area.  In the meantime, here are a few PET PICTURES OF THE DAY.

Bandido and Poquita eating ice cream on the Eureka Boardwalk.

Dianne here:  There was actually a little maneuvering with the ice cream, as shown in this short video clip.   That's why his name is Bandido!

Bandido and Poquita being  "good dogs" at Greene Lily's.  And, taking naps at the Klamath Campground.

On my lap, of course.... -- D.
Stay tuned for another blog post coming soon about the second part of our Redwoods adventure!