In the morning we slept in. Pumpkin woke up at 7 but just got in bed with us and went back to sleep till 9 or so.
We had a big breakfast of eggs and bacon and watermelon and strawberries. Then Pumpkin took another nap. I got a call from the La Jolla Lifeguard station. Apparently a lifeguard found my wallet floating ashore on the beach. After several calls around we arranged for Brother John to pick it up and send it to Pop’s house. This was awesome news. Also our new credit cards had been overnighted to Fortuna and we had them ready to go. After breakfast we left Pumpkin sleeping and went for a small hike in a nearby park and let Peanut play at a playground for a bit. We saw some trees that looked pretty giant but now I feel like they were baby redwoods.
Around noon we left and headed to the Redwood forest. We got there at 1ish with no real plan. We had hoped to camp at Golden Bluffs Beach where reservations were not taken. We had gotten a late start and found out at the visitor center that all the spots were taken there and all the other national park campgrounds were taken but 5 spots at the very far end of the park. It was an hour drive and the ranger seemed pretty sure they would be gone before we got there. He gave me a brocere with other private campgrounds in the area and told me of one that was really nice and close and cheaper. We got Peanut’s Junior Ranger information packet and some, maps and stuff and hit the road again.
The park is all along highway 101 and takes about an hour to drive from the bottom to the top. We planned to go to a program at 3 and hike at the first trail we found until then.
The hike was nice and along a stream.
There was some really cool trees. We learned that part of star wars was filmed nerby and decided to keep an eye out for Ewoks. After the hike we headed to Big Tree where we planned to join a ranger hike.
(in case it is not clear Heath and Peanut did not move, I started out zoomed in and then zoomed out till you could see the whole tree, this is not big tree but I thought it was pretty big)
We were running a little late and ran around crazy for a bit looking for the start of the hike.
Eventually we found a ranger and discovered that the hike was going backwards today and ended at the tree instead of started there. We made the best of it and hiked from the big tree toward where the hike started.
About ½ way there we found the ranger and the hike. There was 1 lady and 2 kids. Peanut and the kids started forming some sort of Lord of Flies society. They distributed jobs like finding trees to live in and building spears from sticks and decided who would hunt and who would gather firewood.
We walked with the ranger and learned about the forest and trees. We all had a great time and aftwords Peanut got the signature his book required.
Peanut with a banana slug above and below is Heath under a nurse log with new trees growing out of the rotting trunk.
Then we did some driving around and saw some Elk
We did a few gravel drives into thick parts of the forest that we needed headlights for even though it was a sunny afternoon. We made our way to a coastal trail and went for a .8 mile hike.
The hike was through a thick forest and almost strait down. It started getting pretty cold and we bundled up.
The hike ended at the ocean.
Once there it was starting to get cold, dark and late
but we took the time to explore and look at rocks and shells and driftwood.
It was a totally different environment from the redwood forest and seemed to just be on the other side of the road.
The hike up was pretty tough and Peanut was worn out but we only stopped once.
Once at the car we started heading to our campsite. The clouds were taking over all the coast but we still stopped at a few viewpoints on the way.
The campsite was $2 less then the national park and really just a big field with firerings and picknick tables. We were told there would be bears right by us but not to worry. The bears come every night and get into the trash and get all the salmon remains from the fish cleaning station. Our campspot was right next to the fish cleaning station. As usual it was getting dark as we pulled in so Heath dropped Peanut and I off and we rushed to put up the tent as the girls went into town for ice, beer and possibly something to make our dinner even better. We got the tent part set up then discovered a giant gross pile on the ground that I suspected was bear droppings right beside the tent. (if you don’t want to see gross stuff scroll past the next pic quick)
So we moved the tent over a bit and rearranged our campsite. We got the tent up and Heath got back with a bunch of ice, 2 candy bars, and 3 big(22oz) delicious looking beers. Heath got the bedding set up and we got the lantern going and the dinner cooking.
At first I was making a red beans and rice thing that we planned to add canned chicken to. I got it in the pot over the camp stove and realized it would need to boil for 30 minutes. It was nearly 9pm and we were all ready for bed so I dumped that dinner into a water bottle and instead boiled a couple packets of stroganoff noodles in a mushroom sacue. They boiled for 8 minutes and then set for 2 minutes. While they were sitting we warmed a can of chicken and a can of black beans then mixed it all together.
It was a ton of food but we had no trouble eating it all. Then we split the candy and Heath and I split 2 of the beers.
Several campers stopped by to let us know the bears come out of a spot in the woods right beside us and go get the salmon guts. They said there were lots of guts in there and the night before they had come really early. We kept an eye on the woods and cleaning station but never saw them.
Peanut headed to bed first and Heath and I realized Pumpkin would just scream if we put her to bed first so decided to save the 3rd beer and go to bed.
I woke up around 2am with Heath asking me what that noise was.