Of course, once we crossed the border into California, we couldn't resist doing the tourist thing and stopping to take a picture of the "Welcome to California" sign.....and the "Goodbye Oregon" sign!
Onto sunny California!!
Once we entered California, it wasn't long until we reached Crescent City, CA and the first Visitor Center for Redwoods National Park. It also wasn't long until we saw gas prices rise to $4.69/gal - OUCH!! After a short visit to the visitor center and planning out our trip with a park ranger, we piled in the cars once again and headed for the Klamath River Overlook. It was a windy road, but when we got to the top, the views were amazing! We even got to see a few grey whales coming up for air! Unfortunately, we couldn't get any pictures because they would go back under the water too quickly...but Kylie got to see them and would call out whenever one would surface!
View from Klamath River Overlook - Gorgeous!!
Kylie & Mom-Mom looking for grey whales.
Working our way back to the car....
Once back in the car we headed further down US 101 into Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We hiked a short way to find "The Big Tree".... I know that sounds funny since we were in a forest of big trees, but this particular tree had a trunk with a diameter of 26 feet!! That's a BIG tree! The tallest of all the Redwoods, unfortunately, we couldn't see because it is in a remote location in the park. However, the trees we did see were breathtaking! Some are well over 350 feet tall and over 700 years old!!
Our family in front of the BIG tree - Kylie was with Mom-Mom "taking the picture"
Another view of the BIG tree - we couldn't get the whole thing in one shot!
A Redwood that had fallen between two others.
The majestic Redwoods!
From this point we went to Elk Meadow where we could see wild Elk that reside in the park. There were quite a few, but we must have stopped by during naptime because all of them were lying down. One did get up, but quickly went behind a bush....I guess he didn't want the roughly 15 people that were in the parking lot taking his picture. We got some good shots anyway.....
Some of the Roosevelt Elk residing in Redwood NP.
Our final stop in the park was Lady Bird Johnson Grove. It was a mile hike around a loop in the middle of the park. It was at this spot in 1968 that Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the National Park. It was dedicated by her in her name by President Nixon for her love and commitment to the preservation of America's natural beauty. Kylie was a pure trooper hiking most of the way until the very end when Mommy gave her a piggy back ride. Along the way we got to see different aspects of the forest. It was truly an amazing sight!!
Hard to read, but this is the plaque on the spot where Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the park in 1968.
Mom-Mom & Kylie inside a tree that was hollowed out by a forest fire!
Daddy & the girls hiking around the grove.
Our family looks like little bugs compared to the size of the mighty Redwood Trees!
Sunlight peeking through the trees - Truly Beautiful!!
After our hike we headed out of the park and onto Arcata, CA to our hotel. We made it here pretty early tonight which was good for the girls. They were able to run around & play awhile and are even falling asleep early because we wore them out today! Tomorrow we have a very long day ahead of us as we drive down the coast of California to San Fransico! Once there though we'll be staying until Sunday in order to enjoy the many sights of the city by the Bay including a tour of Alcatraz! We're even hoping to meet up with our friends, Aaron & Brooke Hoff while there.
Seeing the mighty, majestic Redwoods today makes us appreciate the wonder of God's creation! The oldest Redwood that fell in the late 60s was recorded to have been on this earth since the time of the Romans, before the birth of Christ! Truly amazing! God is great!!
Good night from Northern CA and onto San Francisco! ~The Thayers & Mom-Mom