Leaving the very nice Harris Beach State Park (we’d stay here again in a heartbeat) just north of Brookings, Oregon we only had plans to cover about 28 miles to our next camping spot Village Camper Inn RV Park (fine enough, but not as nice as their webpage looks) in Crescent City, California. In this last bit of Oregon I once again suggested leaving US 101 for a coastal side road Rt. 872/Oceanview Drive in part so we could stop at McVay Rock State Recreation Site. None of it proved as nice as I’d hoped for. The road does not offer views of the ocean and while McVay was pebbles rather than sand, it was nothing special. Oh well, it was not our reason for today’s travels.
Getting back onto 101S, just before Fort Dick, CA, we took State Route 197/North Bank Road which follows along the Smith River to today’s travel goal, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Protecting seven percent of all the old growth redwoods in the world these 10,000 acres of temperate rainforest are truly magnificent! California coast redwoods thrive at elevations below 2,000 feet. Year-round moderate temperatures and as much as 100 inches of winter rains provide the perfect environment for a magical green wonderland of moss, ferns, rhododendrons, azaleas and trees that can grow to 350 feet or more with a base nearly 20 feet in diameter! After a nice chat with the park ranger lady, who checked out the size of our rig, we took the beyond narrow, unpaved and potholed Howland Hill Rd. Officially not recommended for RVs (but Ed is a VERY skilled driver) and absolutely not after a rain storm, this was a wonderful route.
Off this road we walked the popular Stout Grove Trail and much further in the less traveled Boy Scout Tree Trail. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park should be on your MVL (Must Visit List)!
The next two days were so rainy we didn’t venture out (thank goodness we’d already done Howland Hill) but come day three we headed on down 101S to pick up an alternate route, the ten mile Newton B. Drury Parkway. While it looked lovely going through another redwood forest the fog and heavy misty rain kept us mostly inside the RV.
Back out on 101 the weather improved and we stopped several times to look at the Pacific seascape. Stopping on one narrow shoulder I thought I heard seals, so hopped out to look. Not too far out in the ocean was an impossibly steep big rock absolutely covered with seals all the way to the top! We have no idea how they got up there and unfortunately none came or left while we stood watching. A bicycling couple from Germany stopped and we shared our binoculars with them. They agreed, it just didn’t seem possible but clearly it was!
We spent the night at Emerald Forest Cabins & RV in Trinidad (OK park in the woods, they were still renovating and improving….) and next morning we drove down 101 to State Rt. 299 East. This 153 miles of road goes through pretty mountainous country although once again rainy clouds and heavy fog obscured a lot of the first bit until the weather started to lift and the sun came out. The first 38 miles follows several streams and then at the little town of Willow Creek just a ways into the Shasta Trinity National Forest it runs beside the beautiful Trinity River. There was a great deal of road construction going on this entire way so a lot of stopping and sitting.
Someday however, I’d like to go back (in the SUNSHINE) and spend some time in this area. We spent the night at the very nice Premier RV Resort in Redding, CA and recommend them as a good campground for all you RV’ers.
I’ll stop here as that pretty much covers our coastal travels, and our next adventure (which deserves lots of space) came as a complete and wonderful surprise when I said….”Hey, let’s go here!”