Redwood National and State Park

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Chinook RV Resort

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27th

Today we headed out of Redding for Klamath, CA. We decided to stay in Klamath for the weekend because we could travel south and north for different parts of the Redwood Forest. On our way to the campground we stopped at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center to get some maps and information about the redwood forest. We decided to pick up some information today since this visitor center is south of where we are staying and probably south of where we wanted to do our hiking/biking.  We were able to pick up some good information so that we could plan out our next couple of days.

We decided to stay in the same campground over the holiday weekend so that we didn't have issues getting in to another one.  However, this campground is pretty much completely empty and I think a lot of them up here would be. It is not really warm out and is nothing like an east coast memorial day.  It doesn't really seem like the start of the summer here. We don't need winter coats and hats, but we definitely do need long pants and sleeves. For once on this trip we are jealous of my family being at the shore and I us not being in that great of weather.

We got to the campground and have a nice spot right on the Klamath river. It is a really pretty view from our campsite.  After getting to our site and getting set up we decided to sit outside and play some card games. It started to rain so we put out our awning and still sat outside. The people who own the campground came by asking if we would like a fire (they have a central fire pit on the river), we said sure we would be up for one. They said they would be back in about half an hour to get it going. We decided to make some dinner (brats, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes). By the time we were done dinner the fire was getting started. Us and one other couple hung out at the fire. They are from Germany and travel to the US about 4 times a year doing different RV drives. It was really cool to hear what they go to. They were both 75 and didn't look like it at all. They are retired, the guy (Tony) kept saying that he worked his 35 years. He asked us how much vacation time we get. I told him 11 days and he was greatly dismayed. He was like we get 4 weeks to start.  Needless to say we were very jealous of them. After hanging out at the fire chatting with them in broken english for a while we all decided to head to bed.

Saturday, May 28th Happy Birthday Jenny!!!

We got a list from the campground of things in the area to do. We decided to get up early and head out to check out the sites. It was raining so we decided to skip the Tress of Mystery and Gondola Ride and head out to Crescent City to check out the Battery Point Lighthouse. Crescent City is one of the more northern cities in the Redwood Forest, but there really isn't too much going on there. The lighthouse was pretty though. It depends on the tides on if you can actually go over to the lighthouse to check it out. The lighthouse is actually located on an island, but when it is low tide you can cross over to it.  When we were there it wasn't during low tide so we couldn't head over to the lighthouse, but we got some pictures from across the way.

Once we finished with the lighthouse we headed to walmart to get some bones for Nash.  We then pulled over to call Jenny to say Happy Birthday and to call Camping World to schedule an appointment to get our oil changed. We don't have any cell service at the campground or anywhere around there so this was our only location to make our calls. When we called Camping World they were super busy and said they had to call us back. So we decided to eat lunch at Pizza Hut (YAY!!) and wait for the phone call back. We finished up lunch and got the call right when we got back to the RV. We set up for the RV to get its oil changed and a washing.

After finishing up in Crescent City we headed back to the Trees of Mystery and stopped at the False Klamath Cove for some pictures. We then continued on our way to the Trees of Mystery. The Trees of Mystery were really cool and we were greeted by Paul Bunyan and Babe the big blue ox. It was actually pretty cool because you could stand there and have a conversation with Paul. They had a guy somewhere with a microphone that could hear what you asked him. It really looked like you were having a conversation with a huge statue. After checking out Paul we headed in for the trails through the trees of mystery.  There were tons of different trees to see. It is pretty cool because there are some trees that just grow horizontal. They look like they must be dead and fell over but they are still growing. And the trees grow off of each other, so you can have the family tree which is 12 different trees all from one base. After walking through all the trees of mystery we got the skyride which is a gondola ride up through the trees. It was super pretty and there were some gorgeous sites at the top.  You could either take the gondola back down or walk a mile trail down. We decided to walk the mile trail down. All things said it was very steep and only for experienced hikers. We figured that was us. It was pretty steep at points and pretty muddy so we did almost slip out at a couple of spots, but luckily we didn't fall and get all muddy. They provided walking sticks for us which were very useful. When we got to the end of the trail we headed out by going through the Trail of Tall Tales. The Trail of Tall Tales is full of wood carvings done by a chainsaw and it tells the story of Paul and his friends. The carvings were all pretty cool to see.

After finishing up at the Trees of Mystery we headed to the Drive Thru Tree. This is a tree that you can actually drive through. We couldn't drive through it because we are to wide and to tall. We were able to walk up to it and walk through it though. It was pretty cool to see other cars driving through it but it was even tight for them.

Next we headed to Requa Road to check out the Klamath Overlook, which is 600ft above the mouth of the Klamath River.  The Klamath River is the river that we are staying on and this overlook showed where the river meets the ocean. The map we have says that motorhomes are prohibited, but there were no signs on the road so we just kept going up. We were able to park at the overlook and take some nice pictures.

After finishing up at the Klamath Overlook we headed back to the campground.  Once we got set up in our site again we decided to go check out the rec room and see what games they had. They really only had scrabble and puzzles. We picked out a puzzle and spent the rest of the night working on it.

