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Redwood National And State Parks 2007 Trip

Day 5 of 5

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Sunday, July 8th
Drive home

In the morning, we packed up our camp and then stopped by the gift shop. It's a small shop, with local hiking books, a small clothing section, and a few other odds and ends. I picked up a hiking book for future use.

We then started the long journey back home. We stopped in Eureka for lunch, then continued south along 101. Instead of staying on 101 the whole way, I exited at Pepperwood, the northern end of the Avenue of the Giants, a 32-mile scenic alternative to Highway 101 through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The road is much more winding than Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, so you won't be able to drive quite as fast. It also passes through a few small towns. While it is nice, it's not as nice as Drury Parkway. Still, if you have the time to get out of the car for a hike, there are lots of places along the road to stop. Unfortunately since we had such a long drive, we decided to just keep going. In fact, we returned to Highway 101 after a little over half the scenic road.

There is a section of Highway 101 which is 4 lanes (2 in each direction), somewhere between Novato and Santa Rosa. This section was brutal on the way back, as it was bumper to bumper for miles. We lost at least 30 minutes here due to delays which didn't let up until the road widened to 6 lanes. We then lost a little more time on the approach to the Golden Gate toll plaza. Overall, the drive back took about 45 minutes more driving time than the drive up. My guess is that starting later or much earlier would have been better; we left Prairie Creek around 10:20am and reached the Golden Gate Bridge a bit after 6pm. That's probably close to the worst time for bridge traffic on a Sunday, although 5pm probably wouldn't have been much better.


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