Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crescent City to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Captions from the top: Moon rise at Elk Prairie, Looking up the "big tree", Us in front of the "big tree", Dani looking at the ocean on a sunny day in California, bike for scale by tree next to the road, Greg inside the Curly Redwood Lodge.

Crescent City, California to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
38 miles
Day 16

After staying in the very cool Curly Redwood Motel, we headed out for a day full of redwoods. I have never seen a redwood tree before today. I am so amazed by their size and beauty. The tallest trees (redwoods) and the largest trees by mass (Sequoia) and the oldest trees on earth (Bristlecone pine) live in California. Now I have seen the redwoods. There is nothing else in the world like riding a bicycle through a towering cathedral of redwoods like in Redwoods State and National Parks. The road was winding and took you right past giant trees whose feet were touching the pavement. We rode through nearly all of the trees and camped at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Supposedly many Roosevelt elk hang out here, but we did not see them at the campground. After we unloaded our bikes we rode back up the redwoods highway to Big Tree, a giant 1500 year old tree and one of the largest in the park. It was a spectacular day and I will never forget it. I hope the pictures can do it some justice. We camped under a large doug-fir and learned that you do not pitch a tent under a tree where fog forms day and night. Even though it didn't rain our tent was soaked from the condensed fog dripping from the tree. This campground also has bear boxes! we were really excited that we didn't have to hang our food tonight. California State Parks are very intensely managed. Their trails are paved and very neat and this little park has a visitor center. We paid $10 to stay here in the hiker/biker site but the normal camping sites for tents are $35! I can't believe they are so expensive. How can we expect lower income families to take their kids camping when state parks cost $35 per night?

Anyway, we had an awesome day with beautiful weather and look forward to touring more of California.


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