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Redwood National And State Parks 2007 Trip

Day 3 of 5

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Friday, July 6th
Lady Bird Johnson Grove hike, Stone Lagoon

In the morning, we drove down Highway 101 to Redwood National Park and did the Lady Bird Johnson Grove hike.

After the hike, we decided to have a picnic by the beach. We made the mistake of stopping at Lookout Point near the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, a few miles south on 101 from the hike. I say mistake because the wind was howling. It's so prevalent that there's a permanent sheltered picnic area there. We used it, but obviously couldn't enjoy the beach itself.

After lunch we drove back up 101 to the town of Orick to pick up a few supplies. There's a small grocery store, and not much else in town. There's a sign pointing toward the Orick Rodeo, a place with a large sign stating "Cowgirl Mud Wrestling", and a bunch of gift shops.

I had made the mistake of starting the trip with just a single 1 GB compact flash card for my digital SLR (I also had a 2 GB SD card for my compact digital camera I use to take videos). Normally, this is enough. But I managed to blow through 2/3 of the 166 images I could fit on the card on the first day. Blame it on all the elk pictures I took. Anyway, I was fearful that I'd run out of space, so I stopped by a couple places in Orick trying to find a place that sold it. I went to a place that advertised that it sold film. I asked the old lady at the counter and when I asked where I might find a memory card, she replied with a smile "not in this town." Sometime in the near future, analog film will be hard to come by and digital memory cards will be found in a town like Orick, a place that lists a population of 650. But that time is not this year.

In case you are wondering, I'm pretty sure I could find a card in Eureka or Crescent City, both about 45 minutes away, but I had enough space left that it wasn't worth the extra effort. As it was, I had just enough space and ended the trip with space for 10 pictures left in my card. Now, back at home, I've ordered a 4 GB card for my next big trip (I just realized I've never taken a trip longer than this one with my digital SLR; I purchased it right after my 2-week Seattle trip in 2005).

After picking up some ice cream (they had It's It, so I had to get one), we tried to find some access to a creek or other water for the kids. Our first attempt was Redwood Creek trailhead not far from the Lady Bird Johnson Grove trailhead. What we found there was a mostly empty parking lot and a footbridge over a nearly dry creek (not to be confused with Redwood Creek itself which is much larger). It's hard to gauge from the map, but I'm guessing it would have been too far to walk for the kids to reach the main creek. Oh, one other note is that we saw a UPS truck parked here. I only mention this because it was completely out of place here, at a trailhead far from any business, home, or other point of delivery. Maybe the driver was taking his lunch break here (at 3pm?). Or maybe he was making some unscheduled delivery. Humboldt County is, after all, well known for marijuana growing. Just throwing that out there.

We retreated back to 101 and headed south again. This time, we stopped at the north end of Stone Lagoon. There were just a couple other cars parked here and no one else in sight. We found a nice little beach to rest at. There wasn't any shade, but there wasn't much wind, either. The lack of shade gave me an excuse to finally use the oversized umbrella my company had given me months earlier and that I keep tucked in a compartment of my car just in case. I was zonked out from taking an antihistamine so I slept through most of this, but the kids seemed to have fun.

Stone Lagoon

After enjoying the beach, we returned to our camp site at Prairie Creek. One thing I noticed is that there was relatively high turnover for such a nice campground. One site next to us had a different camper every night. Perhaps there's such high turnover because some people use this as a stopping point between California and Oregon. Just a guess. Also this night we saw a new group come into camp -- the Texas 4000 cyclists who are doing a charity ride for cancer research. They're riding from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, and they chose to stay at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park for 2 nights. I'll be interested to read their blog entries for this area.

Before dinner, I decided to take a shower, since this is one of the few campgrounds we stay at that has them. If you want to use the showers, bring lots of quarters. As of this writing, it's 50 cents for 5 minutes, and you can put in more quarters for about 2.5 minutes per quarter. It was refreshing to be clean! The only bad thing was that the spray was so powerful (and not adjustable in intensity) that I couldn't bring the kids in to wash them. Oh, and bring a towel. I always forget since I never expect to be able to take a shower, so I ended up using my tiny little backpacker's towel. I think I need to go update my car camping check list...


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