What a day! It feels so good to be back on the California coast, smell the rich piney fragrance of the Pacific Coast Redwoods, feel the damp dew on the grass in the morning, and to breathe the fresh air from the currents above the Pacific Ocean. I’m so glad that I have had this opportunity to be back in this part of the country again, thanks to Tom, we get to experience it together.
After breakfast this morning, on recommendation from John, the friendly guy who checked us in yesterday, we headed to Jedediah Smith State Park to see the giant Redwood trees and forest. He directions told us to follow Elk Valley road to Howland Hill Road and to enter the park at the brown gate. From there, we followed the very detailed route to various mile markers and connecting trails or scenic walks back in the woods.
There are many small pull offs from the single lane, wet, and rutted road that seemed like it probably should have been a one-way road. We hiked the Nickerson Mill Creek Loop Trail that led us through some beautiful old growth redwood forest and across Mill Creek at several points. We stopped to take a few pictures, because it felt like we had to capture the immensity of these trees.
A couple more miles down the road, we parked and took the Stout Grove Trail. In one direction, the trail was blocked because several forest service staff were clearing some wood in the area, so we went back and followed the trail that looped from the other direction. That trail led us to the point where the Mill Creek flowed into the Smith River. When we got back on the road, it follows the Smith River and I just couldn’t believe the beautiful aqua-blue color of the river. Unfortunately, there was no safe place to pull off to capture a photo.
We stopped along Pebble Beach, just to see the Pacific Ocean one more time, checking out a few tide pools but finding no living, moving creatures - our timing must not be coinciding with the tides. We stopped to talk with a friendly gentleman on the beach and it was nice to get a feel for the local perspective of living near here.
We went back to the trailer, left Frisco behind and headed into Crescent City for dinner at the Chart Room, a restaurant recommended by the guy that we had a conversation with earlier at the beach. When I saw that they had Parmesan Crusted Halibut on the menu, that instantly became my choice. Tom had a sampler platter with deep fried Pacific Cod, prawns, scallops, and clam. He also chose the clam chowder but was a bit disappointed, remembering that he had had better flavored chowder at other places. We also shared a carafe of Chardonnay that was a bit much for the two of us. That meant that we had to walk around for a while before driving, so we walked around the harbor and stopped to watch a couple of guys