After a quick continental breakfast at the Comfort Inn on Monday morning, we once again continued on our road trip. Our destination on Monday was Redwoods National and State Parks in northern California. The drive from Portland, OR, to our reserved campsite in Jedediah State Park was 5.5 hours. We enjoyed the C. J. Box western mystery novel Out of Range so much, that Jane downloaded another book entitled Off the Grid, and we listened to the early chapters on our trip to Redwoods.
We arrived at our campsite by 3PM, and we were astounded by the tall redwoods of our campground. We were about to camp beneath trees that were 200 to 300 feet tall! Because I registered on line, the check in process was a breeze, and the gate attendant handed us a tag to place on our windshield. The campsite consisted of a fire pit, picnic table and bear locker. We were living in natural luxury.
Before our arrival we followed the weather in Crescent City along the coast in northern California. We were nine miles inland, so we assumed that the weather was similar. Fortunately we were very wrong with this assumption, because highs in the mid-fifties along the coast translated to eighty degrees and sunny at Jedediah State Park.
Rather than launch immediately into assembling the tent and canopy, Jane and I decided to explore Jedediah State Park in the late afternoon and early evening. In this part of the Pacific Time Zone sunset did not occur until 9PM, so we had plenty of remaining sunlight for camping chores.
For our initial foray into the redwood groves we chose the Simpson Reed Grove Trail and the Peterson Memorial Trail. The bordering loops were a mile long, and we were awestruck by the dense redwood forest. Ferns and moss were everywhere, and the trees towered high above and allowed only minimal sunlight to reach the forest floor. Fallen redwoods provided food and shelter for many animal and plant species.
Once we completed our redwood grove hike, we drove north on Walker Road, until we reached a dead end at the Smith River. We hiked a short distance to a gravel bar next to the river and marveled at the blue-green and ultra clear river. We acquired a brief taste of tomorrow’s attractions, so we returned to our campsite and erected the tent and canopy. For dinner Jane served the spaghetti that was displaced by tacos on Friday night, and we supplemented the pasta with a delicious salad.
After dinner we explored the River Beach Trail, and we lingered along a placid pool of the Smith River and relaxed in our new environment, until darkness began to envelop the area. Some tranquil moments next to the water were a welcome end to a busy day.