June 1, 2023

Northern California

Saturday was a beautiful clear day but inside of us was anxiety about hitting the road and climbing the mountains again. We checked and double-checked our GPSs and even emailed the campground to ask for their recommended route. After getting on the 101 we quickly realized that the Redwoods National Forest and State Parks were huge. There were multiple narrow roads and curves around enormous redwood trees. On our route, we saw a small brush fire being worked by multiple engines. In my mind, I hoped and prayed that they would get it out and it would not turn into a huge forest fire. We knew we were getting close to the coast when we could see the fog, aka marine layer, creeping in amongst the trees. We later found out that the Redwood trees get 50% of their water from this fog.

Luckily the anxiety of driving in the mountains was overcome and we successfully made it to our campground with enough time to get set up before the sunset.

The plan for Sunday, the 4th of July, was to get up early and drive 30 minutes to the Redwoods National Park visitor center to get our National Parks passport stamp and a sticker for the refrigerator. We started our journey by exploring the end of the road our campground was on which had signs that said RV’s not allowed. We are so thankful that we did because we got to see a bear walking on the beach and then actively pursuing seals/sea lions (we weren’t close enough to tell) into the water. It was almost like they knew the bear could not swim as fast as them so they didn’t swim very far away from him.

Once at the visitor center, we were able to walk out to see the Pacific Ocean waves crashing. We then got a few recommendations for scenic drives from the park rangers and headed on our way to the Newton B Drury scenic parkway. Quickly after getting onto the parkway we saw cars gathered along the side and we joined them. We were greeted by a small herd of elk grazing in a field. After continuing down the parkway we pulled off to take a short hike to the “Big Tree” and a funny directional sign that pointed to big trees and more big trees. On our way back to the Rollerskate we saw someone take a panoramic picture vertically and we tried it a few times. Wow, the picture was able to capture the vastness of these huge trees. After finishing the scenic drive we located a tree that we could drive through. Yes, it cost a few dollars but it was a unique experience and we got some fun pictures of Rollerskate.

After returning to the site we had a quick lunch and broke camp to head to Grants Pass, OR (106 miles) in hopes of being able to see Crater Lake National Park before the sunset.

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