October 8, 2005 – Today was one of those days that turned out to be so blessed because we were willing to go with the flow instead of sticking to a pre-made plan. We headed out with Lady Bird Johnson Grove as our goal. Near there, however, we saw a sign that said use Davidson Road for wild elk viewing. We thought that sounded like a worthy diversion, so we turned, and sure enough, there were quite a few elk lazing around in a nearby field. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop to get pics at that point.
But then we were intrigued by an entrance sign to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park that said we were only 4 miles from Gold Bluffs Beach and 8 miles from Fern Canyon. I can never resist a beach and ferns are some of my favorite green beings, so we decided to take off down that road instead. We could see it was a narrow, twisty road with a sign banning vehicles over 24 foot long, so we figured now was the time since we were in the tow car.
It was slow going, and we even had to cross a couple of streams, but we didn’t care – it was really a beautiful drive. By the time we made it to Gold Bluffs Beach, we were hungry and it was a perfect spot for our picnic lunch. We really loved the sound of the waves here – they were different than we’d been used to along the coast so far. This was just nothing but water as far out as you could see – without the rocky seastacks to beat against, these waves sounded gentler, but still ever so powerful.
By the time we made it to Fern Canyon, mom said she was content to sit on a bench a short distance away from the entrance and wait for me there where she could watch the ocean. I went a ways back into the canyon, and was so intrigued by it that I had made up my mind I would just insist she had to see this – the deep canyon walls covered by shimmering emerald green ferns, the little foot bridges giving you access across the sparkling streams – there was just no way she could miss this!
She didn’t seem too sure about it when I told her this trek was worth it, and she should come on even though it was a bit tiring. But here she is a little ways into it and she now looks convinced, doesn’t she?
There were all sorts of interesting portals made by huge fallen trees you could pass under – with incredibly interesting shapes and colors.
And of course lots of opportunities for tree hugging!
Next – Trees of Mystery
All Malia’s Miles Redwoods pages:
Main page (LBJ Grove) — Jedediah Smith State Park
Newton Drury Scenic Byway (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)
Fern Canyon (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)
Avenue of the Giants (Humboldt Redwoods State Park)
Trees of Mystery
Redwood Hikes: Great maps and amazing pictures