I’m not a tall person, but I’ve always been attracted to tall men. I like to lean against them, allowing my cheek to rest against an arm or a chest. I like having someone around who can spot our group of friends at a concert or reach the top shelf at the bookstore. I like that my man could fling me over his shoulder if I’m too drunk to stagger home, and I like that I can hide behind his tall frame when I spy my ex-boss at the grocery store.
Being towered over has never intimidated me, you can ask Guillaume who stands an entire foot taller than me. I can scream and yell and stomp my feet so loud you’d never think I was petite! I don’t feel small, but when we drove through the Avenue of the Giants, I shrunk to the size of an ant.
“Those trees are tall…” I said, dumbly, as we pulled over to stand amongst them. I rested my palm on a massive trunk and wondered if the tree could feel the pressure of my touch. Or am I just an insect, inconspicuously crawling around a giant foot? I couldn’t hurt this tree, not if I punched and kicked. But if the tree decided to drop a limb on my head, my skull would smash like a soft peach.
I was strangely subdued by this beautiful, old, enormous monster.
It was off-season when we arrived, so we easily found a campsite at Kamp Klamath, one of the many RV Parks located in the Redwoods. We stayed four nights and three full days, hiking through forests, canyons, streams and along several misty hidden beaches.
As with Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park, a trip to the Redwoods is not complete without a visit to Fern Canyon (exactly what it sounds like: a canyon with fern covered walls). When you visit the canyon, be prepared to splash through shallow streams and climb over fallen tree trunks. As a bonus, you might spot a few Roosevelt Elk grazing in the nearby meadow!
Guillaume and I clambered and spatter through the lush hallways of Fern Canyon, watching fresh water dribble down the spongey walls. Afterwards we climbed up one of the many trails that line the canyon. What we found next, was another world. . .
James Irvine / Clintonia / Miners Ridge Loop
A dark lime blanket shadowed the forest above Fern Canyon, broken only by a few rays of sunshine peeking through holes in the foliage. A damp earthy smell consumed our nostrils. The air was crisp and salty and pure. The sound was only that of water over stone and boot over dirt.
We hiked 4-5 miles before we were suddenly plopped out on Gold Bluffs beach. The sun was setting, so we continue our trek along the shoreline until we reached our truck parked at Fern Canyon. All and all, it was one of the best hikes we done on the trip so far.
A few more of our favorite hikes (so far) include:
– Gaff Point Trail in Nova Scotia
– Nevada & Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park
- Alkali Flat Trail in White Sands National Monument
High Bluff Overlook
One afternoon we drove the Klamath Beach Road, and pulled over to admire High Bluff Overlook. The lush, rocky California coastline is simply breathtaking. If you’re driving through, I suggest you pack a picnic and enjoy this overlook for a few hours.
Because the parks are located along the coast, the hiking trails have minimal elevation change. For a moderate hike (the park calls it strenuous, but I beg to differ), Guillaume and I zig-zagged down Damnation Creek’s 1100 foot decent from forest to beach.
Along the trail we tucked inside gigantic decaying tree trunks and gazed up at the dense canopy high above our heads. Several trees appeared scorched, perhaps from lightning, their bark transformed into black and green dragon scales. The beach featured a glorious rock precipice, where I decided to sunbathe while Guillaume explored the tide pools below. After a long rest, we hiked back up Damnation Creek Trail in 45 minutes. The total hike was 4.5 miles, out and back.
In the above photo, you might have noticed that our house grew a porch post! We purposefully saved this final piece of our build, hoping we’d find something on our travels. Honestly, I thought we would find something long ago, but it took us seven months to find the perfect post! Along the side of the road (not in a National or State Park), we found a fallen tree limb. The branch is strong, has character and, most importantly, it’s the perfect size!
I purchased a wood burning tool, and I plan on inscribing all of the places we’ve been on our porch post, creating a chart of our journey. The wood should age beautifully. It’s already starting to become smooth to the touch! I’m excited to show you new photos as our post evolves.
Next up: Another coast… one with cheese.