Redwoods National Park, CA: Land of Giant Trees and Jurassic Park

The fourth week of our 2014 Western Adventure had us heading for Redwoods National Forest, in the far northwestern tip of California. The redwoods have been around for 65 million years and are the tallest living things on earth.  Can you say BIG BIG BIG?  Of course, how could we feel anything but small, small, small!  

While in the area, we gleefully succumbed to one of my favorite things:  TCTT:  The Corny Tourist Trap.  The cornier, the better!  This one was even more exciting because it was TCTTWDAW:  The Corny Tourist Trap Where Dogs Are Welcome!

Behold … Paul Bunyan and Babe The Ox presiding over “The Trees Of Mystery”….oooooooohh!

(They were really big!  See Philip by his shoe?)

Besides some surprisingly cool informational displays amongst some amazing redwood trees along a mile-long trail, this place also had enclosed 6-person gondola cars that took us to the top of a redwood wood forest canopy.  Most importantly … say it with me … DOGS WERE ALLOWED!  In the gondola!  OK, it took a little dragging/shoving/cursing to get them to enter the car the first time, but where else were we ever going to be able to let our dogs defy gravity!?

Trees of Mystery also displays the largest milled-redwood carvings in the world.  They were HUGE and really beautiful up close.  Here are a few of our favorites!

We stayed in Trinidad, a charming fishing village just south of Redwoods National Park.  An early-morning hike took us up and around the circumference of Trinidad Head for some amazing views!

About 3/4 of the way along the trail, suddenly there was a huge granite cross just plunked down on the mountain out of nowhere!  The magic of Wikipedia led us to learn that this particular cross was installed in 1913 by the women of Humboldt County, and replaced the original wooden cross that was erected by two Spanish naval explorers in 1775 as they arrived in this area. The inscription on the cross means “Carlos III, by the grace of God, King of Spain.”  This replaced our previous theory that it was in honor of the dreaded dinosaur known as Hyspaniarum Rex, distant cousin of the T-Rex!  (Not.)

We got up close and personal with just a few of the Park’s resident elk ….. including some teeny-tinys! …..

 …. and pretended we were movie extras while exploring many of the areas where they filmed The Lost World: Jurassic Park, including the amazing Fern Canyons.

Lastly, and most importantly, I finally “righted” a serious “wrong” in my life.  About six months ago while driving through the Walgreens Drive-Thru pick-up window, the pharmacist said, “Wow, your jeep is so clean!”  I beamed with pride, “yes, yes, it is!!”  The reply:  “That’s a crying shame.  You need to take it out in the world and let it be a Jeep, for crying out loud!”  My ego instantly deflated like a balloon pricked by a pin, but I had to agree.  I have had this car since 2009 and it had never been driven like it was meant to be driven.  We fixed that problem in Redwoods with fun stream crossings and filthy-dirty narrow washboard roads.  I am so excited to see my pharmacist again and tell him the great news!

Next up, we are moving from one “Red” to another … from Redwoods CA, to Redding CA, home of Shasta Lake and some great non-highway bike trails along the Sacramento River.  It is also home to a gorgeous bridge that is also a sundial, called … wait for it …. wait for it …. the SUNDIAL BRIDGE!  (So clever!)

We leave you with a little birdie and the words of Maya Angelou:  “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”  We are singing with joy for all the beauty that Northern California has to offer!

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