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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Redwoods National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and America's Lonliest Highway

Scenic California Highway 101


We are camping at the Redwood National Park in Crescent City California. Today is our second and last day here. Tomorrow we leave the coast and start the long trip home. We have really enjoyed our stay on the coast despite the fog and cool weather; once we get inland I’m sure we are going to miss the cool temperatures.

After arriving yesterday we drove the scenic Howland Hill Road. This drive offers an amazing introduction to the towering old growth redwoods of the National Park. To be among such giants is very humbling.   Pictures don’t do justice as you can’t grasp the size of these trees without being next to them. Some of the trees are close to 400 feet tall and can be up to 2000 years old we took a hike through one of the oldest groves in the Park and it was just awesome plus as a bonus there are no bugs to ruin a walk in the woods.

Our next stop was Enderts Beach where we combed the beach for shells and found quite a few sand dollars even though it was later in the day and most of the beach had been picked clean already.  

 Enderts Beach Cresent City California

This morning we headed south down the California coast to Klamath the drive would have been beautiful but it was shrouded in heavy fog so we didn’t see as much as was promised but we were lucky enough to see a Bob Cat cross right in front of us and disappear into the woods. On the trip back to Crescent City we were able to take the Drive Through the Tree Tour and visit an area of tidal pools, very interesting but the tide started coming in so it was a little scary .  


 Collection of sand dollars

 Tidal Pools

Lassen Volcanic Nation Park

We are staying at a beautiful National Forest campground just outside of Lassen Volcanic National Park. We are spending two days here. Yesterday we arrived late in the afternoon and didn’t have time to see the area so this morning we left early and headed into the park. Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in northern California 50 miles east of Red Bluff and Redding. In 1914 Lassen eruption launched three years of sporadic volcanic outburst. The largest eruption was May 22nd 1915. Congress made this area a National Park in 1916.

 Bridge Creek Campground

 Creek running through our campsite

After a stop at the visitors center we headed out for a three mile hike called the Bumpass Hell Trail. This trail was easy enough to begin with, winding around the mountain side with exceptional views of lush meadows and beautiful valleys. The trail ended with a 300 foot descent to a hydrothermal area.  This area not only features a boiling spring’s lake but bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles and boiling water. The sulphur smell was over powering and reminded us of Yellowstone. 

                                                         Part of the Cascade Mountain Range

                                                                Trail to volcano summit

                                                            Trail to boiling springs lake

                                                                 Trail to Bumpass Hell
                                                                          Bumpass Hell

Today we are spending the night in Ely Nevada. We had a long drive on Nevada highway 50 which has been named the loneliest highway in America. If you drive this scenic highway you had better make sure your vehicle is in good working order, you have plenty of gas and plenty of water. Towns with any service are far and few between. It is a beautiful drive across the state; there are many summits that must be climbed followed by long valleys and then more summits and more valleys

                                                          Loneliest Highway in America
                                           Looking back on one of the few towns passed
                                                                    Love the clouds
                                                            Nevada's plush desert
                                                              Ranchers driveway maybe

Tomorrow we are visiting Great Basin National Park.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Leaving Gold Beach heading for Giant Redwoods

 Gold Beach Bridge on scenic 101

We are leaving Oregon this morning and heading to Crescent City California. From there the trip turns east bound. I feel the time will come when we are going to miss the cool weather we have been having on the coast. There is a lot of warm and hot weather to go.

 Town of Gold Beach Oregon

Warmer Weather

Tugman State Park

We spent the last two days at Tugman State Park in Lakeside Oregon a little north of Coos Bay. It's been a very relaxing two days. We watched a couple of movies that we had brought with us and just relaxed.

We left this morning around 9:00 and again were off the road by 11:00, great travel days. We are in Gold Beach camping on the beach just north of town. The weather is great here, much warmer and less windy than north of here. Once we got parked and hooked up (water, electric and cable TV) we drove into the town to look around. Our timing was good the Curry County Fair was going on so we thought we would stop in. Being Thursday and being seniors our admission was only $3.00. We feel we certainly got our monies worth. After watching a bird show, a magician, a BMX show and going through the animal barns and the beautiful flower display we headed back home for a BBQ.

Gold Beach

Giant Condor
BMX Performers

 Beautiful Oregon Flowers