Have you ever hugged a giant?

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2013

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, September 28, 2012

Imagine looking straight up 300ft and viewing the top (if you are lucky) of the largest living thing in the world.  With diameters up to 20ft, redwoods are the tallest and widest things around.  Technically there are three types of these giants: coastal redwoods, giant sequoias and dawn redwoods (found in China).  We hung out with the coastal redwoods while in Northern California (Crescent City).  Went on a hike through Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (you will recognize the forest as the planet Endor in Star Wars:Return of the Jedi).  The silence and majesty of these trees is remarkable.  On average the trees are 500-700 years old but can reach 2000 years old.  Spent an afternoon on the beach having huge waves crash down and chase us up the shore. Drove through winding roads with a canopy of redwoods above - made us feel very insignificant.  If you are a tree hugger or love the outdoors, these old growth forests are humbling and great.

Next stop down the coast we stayed in Fortuna and checked out the coast down to Shelter Cove.  Decided to take a drive down to some of the last unspoiled coastline in California.  After a 45 minute stomach-turning, nausea-inducing drive we ended up in Shelter Cove!  Seals, sea lions, pelicans and cormorants, along with fields of bull sea kelp call this rugged coast home.  Next day we went driving through the famous Avenue of Giants and said hello to (and yes, hugged) the biggest redwood tree still standing, in Rockerfeller Forest located in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  Learned about some local history at the Fort Humboldt State Historic Park, from the beginnings of the "Log Rush" and logging in the area to the sad (but not uncommon) practice of erradicating Natives or forcing them onto reservations.

Finally got tired of the fog and cooler temperatures of the north coast, so we decided to go inland to a great RV resort in Red Bluff.  Spent a fantastic week swimming, playing, getting tanned and meeting fellow travelers.  Had a bike across the Sun Dial Bridge in Redding, CA.  Realized that a lot of people live in California......hate the busy highways/freeways!  BUT California is beautiful so we are going to stay awhile and head south!
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