Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Valley of Giants

20 August 2011

Woke up with the intention of heading to Chico, but feeling that I hadn't really gotten to experience the redwood forests. I decided that if I could find a campsite I would stay another night and use the day to explore. I was lucky to find a fabulous site in the Mill Creek State Park and had camp all set up by 10:30AM.

Rode back through cold and foggy Crescent City to Jedidiah State Park (five miles inland and sunny and warm) and ran into another traveler riding the exact model bike as mine. We chatted for a while about how much we liked the bikes.

I stopped at the visitor center and asked about the best things to do with one afternoon. Kareen was very helpful and set the agenda for the rest of the day. First up is the Howland Hill Road through Stout Grove – eight miles of hard packed dirt road through the Stout Grove stand of old growth Coast Redwoods. I was awestruck as I rode through this forest of living giants, one of the most impressive experiences of this trip. The photos fail miserably to capture how it feels to be amongst these grand trees. The photo with the people in it gives a sense of scale that is missing from the others. This was the first time on this trip that I deeply wished for company to share the moment with. I always have that feeling but it cut way deep in this place.

Once out of the forest it was a thirty minute ride south to the Yurok Indian Reservation town of Klamath, where the Yurok tribe was having it's annual Salmon Festival. The sporting and dance events were finished by the time I got there but I had a great Indian style BBQ salmon meal and got to hang out amongst these beautiful American Indians.

Finally it was back to the redwood campsite at Mill Creek for a hike around the campground before turning in for the night.

Americana for the day: The tranquil majesty of a forest of giant redwoods

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/T.Micheal.Young/USA201102

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