Sept 25th - Tuesday
We are sort of getting used to the cold camping.. but not really.. we all are seeking heat (I keep thinking of our beautiful summer camping across Canada!) But we venture on! We drove to a place in the park called Fern Canyon.. a bit of a drive (towards the beach side of the park), including some small river crossings.. but it was worth it.. really magical, like elfs and fairies should be around.. a river canyon with walls covered in ferns.. we walked along the river bed basically (and this is the section where Jurassic Park 2 was filmed.. the scene where the bad guy gets eaten by little raptor-like dinosaurs).. the boys loved being there and re-enacting the scene. I wanted to see the tailed frog that lives in the area (rare.. so I was hoping but not really thinking we would see it)..but we did see the reg-legged frog! That was cool. The whole fern canyon (a very short hike.. less than 1 mile) was like stepping into the past.
|Fern Canyon - Redwood National Park|
|natural facial mist!|
|American Dipper |
(it actually does this funny little bob in the water and dives under!)
On the drive back out (dirt road, river crossing) we saw elk! I kind of imagine Elk in woods or fields, so to see this one on the beach was kinda mystical (with the fog and crashing waves behind).
|can you see the waves?|
Then the rest of the day we drove and drove.. through more amazing Redwood forests (but broken up between native reserves and little towns.. so not as impactful).. one section of the drive was called the Avenue of the Giants. We stopped at McDonald's to use the internet and try to sort out where we were going to stay in San Fransisco (just a few days away) and got a bit of a wake up call with hotel prices and lack of availability..so we decided to do more driving than planned so we could get to San Fran a day sooner (so we weren't there over the weekend). We ended up driving through a very twisty, crazy road as the sun was setting.
The road just didn't give up (on the map it looked like a short drive to the coast).. it got darker and the road got more twisty, switchbacking up and then back down .. the brakes were squealing, Eric was hunched over the wheel hoping there weren't cars coming our way (the turns were soooo tight!), my hand was on the handle holding on with every turn, anxious that were were going to tip over or drive over the edge (no guard rails around here!) we saw deer on the side of the road and luckily didn't hit them.. and just when we were thinking this has got to stop (we were at the stage of laughing that it was so ridiculous!).. we hit the coast and things leveled out but still more twists and turns .... with the road on the edge of a steep cliff and the sound of angry crashing waves below! No way! I was thinking we could just camp at one of the pull outs, but just a bit further down the coast we found a campground.. ahhh.. a flat spot! It was actually a beautiful night.. moon was out..we were camped right on a bluff, could see the white foam of the crashing waves and hear the boom as they hit the shore.... all added to the excitement of the night!