Friday, November 6, 2009
A day in the Redwoods with a bit of biking
Captions from the top: Redwood needles with dew drops, Giant Tree with Dani for scale, Looking up Giant tree, Redwood forest, Greg and Mr. Mister Kitty, Greg preparing wonderful dinner and with crazy eyes, our campsite at Harrison Grove state park, Extremely well marked trail sign (for all the trails folks out there)
Garberville to Harrison Grove State Park (Near Benbow) CA
Day 21 10 miles
Today was not really about bike riding. Paul drove us back down some of the road we had already ridden to reach the Humboldt Redwoods State Park for some hiking and tree gazing. Going down par t of our route in a car was crazy. Cars go so fast! We remembered each little spot along the road and couldn't believe how fast it went by in a car. We haven't been in an automobile for awhile. We checked out a great volunteer run visitor center in the state park and then headed down the Lost Coast road to the big trees area.
We were able to literally walk among the giants. The trees we saw today are among the tallest in whole world. The tallest tree was right around 370 feet tall. It is incredible to stand right at the base and stare up. The top is way out of view but it seems as though the tree goes on forever. We saw a few deer and some rough skinned newts along the trail. The deer look like freakish mixes between whitetail and mule deer, but they are much smaller than I am used to, like yearling size for a full grown deer. It is also amazing how many of these trees have fire scars that have burned out almost the whole base of the tree, but the trees are still very healthy looking. We walked up a hill and quickly were out of the redwood dominated forest. We found some cool trees higher up though. Douglas-fir and many oaks lined the trail, but one of the cooler trees was California laurel. The leaves of this tree are actually bay leaves. They are extremely pungent. Breaking the leaves gives off a herbal peppery smell, much stronger than the old dry stuff we get in the grocery store.
After we walked around for awhile Paul drove us back to Garberville and took us grocery shopping while it was raining. We reconnoitered with our bikes at the hotel and packed all of our gear and food while Paul watched and helped us out. By the time we finished packing the rain had nearly subsided, so we decided to take off. It was great to get to see and spend the time with Paul. We had a great supper and the hotel was a special treat. We were also very happy we could share a bit of the redwoods experience with him, but it was time for us to head out to the next campground, so after saying goodbyes, we hit the road. About a mile from town, Paul saw us alongside the road, already stopped. We were stripping off our raingear because we were overheating in the emerging sun. We rode into camp by 4:00 and enjoyed a rare dinner made before sundown.