One day we took a short drive into California and the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We'd hiked a couple of short trails at the north end of this park in October 2013 and ever since I'd had my eye on the Boy Scout Tree trail, known for being a showcase of redwood scenery.
This 5.6 mile out and back trail is accessed from Howland Hill Rd, an amazing drive in itself as the road wound us intimately through the forest with enormous redwoods almost close enough to touch on both sides.
|Even if you don't hike the drive on Howland Hill Rd is worth the trip!|
I'll let the photos tell the tale of the Boy Scout Tree Trail...
|Mid morning sunlight breaks through the dense forest canopy.|
|I am captivated by the variety of bark found on redwood trees.|
Some are very smooth, some very rough, all beautiful.
|By the end of the hike our necks were getting tired of looking, up, up, up!|
|Notice the bark on these redwoods is very light and smooth.|
|Hans blends in as he walks among giants.|
|These burls were easily 100 feet up and were even sporting some growth.|
|Boy Scout Tree, so named because it V's, looking like the boy scout sign...|
couldn't get a good angle to show that though.
This beauty is 40 feet in diameter.
|This bark almost looks like feathers!|
|Some sections of the trail have root hazards.|
|Large portions of the forest floor are covered in ferns...while one burl wears its own fern bouquet.|
|Hans helps a solo hiker get a tree hugging selfie.|
|Watch out for the low overpass covered in plants!|
|We have to duck to continue beyond this fallen giant.|
One last walk on Lone Ranch Beach on a foggy morning. We found by walking south on the beach from the picnic area we could enjoy some very secluded beaches, often all by ourselves. There were tidepools to explore even at midtide and seals cavorted in the small bay near a rock where they'd gather to sun themselves.
|The dots in the water on the right are seals that were very curious about us.|
We spent a long time watching each other.
|The seals swam along the shore watching us intently.|
|An old V6 engine was the only sign of man along the shore.|
As our week drew to a close Hans watched the weather reports constantly, monitoring a big series of storms coming our way. This atmospheric river created by typhoon Songda was scheduled to hit the coast on Thursday (today) dumping many inches of rain and strong winds.
We decided to abandon our tentative plans to hop through tiny northern California towns visiting more redwoods and made a beeline for Fortuna, CA yesterday and a RV park with paved sites and the proximity of a large town (Eureka) while we wait out the next five or so days of rain.
As of this morning we have evaded the bulk of the first round of storms by being in Fortuna. We'll see what the next few days brings us. It's not so bad to hole up through a few days of rain considering we'll be in dry Southern California deserts soon!