Northern California part 2: Big Waves & Even Bigger Trees

As we continued north from Patricks Point State Park the rocky coast continued but the trees began to get bigger as we made our way to the Mill Creek Campground in the Del Norte Redwood State Park. We loved this campground too and they have some really cool spots for tent campers. With the Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, and Jedidiah Redwood State park on our list we started with the Tall Trees Trail in the National Park. 

We saw some pretty tall redwoods down by Santa Cruz but these were not only tall but wide! Ive never seen anything like it, which makes sense since they are some of the tallest trees on Earth. For once in his life I think 6’9 Richard felt small. Like kids we hiked the trail “oooo” ing and “awww” ing at each tree that seemed bigger than the one before. Trees so big that they had to be cut in half or have tunnels cut through them to allow people to pass. I think the most fascinating thing about these trees, besides their size, is that they were here long before you and I and they will continue to be here when we are gone. They are living things and they have so much soul and history with every ring they develop.

Our next stop: Prairie Creek. At prairie Creek we went and saw the 1500 year old “Big Tree” which measures 286 feet tall with a circumference of 74.5 feet. Im not going to lie, it was a pretty impressive tree. Prairie Creek is full of loops that you can stroll down admiring the gentle giants. Its so calm and peaceful walking through the trees yet there is a distinct sound to the forest. The leaves in the wind, the trees so subtly swaying. Its a pretty magical place. Not only did we love seeing the trees in Prairie Creek, but there are black berry bushes everywhere and you are allowed to pick and take up to a pound with you. That being said, we have been eating fresh blackberries every morning for breakfast ever since.

Right near the parks is the town of Crescent City. Its a pretty cute little town and the one day we had sun we ate fish and chips on the pier. We heard rumors of there being sea otters but sadly we found none. We did spot a ton of harbor seals and sea lions though, hanging by the main pier. You can also make fires on the beach and while we wanted to do that one night we were usually pooped from hiking to head to town. Plus our little trailer is actually super comfy and cozy. I don’t know if its from the activity or the bed but we have been sleeping better than we did at home!

We decided to drive through Jedidiah on our way out of town and thats where we made our first mistake. Warning: Do not go through Jedidiah with a travel trailer. We thought we could make it, we really did. It was just 4 miles and there were no signs warning against trailers, not even in the guide. The road was bumpy, but Red had been on some bumpy terrain before. We had one opportunity to turn around and we stupidly didn’t take it. Once we got too far to take advantage of the turn out, a passing car stopped and let us know we would never make it and there was no where to turn around ahead of us (of course). Apparently a tree had fallen against another tree and while most cars could still drive underneath, we were too big to fit. Basically we were screwed. After many failed attempts to back up to the turn out Richard gave up and decided to attempt to jackknife the trailer in the middle of the road. I wish I could tell you exactly what happen but my eyes were closed and I was out of the car at this point. All I know is that when I opened my eyes we had a busted tail light, a puncture in the front of our trailer and a fern attached to the front grill. But, we were turned around. With that we knew we had out stayed our welcome in the Redwoods and headed to Oregon.

Mill Creek Campground, Del Norte Redwood SP | Crescent City, CA | $35/night
Wildlife spotted: Elk, Chipmunks, Harbor Seals, Sea Lion, Coastal Birds

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