Sunday, May 29th

We decided that we would try to bike some different trails through the Redwood National Park today. This guy we met in South Lake Tahoe told us that we had to check out Fern Canyon so we decided to drive to that location and then do a bike trail off of Fern Canyon. On our drive to the Redwood National and State Parks we decided to take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway instead of 101S. This was really gorgeous and the huge trees are pretty much right on the side of the road the entire length of the parkway.

On our way in to the parking area for Fern Canyon we passed a load of Elk hanging out grazing in the field. All signs say that DANGER Wild Elk Do Not Approach on Foot, but it was so weird because they didn't seem to care that people were around. At least the first spot we saw them at on our drive there was a fence in between the road and the field they were in, but the second place had no fence so we were pretty close to them. It was really cool to just see them walking around up close and personal. I guess they are pretty used to people stopping and taking pictures of them. After we took our pictures we continued down the road. Next we came to a sign stating that all vehicles wider than 8 feet and longer than 24 feet were not allowed any further down the road. (We thought we might run in to a sign since our map said Trailers Prohibited).  Luckily we are 8 feet wide and only 21 feet long so we took our chances and headed on in. 

The road in was a dirt road for miles, going up and down,and it was muddy from the previous nights rain. Also the road was pretty narrow in spots were two normal size cars couldn’t fit past each other. It was slow going to get in but we finally made it to the booth to pay our day use fee. The guy at the gate did’t say anything about our size YAY!! (I was nervous the whole time that we were going to hit a tree or other car while driving or we were going to get yelled at once we got all the way in.)

We made our own parking space since the lot was already full and we got our bikes off for our ride. We decided to bypass all the people checking out Fern Canyon and save that part for later. The bike ride we decided to do was a 3 mile one way coastal trail. It was supposed to be easy and have chances of seeing elk on the trail. Once we got through the crowd of hikers an don the trail it was anything but easy. There was tons of mud making it extremely difficult to ride through and huge rocks, branches, and roots to ride over. We ended up on a true mountain bike ride. It was really fun though and we were covered in mud within seconds. Once we got through about the first quarter mile of mud the trail really did become easy and we were moving along great,until we heard a horrible sound. Jared’s rear tire started leaking air like crazy. We have supplies for this though and pulled off the side of the trail to get to work. We decided to go with patching the hole instead of putting an entire new tire in. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly and we were back upon our bikes pretty quickly (I thought it would have been a much longer process).  Unfortunately after about 100yards we heard that dreadful leaking noise again. We pulled off the trail and decided it was my turn to fix Jared’s tire so that I would have some practice at it. When we got the tube out it seemed that the patch just wasn’t on securely enough. We decided we would just put a whole new tube in and save ourselves the hassle of the patch. Again it went quickly and we were up on our away again. Another 100 yards and then the leaking noise again. That sound is going to be the death of us. We at least realized the problem this time.Somehow a while ago Jared’s rear tire got a little bit bent and we really haven’t been able to straighten his rim out completely yet. It turns out that the break pad constantly rubs the tire on one spot every time it rotates. Well it has finally worn through the tire so that after a couple of rotations it now wears through the tube quickly. We decided we were done with our biking and turned around to head back after really only traveling about a mile. We didn’t want to waste any more patches or tubes so Jared started pushing his bike back and I started riding really slow. Then Jared had a great idea of undoing his back brake so that they are totally loose and don’t hit the tire. We again popped off his back tire to patch up the second tube. That way we could get back faster than walking and Jared can still ride just without any rear brakes.(We really need to get this rim straightened out) We made it through the mud again and back to Fern Canyon.

After finding an out of the way spot to put our bikes we started walking through Fern Canyon. Fern Canyon is 50 foot high canyon walls covered with ferns. It was really gorgeous. We tried to get some shots without other people in them, which was hard because people were everywhere in there.There are some strategically placed logs to get people across the water and able to walk through the canyon for a while. We however were completely covered in mud from our bike ride so we figured a little water wouldn’t bother anything. We had a great time walking through the water and climbing on logs for a while.

After finishing up in Fern Canyon we grabbed our bike sand headed back to the RV to get cleaned up. The parking lot was like a madhouse now and we were happy to be getting out of the area. We took the long drive back out on the dirt road and made through fine. We stopped to see the Elk again on our way out and then checked out the other ones behind the fence again. These ones were pretty cool this time because they were all laying down so you couldn’t see their bodies, but you could see all their antlers up above the grass. We then got back on the scenic drive and drove to the Big Tree. We"hiked" the 0.1 miles from the turnout to the Big Tree. We thought we were at the big tree after about 10 steps, but it was not in fact THE Big Tree, so we continued on. The Big Tree is 21.5 feet in diameter and super tall.  We think the first one that we thought was the big tree might be wider, but it is two or three trees coming out of one base.  After getting our pictured we headed out on the scenic drive again and tried to take the coastal drive from there. Unfortunately there was a sign that read Road Closed Ahead and another one that said all RVs and Trailers prohibited. So we ended up just heading back so that we could fill up our propane before the gas station stopped doing it for the day.

We got back to the campground and washed all the mud off of the bikes, ourselves, and our clothes (aka did the laundry). Then we played some games, completed the puzzle to our liking and hung out, while it rained outside.

Monday, May 30th Happy Memorial Day!!!

We woke up to rain today and decided that kayaking like we planned would not be a good idea. So instead we spent the entire day inside the RV playing games, watching movies, reading and staying dry. It was a great way to spend our day off work!!
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