Before Casey and I moved away from Oregon, we planned a few adventures with family. My grandparents came to visit around April/May and we had a lot of fun making memories. The best part was an impromptu journey to Northern California. My grandparents had already planned on making that their next stop after visiting with us, but we decided to join them and show them some of our favorite places.
There was a special area of the Redwoods Casey and I liked to visit, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. It was sentimental for me to bring my grandparents to this park.
We didn’t camp in the Redwood forest, like Casey and I usually would. Instead we stayed in a small town nearby, Crescent City. If I close my eyes right now I can still picture that little town. I can see the road to take from the park into town, and which way to turn to get to Dutch Brothers Coffee. I can remember how to navigate from Dutch Brothers to the beach, where we can sit and watch the waves crash on the rocks and mist the air.
I love the coast, rocky or sandy, it makes no difference. Like the elves of Middle Earth, I feel the ocean calls to me and provides contentment. The motel we stayed in at Crescent City had beach access. We walked the shore with my grandparents, picking up shells and rocks.
Our dog Yavanna also loves the beach. As soon as we are clear from other people we will let her off the leash, and she is instantly sprinting. The picture above is right before she found the carcass of a dead sea lion. Which was unfortunate for everyone riding in the car with her back to the motel.
Our first evening we ate dinner at a place called the Apple Peddler. I cannot remember what we ate, but I remember we each tried something different for dessert and were completely stuffed. We shared memories and laughter. The memory of that evening still fills me with a warmth that I hope will not be forgotten.
The next day we explored the California Redwoods, starting with Jedediah State Park. There is a trail that is meant for cars to drive through. It is spectacular, but rough terrain. We made a few stops to get out and marvel at the trees. Casey and I also knew of a few trails in the park that are fun to hike. We wanted to pick a short one that wasn’t too tough for my grandparents to walk along.
This bridge can be found on one of the trails located near Jedediah Smith Park. When my husband and I went to the Redwoods for the first time, Valentines Day weekend in 2015, we found this trail. I was ecstatic to find it and show my grandparent’s this beautiful area!
I have no memory now of the trails name, but I remember that the trail has a small area on the side of the road to park your car. The trail begins slightly steep and narrow, but after you pass the bridge the trail widens and eventually makes a loop that you follow back to the parking area.
On the wider section of the trail you are able to view the wonders of the Redwoods. Giant trees stand, and some have fallen. Yavanna, Casey and I enjoyed running around and climbing on the fallen trees. Viewing the redwoods in person is breathtaking, and I am incredibly happy I was able to go there with my grandparents.
After showing my grandparents a majority of our favorite places it was almost time for Casey and I to go back to Oregon, and my grandparents to continue on their road-trip. Before our departure my grandparents suggested we visit a place they saw a billboard for, someplace that would be new to us all: the Trees of Mystery. This is not Casey or my typical pick, but it was quite a good find!
Paul Bunyan and his giant blue ox greet you in the parking lot. Casey and I sat in the lap of a giant black bear, snuggled in for a photo.
To access the park you must go through the gift shop area. Which is full of incredible nick-knacks, and also has a Native American history museum attached.
Upon entering the park, trails twist and turn though a collection of redwood trees. Different trees have been labeled to describe a story for their shape or size.
There were also statues and other artwork created from fallen redwood trees.
We didn’t know much about the park before we entered, and were pleasantly surprised by the adventure. We were also happy to be able to bring Yavanna along! She was even allowed on the Sky Trail.
I definitely recommend the Sky Trail if visiting! This is a ride in an enclosed gondola to an observation deck with a downward view of the Redwood Forest. To ascend the Redwoods is marvelous. We had some slight fog, but still had breathtaking view once at the top.
At the top there are platforms that connect to the top of the redwood trees. It is amazing to be that high up!
We had lunch at a diner across the street from the park. Honestly, it was the most peculiar setup. The restaurant was meant to resemble living under the water. The ceiling had duck bottoms and such hanging from it. The food was delicious! My Grandad and I both ordered milkshakes.
It was sad as the adventure came to an end. Casey and I needed to go back to Oregon to continue packing up for our move. I am incredibly happy for the memories that were made on this trip!
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