They grow 'em big in the northwest

Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
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Trip End Sep 03, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crater Lake, Oregon to Redwood National Forest, CA

I don’t get up at the crack of dawn but I wait for the sun to rise before I head out to a place called “The Pinnacles” located on the southeastern side of the crater.    They are a collection of 100-foot spires that have been revealed by erosion.  They are considered “fossil Fumaroles”, meaning when the super hot gas from the volcano was escaping it merged with the minerals and sediments to form these solid rock tubes.  It’s pretty cold this morning and I kind of wish the pinnacle were putting out a little heat so I could warm up my focusing hand. 

Finish up with the spires and decide to head back to Crater Lake to see what this light will reveal on the western side of the crater.  The light is much friendlier than last evening’s and the water is that blue.  Shoot around and discover some small surprises like this pine cone with the emerging sap being hit just right by the sun, sort of has this crystal feel.

Time to pack up the tent and hit the road.  I’ll head out the western side of Crater Lake and travel through the southwestern part of Oregon to make it to HW 101. Not too long before I enter Crescent City, which has this little gem called Trees of Mystery and to welcome you they have a giant Paul Bunyan and his Blue Babe Ox.  I continue down the road until I hit the, hold on to your hat, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway.  It looks like I have rich tree hugging relatives so I’ll need to be on my best behavior. 

After settling in I decide to jump on the bike and visit some of the redwood groves.  The interesting thing about the trees are that they only grow in narrow sections of California, more precisely the Pacific Northwest and in Yosemite.  The redwood is this amazing organism that will literally suck the moister out of the air as well as from its roots.  It needs about 500 quarts a day to maintain its growth and for this reason the root structure is very shallow, 8-15 feet outward from its base, no tap root. 
The constant fog bank from the Pacific is the trees best friend and the surrounding plants and organisms aren’t complaining.

On the way back to the camp I am driving past this church and notice this fellow just hanging out in front of the parsonage, guess elk are religious too, especially around hunting season.

Life in this part of the country is a little bit rougher, I notice the small towns have a real rundown look, can’t imagine that the economy is to blame.  Time to head back and heat up my water for my dehydrated lasagna and I’ll probably still be eating better than a big chunk of the locals.

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Where I stayed
Elk Prairie Campground

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