Friday, September 5, 2014

The Redwood Adventure - Part 1

Due to the mass amount of pictures I took on this trip, I will break the recap down into separate posts.
I was supposed to go see my best friend, Meag, for this trip, but she was unable to get the time off from work. Since I already had the time off approved, I decided to just alter the destination. We left super early Sunday morning for the long drive. I figured it would take about 10-11 hours, but we ended up taking some scenic detours that really added to the drive.
A valley in Oregon:
Our biggest detour was Crater Lake. It really wasn't that far off of the highway, but there were a zillion people there, which made for traffic jams, both on the road and on the hiking paths. I have a series of pictures to do a photomerge into a panoramic, so once that is completed, I will post it.
Crater Lake is the fifth oldest national park in the US. It is the caldera of a destroyed volcano (Mount Mazama).  At 1,943 feet deep, it is the deepest lake in the US, and the second deepest in North America. There are no streams or rivers going into or out of the lake.
We finally reached our location right as the sun was setting. I pulled over to a random beach to snag some quick pictures.
This one will be printed in large format and framed, for sure:
The water was damn cold! Definitely not the tropical water I felt earlier this year!
I tried to find a rental place on, but totally struck out for most of the surrounding area. I wanted something in close proximity to the Redwoods. I finally expanded my search beyond vrbo and found this awesome set of private lodges. They were so cute and each had its own hot tub. Score!
Monday morning, we headed into Trinidad, which is about five miles south of our lodge. The otters were busy playing on the pier and were quite entertaining!
Trinidad Pier was quite busy that morning. We had a 45 minute wait for breakfast, so we walked along the pier, watched the animals, and Eric went hunting for crabs.
He found many crabs under virtually every rock under the pier.
 Next, we drove into Eureka, which was about 25 minutes south of Trinidad, I believe. There was really nothing to see in this town. The boardwalk was incredibly lame. But there was the Carson Mansion. The design, detail, and architecture of this house....oh my! And I'm still unsure what it's used for, but there are signs all over that it's for club members only.
We spent the rest of the day near the Trinidad/Patrick's Point area, hiking down to various beaches. The hikes are serious! These aren't leisurely paths down to the beach, or back UP for that matter. My legs were burning by the end of the day.
On this rock were several dozed sea lions, and they were LOUD barkers. It was high tide at this point, so they had all taken shelter up on the rock. We could hear them all the way at our lodge, inside, with all doors and windows closed.
Hiking around:
Patrick's Point State Park was very pretty and had numerous trailheads. After being stopped several times by random people selling weed (seriously, it's bad down there), we opted for the least strenuous trail down to the beach.
Agate Beach
These are banana slugs and they are huge! They are also very sticky, which helps them navigate all the surrounding vegetation.
Sunset, Agate Beach
This cliff face has been used by many people, obviously, to carve names. I still don't understand how some people got all the way to the top. Eric tried to climb part of it, but the wall is very soft and crumbles away quite easily.
We took one trail to the top of a cliff to watch part of the sunset. This picture below doesn't accurately convey the sheer drop, easily 300 feet. And yes, dad, I'm standing right on the edge for this shot. ;)  The boulders at the bottom were massive. Not a drop you want to take.
Over on another cliff were more people watching the sunset.
We had stopped earlier in the day at a local market to grab some steaks and fresh clam chowder for dinner. It was incredible.
Stay tuned for more!

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