Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Redwood Vacation

Once the walls were finished, it was time for a vacation already, sheesh! So as fast as we could muster, we threw together our backpacks and gear for a short-distance trip to Redwood National Park, about an hour north of Arcata. Our first night, we went out for sushi, and tried to camp at Patrick's Point State Park, but they were full, so we (oh darn) spent the night at the Lost Whale Inn, a fabulous B&B in Trinidad. Took a hot tub. Slept on soft sheets. Ate their phenomenal breakfast, mmmmmm. It was truly the breakfast that swayed us.

After all that gorging and relaxing, we drove up to the park, collected our permit and bear canister, and drove 10 miles or so out of Orick, to a locked gate, and then another 6 miles down a dirt road to the trailhead to the "Tall Trees Grove". More organizing, and then finally we were ready to disappear into the backcountry for three days, and headed down the trail with heavy packs. Ella carried her pink Kung Fu Panda pack full of her own clothes, and she ran ahead of us on the trail, so excited about the adventure. The hike to the nearest camping is about 1.75 miles, which was just far enough for this not-so-recently-gone-backpacking gal. We set up our camp on the banks of Redwood Creek, on a soft, sandy bar, beside a lazy, glassy, quietly murmuring stream, which was packed full of fresh-water snails, cutthroat trout, and perfect skipping rocks.

We proceeded to relax for the next little while, taking small walks as we felt, swimming in crystal-clear, cerulean pools, tracking the otters, elk, and other wildlife, listening to birds, and taking in the breathtaking grandeur of mature redwood trees with very large diameters. We heard marbled murrelets calling at dusk and dawn, and sank into another universe for a short little while. Ahhhhhh. Ella loved it, though her tantrum rate went up while we were there.

We watched cliff swallows gathering insects for their babies, diving in and out of a tiny hole in a cut bank. We saw osprey fly far overhead, calling out midday. We saw what we think was a mink, hopping and leaping along the bank, after taking a swim across the creek. We heard the pileated woodpecker drumming in the deep forest. We experienced ourselves as small little people, while trying to travel off trail through the forest, crossing downed logs that were 7 feet high, tumbled across other 7 foot high logs, requiring balancing travel along tree highways. We heard a fox bark in the early morning. It is truly magical to feel the old-growth forest, in its undisturbed state, it really does have a different sensation, a deeper pulse. Please go and find out what it feels like for yourselves.

We all emerged deeply calmed and rejuvenated. Ready for more construction, time to move on to the roof!

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