Great Oregon Road Trip: Redwoods National Forest

Read all Great Oregon Road Trip posts here.

I promise that I’m nearly done with all the Oregon Road Trip posts. It’s taking me so long because we did something different every day – which adds up to a lot of posts – and my insane work schedule has prevented me from updating the blog regularly.

But, never, fear, we ARE in the home stretch and now we’re getting to some good stuff thanks to a forest of giant Redwood Trees.

We decided to see the Redwoods in the Northernmost part of California because the thought of adding an extra six hour round trip in the mini van may have pushed us all over the edge. But, despite the fact that we decided to see the “less impressive” part of the Redwood forest, we still managed to experience the majesty of these giant, prehistoric trees.

It’s difficult to describe just how big and beautiful the Redwoods really are. In fact it’s hard to comprehend their size when you’re standing at the base of one of these giants. I’ll try and share our experience in photos but I’m sure I’m not doing it justice.

We drove the Howland Hill road through the forest and stopped after about 20 minutes to take a walk down a short trail.

I think they were doing a little Return of the Jedi role play. Seemed appropriate.

The tree ferns took me back to my childhood – I grew up in a place called Ferntree Gully so, yeah, lots of tree ferns.

The boys spent a lot of time looking for animals in fallen trees. I spent a lot of timing hoping they wouldn’t find any.

 

 

Banana slug!

We then drove further down the road to Stout Grove which was amazing and well worth the dusty drive.

Also, Amish people having a picnic! Now that is something you don’t see every day – unless you live in Pennsylvania, I suppose.

On the walk around the grove I took many, many photos of ordinary-sized people next to giant trees. It was my way of trying to capture their size but I’m not sure it worked.

We came across a lot of tree bumps that looked like faces – which, of course, made me think about Game of Thrones.

I really don’t know what’s going on here – maybe a musical performance?

And then we said goodbye to the Redwoods. I know we’ll be back – and maybe next time we’ll brave the extra three hour drive further south to explore deeper into the forest.

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Great Oregon Road Trip: Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City

Read all Great Oregon Road Trip posts here.

Crescent City is great as a home base to see the Northern California Redwoods, but the town itself doesn’t host many attractions.  In the three days we spent there, I feel as though we saw all that Crescent City had to offer. Sadly, this did not include fresh fish because we discovered that you can’t buy it anywhere in this seaside town. (We had to settle for Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, although I didn’t have to cook so I won’t complain).

On day two we had two goals: 1. to get the kids out and running around, and 2. to tour the lighthouse. Goal number 1 was accomplished easily thanks to a fun park within walking distance of our accommodation. I decided to take a photo break while the children were entertaining themselves so, sadly, no photos. Then, later in the afternoon, we set out to accomplish goal number 3.

SO relieved to see that they don’t allow “restroom dogs”. 🙂

The lighthouse is staffed by volunteers who live onsite for a month and are responsible for the upkeep of the property and hosting guided tours of the house. Apparently there are a lot of people who want to volunteer to live in the lighthouse and the selection process is quite competitive.

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I have to admit that it would be nice to wake up to these views every day.

And can you imagine what it would be like to hunker down inside the strong walls of the lighthouse on a stormy winter night? I would love to do that just once.

I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the living quarters of the lighthouse (it was small and very quaint in a mid-nineteenth century kind of way), but I did pull out the camera when we reached the light dome? Turret? Well, whatever you call it.

It was cozy.

When the tide comes in each day, the volunteer keepers are completely cut off from the mainland. They have no way of getting to shore unless they swim or find a boat. I have to admit that, at times, that sounds quite tempting.

We then headed back home to enjoy the lighthouse, once again, from a distance.