For Valentine’s Day weekend, Andy and I decided to do a west coast road trip from San Francisco to Seattle. One of the two plans was to see the Redwood trees in Northern California. The Redwoods are scattered throughout the national and state parks. Most of the largest Redwoods are hidden for their protection or are accessible after some hiking. If you do not have time to make the drive to northern California, Muir Woods is close to the city and accessible.
It was a long day as we drove north of San Francisco to get to Medford, Oregon. As always, we were watching the weather forecasts to see what options there were for our trip. Unfortunately, the forecasts called for rain, lots of rain! However, that did not deter us from our Redwoods plan.
Avenue of the Giants
The Redwoods tower above the road and burnt red Earth floor. Sitting forward in the passenger seat and craning my neck, I felt the need to look in every direction to ensure I did not miss any details. Stopping to take pictures, I would examine the trees and would lightly touch the giants rough, splintered tree trunks.
Avenue of the Giants-Route 254-twists and winds beside Highway 101 along the Eel River. Many groves are located along the Avenue of the Giants. Wanting to explore outside of the car, we decided to follow attraction signs. In order to see these groves, entrance fees need to be paid. We did stop at the one booth in hopes that one payment would work on all the areas-similar to a national parks pass. Unfortunately, it was not possible to use one entrance ticket to access the other areas, so we decided not to pay since the weather was not favorable.
Thomas H Kuchel Visitor Center
Redwoods’ height still succumb to weather. The amount of rain mixed with high winds was causes the weak giants to fall causing scenic road closures and change of plans. After stopping at the visitor center, we learned of multiple closures. Staffed rangers are happy to answer questions and let you browse the books and souvenirs. If you are visiting on a nice day, walk out to the coast and relax to the sounds of waves crashing.
Jedidiah Smith State Park
We decided to drive into the Jedidiah Smith State Park to visit Stout Grove. The Stout Redwood roughly measures 340 feet. We did not walk around too long since the rain was steadily drenching us from head to toe. I will admit that the rain did bring out the colorful green hues of the forest.
Planning on making a loop out of the state park, we started to drive out. However, we were stopped by another vehicle saying a tree was down across the exit, so we had to drive back. Turning off our radio to make sure to hear any tree that could be crashing down, we were nervous for other downed trees.
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Have you ever changed your travel plans? How drastic was the change?
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