Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Redwoood Forest

I am only a month behind on this post. But sitll have not updated from our Aug disney trip. Ha Ha. Oh well. For Labor Day Weekend, we (us, my sis Emily, and Bairds)had the chance to drive up to the Redwood parks near the Oregon and California border. What a beutiful and AWEsome part of California. It was amazing to see how beautiful another part California is and to remember how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful state. While in our neck of the woods and south, it is a bit crowded, there is still a ton of un-inhabited land that is so amazing to see!! The sights were amazing, and we had a truly awesome time.

Fri: Like magic, Braden got sick the night before we were to leave and I had to wash his carseat and Winco had to wash their floor (we left without our groceries). Oh and did I mention I had to wash Bradens sheets. Perfect start to any family vacation right?! Fri was such a busy morning, and we got off to a very late start. After a few stops for some more carseat cleaning, and then a stop for me too, we finally made it to our campsite in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, at the Mill Creek campground at 10:30pm. Yikes! It was an exhausting day and I couldnt wait to sleep in a tent. My favorite!!

Sat: Surprisingly all 8 of us got a wonderful nights sleep, and we even all slept in until almost 8, which if you are a camper you know that is super rare since the sun comes up at 5am and when the sun is up usually so are you! Since we arrived in the middle of the night, we missed the majesty of the drive and the beauty of our campground. It was so lush and beautiful all around us. There were trees and ferns everywhere and it was like a fairy village. We had an awesome breakfast of all you can eat oatmeal and hot chocolate. Dev brought his Jetboil and we had hot water in like 2 minutes. That thing is rockin!! We took a slow start that morning and made it to our first destination around 10. We hiked around Stout Grove. The trees were so gigantic. I could hardly believe it. We really felt so small walking around. It is hard to imagine how tall they are because we couldnt even see the tops of them. There were so many trees that were all so tall, that we couldnt see very high because the forest was so dense. It was so beautiful. We really enjoyed that walk.

This is the root of a fallen tree

This disgusting banana slug makes his home in the forest. Kalem said "Ewwww poooop!" when he saw it. It was just as gross that is for sure.

After Stout Grove, we headed to the beach for a some tide pool viewing. It was really neat. There were a lot of anemones, hermit crabs, and starfish all over. We saw a lot of crab shells, but no live ones. Dont know what happened to all of them. We took a hike up to Battery Point lighthouse. It was a great view and interesting to hear that the lightkeepers are trapped there most of the time because the tide comes in and prevents them from leaving. It is up on this island cliff that can only be accessed during very low tide. We went on the right day. It was such a beautiful view of the ocean right next to the forest. I could not get over the ocean views every time we saw it. The ocean so blue and really beautiful up there.

After doing some laundry, and stopping at Safeway, we headed back to camp for some chicken kabobs, french bread and smores! YUM!!! Dinner was delish and warm and just what we needed to end the great day.

Sun: Braden graced us at 5:30am with another gift from the puke fairy. Poor kid. Little ones throwing up is honestly the worst. It just comes without any warning and usually never makes it into anything disposable. Somehow hardly any got on his jammies, and I could just wipe it off, and only a little got in his hair. So we had to pull out a nasty barf blanket out of the tent and steal a blanket from under Dev who was just sleeping on the floor in the car. (After a nap in the car, I dont feel bad because it was silent and warm in there.) Then he threw up again in the morning at breakfast. Oh the joy. But again, Sunday was a marvelous day. Braden may have been sick, but he sure wasn't acting like it. He was pleasant and fun the entire trip. :)

We headed down the coast to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and to our final resting place of the trip. We switched campsites, and that was a great idea because our new campsite was just as beautiful as the first, and even a litttle quieter, although we were not near the bathroom, which later proved to be a problem several times in the middle of the night. Our first stop in Prairie Creek was Fern Canyon. I swear Disneyland gets all of their decorating ideas straight from nature. It really felt like we were somewhere manmade. We hiked into this canyon that was probably about 30 feet wide, and the canyon walls were sheer cliffs about 50 feet tall. They were completely covered in moss, and ferns and at some places had little waterfalls dropping over the sides. The canyon floor was basically just a stream where we walked over bridge after bridge. The bridges were basically just slats of wood laying on the stream floor so somtimes they barely made it over the top of the water. It was so incredible and one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. After that hike, we took a quick walk down to look at the ocean for a few minutes. But I could see Bradens eyes staring at the sand, and knew that we wouldnt stay long. :) We then went back to our camp for dinner and bed. Lucky for me, I got sick that night and couldnt wait to go home.

Mon: The troops cleaned up camp while I slept in the car since I had a rough night, and then Braden fell asleep on a bike ride with the nanny (Emily) so he came and joined me. It was a fabulous nap and I was a little jealous that Devin got to sleep in the car all three nights. It was great in there. After we were all ready to go, everyone went on a bike ride and I stayed behind and read MOCKINGJAY for a little bit, and then took another short nap since I was feeling pretty crummy still. We got on the road late again, but at least made it home around 8:30 and still had time for a stop to drive under a tree. Sweet. It was a fabulous trip and if you can stand camping and driving, I would definitely recommend it. It was well worth all of the craziness just for the majesty of Gods creations that we got to see.

Here are some interesting facts about the Redwoods National Park Area:
  • The weather averages about 58degrees the entire year January through December.

  • The average age of the Redwood Trees is 500-700 years old and can live up to 2000 yrs

  • The Redwood trees can have bark that is up to 1 ft thick, which contains a chemical making it fire resistent and virtually indestructible to insects and disease

  • The Redwoods can grow up to 350+ feet and average about 250 ft

  • Their roots grow only 6-12ft deep, but spread out between 60-80ft

  • Multiple trees can grow out of one root, on a knot from the side of the original tree, called a burl