Honey, I Shrunk The Patrys!

Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We've spent almost 3 weeks in California and can't believe this is our last stop in this state that seems to have it all!  We thought visiting the Californian Redwoods would be a fitting place to spend our last few days!
We packed up in the rain, only the third time we've had to do that on this trip, and drove through the Six Rivers National Forest on our way to Klamath River RV Park.  We entered Redwood National and State Parks from the northeast and had our first glimpse of the trees.  The kids were watching a movie in the truck, which has been happening increasingly more often the longer we travel in an attempt to keep everyone sane!  We asked them to turn off the movie so they could see the spectacular trees.  The first comment out of Cohen's mouth was, "we've already seen trees"!  After a look from Aimee they shut off the DVD player and once they actually saw "these" trees they were pretty blown away.  We have seen tons of pictures of the giant Redwoods, but until you see them in person you just can't imagine how large they actually are!
We settled into our campsite and watched the fog and more rain roll in over the beautiful Klamath River.  We caught up on laundry while the kids rode their bikes and played tether ball.  The next day we took the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway back through Redwood National Forest.  We stopped in Prairie Creek State Park to do our first walk through the forest.  Seeing the Redwoods up close and being able to touch them was so amazing.  It gave the boys a better perspective of their size and we spent most of our walk staring upwards.  We continued on and parked up the road a bit further so we could walk to "Big Tree".  It is 304 feet high and 21 feet in diameter.  It is so large that at one point, before the trees became protected, a local man wanted to cut it down to make a dance floor on the stump.  What a sight it was!
We stopped at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center and saw 5 elk having their lunch across the road.  At the start of our trip when we would see elk signs by the side of the road everyone's eyes would be glued to the windows just waiting.  The novelty kind of wore off after seeing close to 50 signs and never ever seeing any elk except for once at Smokey Mountain National Park.  Needless to say everyone was pretty excited and we tried to get a closer look!  Something we didn't expect to see was local prisoners out working by the side of the road with their labelled jumpsuits on and some guards watching closely.  The boys had a hard time understanding why they would be allowed out of jail for the day to work in the community.  It's certainly not something you see happening with the prisons in Kingston.
The Lady Bird Johnson Grove was our next stop.  We did the 1.5 mile hike through this section of Redwoods that is at a slightly higher elevation therefore receiving more rain.  It felt very lush with huge sections of ferns lining the trail.  Some of the trees were hollow allowing you to go right inside them.  We could have spent all day playing here and there was a lot of trees just off the trail the boys wanted to explore.  Looking up and seeing a small amount of sun peeking through the top of the trees was so beautiful.  Just walking slowly on the path and being amongst the giant trees really left you feeling calm and relaxed.  Always a good thing when traveling with 3 kids in a trailer for 4 months!  At the end of the trail we found 2 banana slugs which were a unbelievably bright yellow!

We had to encourage the kids back to the truck by telling them about the "little red school house" in nearby Orick where a herd of elk frequent.  We weren't disappointed when we got there and found at least 75 elk of all sizes.  There was a trailer park there and the kids thought it was pretty funny to see them walking through all the trailers!  
The kids had never heard of Paul Bunyan but we told them a little bit about the famous lumberjack then went to the Trees of Mystery where there was a huge statue of him.  We didn't realize until we got close to the statue but he also spoke!  There was a door in the back of his giant boot for someone to get in and they sat in there with a microphone and carry on conversations with all the tourists.  It was actually pretty funny to watch people's reactions!  Some of the kids were totally in awe or completely freaked out!  He told jokes and riddles and was pretty funny!  What a job that would be!
We couldn't visit the Redwoods without visiting one of the drive through trees!  There was one right in Klamath so we paid the $5.00 and surprised the kids.  They thought it was great!  We barely squeezed our truck through, took our corny pictures and had a good time!
We headed back to the campground after a great day and were welcomed back by a not so great sight!  Everyone noticed what was wrong after Aimee yelled out "Oh no"!  Our awning had partially blown off and was on top of the trailer.  When we bought the trailer they told us this happened all the time and to try to always remember to roll it up before you leave for the day.  We forgot!  The awning hadn't ripped at all but two pieces on the poles had snapped off.  Some of our neighbors came over and told us a big gust of wind came up and blew it right over.  They offered to help us take it off which was really nice.  Bruce climbed up on the roof and unattached the pieces that weren't broken.  We rewound it and put the poles in the back of the truck to hopefully get fixed somewhere along the road.  One man in particular was very helpful and lent Bruce some tools and caulking to reattach the knocked off cable antenna.  We felt very fortunate nothing else was broken and no one was hurt!  Unfortunately every time we arrive and leave somewhere we have to put the awning in and out of the trailer until we can get the parts to reattach it!
Other than the awning incident, we had a great time at Klamath River.  Caleb and Bruce had a chance to do a little fishing but the owner said this wasn't the best time of year to fish at this particular spot.  They still had fun hanging out together and we really enjoyed our time at Redwood National Park!  
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Karen MacKinnon on

I will have to share our awning experience with you sometime!

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