Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coastal Redwoods AKA: Beach Time...Then Home

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir

I saved this one for last because I was waiting for the perfect place. Turns out it's fitting for then end. We went in a complete circle, started near the coast, went inland and north then back down the coast. Everywhere we went, there has been evidence of this quote. The National Parks were created to protect our beautiful world that God created. It is so easy and quick for us humans to destroy it, but it takes more then many millennias for it to grow and become what it is.

The beach has always been all of our favorite place. We love the mountains, but the beach is something special. The kids can play quietly for hours, they can lay in the sand or run circles in the water all day long.

Our neighbor recommended this little campground next to Patrick's Point State Park called Azalea RV Park. It was very quaint and for an RV our size, it was one of the better spots in the area. Every night, we had complete silence almost the entire trip. It was pretty cool! I love the dead of night when you can't hear a thing.

Little C has gained some super strength on this trip!

He also learned to chop his own fire wood...

and build his own fire.

Patrick's Point had a little indian village common to the indians of the area. This little area was build by the indians in the area to preserve their traditions and is in use today. We were able to go in the buildings, this building is the sweet house. The men, boys and medicine women can go in it to purify themselves. 

The exit is always facing a body of water so they can cool off right when they get out. Many times, however they don't make it to the water just lay right there on the ground because they are so week until they have the energy to get up again.

We had to go back up to the visitor center so the kids could get their last badge.

Just outside the visitor center was the beach so we walked out to sit for a bit before the drive back to the trailer.

C ended up playing with all the drift wood on the beach.

L prefers to draw in the sand and wander a bit.

Of course she poses for an occasional picture.

C was really on a mission with this drift wood! He would put one up, look around, run and get another one, bring it back and know exactly where it was going.

Some of those pieces were quite heavy! It was funny, a stranger walked by after C was done and he stopped to take pictures of it. I wonder what he thought.

We decided to head south for the last couple days of our trip. Craig really wanted to be on the beach and have a short drive home in the end. So, we left early (maybe a day too early) and headed south with no particular destination. We ended up in Ventura at an RV park about a 3 minute bike ride to the beach. I can tell we are in So Cal! There is so much more trash, people, cars and noise. It is really sad to see all the litter and to know that it just flies away in to the ocean where it harm the wild life. It's not just about what we don't do to nature, like leaving the trees, rocks, flowers, etc. but it's also about what we do do to nature. We can't trash it, it really is sad to see it. Every time we go to the beach, Craig and the kids always go on a trash walk when we go to the beach. Hopefully more people will start seeing the beauty and doing their part.

I asked Craig and the kids, if you could pick one thing that God created in nature, what would be your favorite. Craig's answer was, "If it was just one thing with out all the others, it wouldn't be as spectacular. All the parts of nature work together." It's true, one stand alone big tree is just a big tree, pretty amazing, yes, but with all the ferns, wild life, mountains and other vegetation around it, even the fallen trees have a purpose, it is so much more. The beach just sand and waves is just sand and waves, but as you go along the coast, it changes every few miles. Every section of beach is different from the last and every section of beach has more beauty to offer. Some beaches are beautiful sand with wild crashing waves, others are rocky and others are huge lava mountains along the coastline. So much to see, so little time.

That's it, the end of our trip. Now we make the last trek home, a little sad and a little anxious to get back to regular life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Many Trees Can little C climb?

Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot defend themselves or run away. And few destroyers of trees ever plant any; nor can planting avail much toward restoring our grand aboriginal giants. It took more than three thousand years to make some of the oldest of the Sequoias, trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the eventful centuries since Christ's time, and long before that, God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand storms; but he cannot save them from sawmills and fools; this is left to the American people. - John Muir

This quote isn't about the redwoods of the coast, but about their cousins in the Sierra, the Giant Sequoia's. I used it because it is completely fitting for the Redwoods as well. There are so few old growth forests left because these trees were logged so much. The old growth is so different then regrowth and it took thousands of years for them to become the giants that they are. It is amazing what these trees can withstand! God truly has cared for these trees through fire, floods, draughts and disease. These resistant trees took thousands of years to grow, but we can destroy a whole forest in a matter of days. 

One thing I love about the Sequoias and Redwoods, besides the huge trees of course, is how lush it is on the forest floor. The ferns covering the ground are like a green velvet carpet.

Needless to say, as soon as I heard about fern canyon, I had to see it. It is 50 foot walls of ferns along a little creek.

All along the canyon, were fallen trees that we had to walk under or step over to pass. This walk took us FOREVER! When you are traveling with a monkey, aka: C the tree climbing maniac, through an area with fallen trees all over the place, it's going to take some time.

I had to pull him down from the trees just for a picture now and then.

Yep, another tree.

L didn't mind the waiting around, she would just pose and say, "Mama, take a picture of me now." "Take a picture of me like this." "Now, like this..." It went on and on.

There he is up another tree...

 And another...

"Why doesn't everybody just go in the tree, so I can get a picture of all of you." (Me)

There were so dang many trees to climb.

I love the moss that grows everywhere.

The canyon looped around the top through an old growth grove of trees. Most people either didn't want to climb up about 50 feet or didn't realize it looped around.

I'm so glad we continued on, even after another group said the hike ended in the canyon. We got a very different perspective and with no other people around; We had the forest to ourselves to look at these tall, tall trees.

I'm not sure why this pose was picked. But she really wanted a picture like this.

And back into the canyon. Little C so badly wanted to climb "Just one more tree."

L got more pictures in front of the lovely ferns.

and took one of us while we all waited for the monkey in the tree.

We continued our drive through Prairie Creek Redwoods National and State Parks and stopped at a couple trails along the way. It is amazing how a tree can be burned out the middle and have limbs growing years later on the outside.

We never did find which tree was the "Corkscrew Tree." There are so many trail crossings in this park with no signs.

We did have a wonderful nice walk through the forest though... until C had to go to the bathroom. Yep, just like the beginning of this long trip, back in Yellowstone. It seems like so long ago!

Tomorrow we will check out the beaches of Northern CA.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We are in CA!

 On the road again, our last stop, Redwoods, CA.

Leaving Oregon... I wish we could have seen the rainy side. We are already planning another trip with that part of Oregon, Mt. Rainer in Washington and Glacier again. I don't know when we'll get to do it, but it's definitely a trip we want to do.

The Klamath River heading to the ocean.

I love the tree lined streets...

and huge Redwoods!

And then of course! The coast. The beach is wonderful! Everything else was so beautiful and such a variety of scenery, but nothing beats the ocean. The waves, the vastness, the sand the kids can play in for hours...

Our last campsite, it's little and quaint.

C was very perplexed about this faucet.

How does the water come from nowhere?

We are right across from Patrick's Point State Park. We are able to walk right over after we got settled. 

It was fun to watch them look up at the huge trees in wonder. They said they look like Sequoias.

They were a little wild on the trail after the 4.5 hours in the car.

Ah-oh, which way? This park doesn't have any trail signs.

Here we are admiring the beach. It never gets old.