June 20, 2012

Crescent City and the Jedediah Smith Redwoods

We had found street parking in Arcata, right by campus, and it was convenient to walking to downtown for the festival, but unfortunately, it was only good until Monday morning at 6am. Since we're not the best at waking up at such early hours (at least not anymore...), we chose to leave town on Sunday, after we hiked around the awesome city park.

We continued north on highway 101 in the early afternoon. The fog had just rolled in off the coast and it made for a very nice drive. We drove in and out of the fog pretty much the whole way to Crescent City, our next destination. On the way there we saw a heard of elk right off the highway in one of the lagoons, as well as tons of coastal highway bikers. I wondered how far they had come on the highway, and how far they had yet to go.

Driving on 101 in the fog
Herd of elk off of 101
In Crescent City we booked an RV park; we were low on our battery after five days of boondocking. The RV Park was right on the beach and only cost $21 a night. The catch was that it was sooo cold right on the beach, especially when the evening wind picked up. The upside was that we were right next to the city harbor, the public pier and had a great view of the Battery Point Lighthouse.

Crescent Beach
Battery Point Lighthouse
We'd heard that there was fresh crab to be found for sale right off the public harbor, so we biked over there to see if we could pick some up for lunch. We were out of luck that Sunday, there were no fishing boats selling their daily catch, but we did see some seals and Sky got up close and personal with a seal lion.

Seals off the public harbor
Sky and the sea lion
On Monday we went out to explore the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Instead of taking our truck, we decided to bike there. We took Elk Valley Rd out of town, and then made a right on Howland Hill Rd. About a mile in, the Howland Hill Rd turns into a smooth dirt road that takes you straight into the state park. We followed this road for another 4 miles until we got to Stout Grove. Stout Grove, a small but very scenic grove of huge redwood trees with a .6 mile loop trail, and the 5.7 mile Boy Scout Tree Trail are the two popular sites to see at Jed Smith park, and both are accessible off of the Howland Hill Rd.

Biking on Howland Hill Rd
Howland Hill Rd.
Hiking around Stout Grove
Sky estimated the circumference of this tree to be almost 60 feet! 
This is what happens when trees fall over in Stout Grove...HUGE stumps! 
Skyler was super excited about the bike ride as he finally got to bike among the giants, albeit it wasn't a single track trail. :o)

To see more pics of the city and the park, click here.

Happy giant tree biking!


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