May 20, 2010

More Redwoods, and Rain

The Avenue of the Giants led us toward the last few little cities in Northern California, Humboldt, and the quaint college town of Arcata, before leading us into even more redwoods and the largest concentration of old growth coastal redwoods in Redwood National Park. For the most part our journey so far has seen mostly  sunny skies with some coastal fog, but as we get further north the weather has turned, predictably, and become more unsettled. The challenges of sitting together in a car, and sleeping together either in our ecamper or tent have required compromise for each of us.

As we continued along on our journey north, we continued to admire the ever changing coastal landscape. An afternoon bouldering on erratic rock outcrops rising from the sands at Moonstone beach gave us all a couple of ours to play and enjoy the scenery up close. Here a long sandy beach stretching for miles to the south finally gave way to rugged yet, lush rocky bluffs that led further north.

From Moonstone Beach, we continued through the quaint harbor and village of Trinidad before arriving at Patrick's Point. Awaking to unsettled skies, we donned our rain jackets and made our way down to the beach to wander among the sand and driftwood looking for agates or other interesting rocks that caught our eye. The constant drizzle created a peaceful aura, dampening the sounds of the waves against the beach.

The rain relented as we made our way through the magical Redwoods National Park. The towering redwoods, skewed our perspective while the lush vegetation made us feel as if we had stepped into another world. Our short walk through the Lady Bird Johnson grove as well as the drive through the rest of the park made us appreciate the efforts to preserve some of these mystical giants.

We ended up sleeping among an old redwood grove just a few miles north of Crescent City. While the old thousands of year old trees had long since been harvested, the "new" growth redwoods have already regrown to tremendous heights to create another unique habitat of ferns and mosses in their wake.

Leaving Crescent City also meant leaving California, and new beaches and coastal environments unique in their own way lie ahead in Oregon and further north. Looking back, the California coast, from Mexico all the way up to Oregon we have been inspired by the diversity, from long sandy beaches, to quaint coastal villages, magical forests, and rocky cliffs dropping dramatically into the Pacific.