These days brought us from the beautiful Oregon coast back to hot and dry Sacramento. Left lovely Oregon behind all too quickly, and were back in California, the land of overly-high gas prices and sales tax. We stopped in Crescent City to find out about good places to visit in Redwoods National and State Parks. We headed first to the Stout Grove area, along a very narrow unpaved road for quite a while. Photos really don't do justice to the sheer size of the trees--the brain doesn't comprehend it unless there's a person visible for scale, like my mom by a redwood stump. My favorite part of the day was our afternoon visit to the Lady Bird Johnson grove further south and inland, because as we started walking, the mist and rain came in, so I got to see the Redwoods there the way I'd imagined from pictures as a child--wrapped in mist. Of course any photo of mine falls short of the beauty and grandeur of such a forest.
Between the two groves, my mom had lots of fun with a drive-through redwood--she had me drive through three times so she could take photos and movies and ride through herself. Our stay that night was in Trinidad, where I got to glimpse a seal in the water from the restaurant on the wharf where we had dinner, and where we later came back to the beach to take in the sunset.
Our last day started with a trip to nearby Patrick's Point State Park to check out the tide-pools there. The descent was very steep, the boulders hard to move around on (especially the slimy ones that were impossible to balance on) so my real surprise ended up not being the tide-pools themselves, but the nearby harbor seals watching me flounder around. So busy looking for starfish and anemones it took me forever to notice them!
Next we drove to the little village of Ferndale, with a lot of Victorian-style buildings and cute shops, though not as many artsy/crafty sorts of places as I was hoping for (did get a beautiful pottery bowl, however). But our subsequent fun shopping in the Old Town section of Eureka back on the coast more than made up for it. I wish I'd brought my camera, for there was a shop there where the arrangement itself was a dazzling display of art, as much as all the art and jewelry that was being displayed. Certainly wish I'd had more money to spend!
Tore ourselves away and headed back to Sacramento by cutting eastward to Redding through the mountains. That was a beautiful (if exhausting) drive! Then south from Redding to Sacramento on the busy and boring I5, and that was when we got graced by the sort of widespread, colorful sunset we'd hoped for on the coast! A parting blessing as our trip ended. Then it was back to hot and congested Sacramento, a day to recoup and get ready to leave before returning to Minnesota and my job.
Sure feels great to be done with these and finally get this off my to-do list!