A few weeks ago I finally got to fulfill one of my dreams. Ever since seeing the Planet Earth episode where they show you the biggest, most beautiful redwood trees I haven't been able to get them out of my mind. So, when the idea of taking a senior trip with my significant mister came about, I was quick to suggest we journey down the road to California. The reservations were made and a few months later we zoomed down the road in my mini.
Our first hike was the Boy Scout Tree Trail. This trail led through amazing old growth redwoods and I had to be careful driving down the dirt road to the trailhead because I kept getting distracted. Strange, I thought, how I could easily ignore my phone while driving but when faced with big trees I suddenly became a "typical" teen driver. Boy Scout Tree was enormous and possibly the largest tree I saw on the whole trip.
A note from my journal: "Each tree seemed so powerful to me. I wanted to pause and touch each one so maybe they could share the history they hold. At the end of the trail was an especially big tree with many knots. It felt as though he was the guardian of the forest, an old man. I put my hands on the trunk of the tree, looked up towards the branches, and thanked him for letting us visit his forest." When I looked up, this is what I saw:
We also went on the Damnation Creek Trail which led us to a beautiful beach where we ate lunch.
Our campground was the Del Norte Coast State Park Campground (Mill Creek). There are three state parks reasonably close to each other in the north, and we picked the one in the middle. It was quiet, never felt overcrowded, and had some amazing campsites (fire ring inside a hollow redwood- I was jealous). It had been logged, so the trees were not as large but small enough to allow us to get some sun. Crescent City was 7 miles north of us. The beach there was very foggy and chilly but the surrounding hills kept the fog away from our campground and the trails. I was glad for my cozy hiking boots when we journeyed down to the beach.
We got to visit so many great places on this trip and read lots of books. I enjoyed living out of a backpack and packing light on camping gear (we could only take what fit in the mini). I sure appreciated the things I had, like my warm hiking boots, my trusty bamboo utensil set, and the pillowcase I stuffed with clothes so I could sleep comfortably. The one thing I wish we would have done was to swim in the Smith River. The owner of an antique shop told me it's one of the cleanest rivers in the country!
I miss those big trees and hope to see them again someday. I really felt at home in those forests. What a beautiful experience.