To the Redwoods: Part 2!
If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, check it out before reading Part 2. We awoke to a new day, ready for some relaxing adventures along the Northern California Coast and the Redwoods. The previous night in Arcata had ended interesting to say the least. It’s not every day a crazy women threatens to eat your baby while you dine at Round Table Pizza.
With the new day, new possibilities waited for us! After getting ready and checking out of the hotel, we loaded up our trusty Corolla and headed to the McDonald’s nearby to grab some breakfast. After the debacle the previous night at Round Table, I decided we’d go throw the drive thru, eat and hit the road. After a quick breakfast, we headed North on Hwy 101 towards new sites.
Patrick’s Point State Park
Our first stop was at Patrick’s Point State Park. Situated 30 miles north of Eureka near the town of Trinidad California, this 1 square mile park features some excellent views of the rocky northern California coast. As with most of the North California Coast, it has morning and evening fog most of the year, and during the summer the fog sometimes doesn’t burn off for days at a time. Seeing as we were arriving in November, the fog had burned off and the gorgeous coastal views awaited us without being shrouded in an eerie mist. There are some beautiful views of the rocky shoreline and headlands and it’s easy to certainly worth a stop if you are visiting the North Coast.
We spent a good amount of time exploring most of the park and taking in the views. Patrick’s Point State Park is full of stunning views, perfect to take the edge off after the previous night. The one place in the park we wanted to spend more time viewing than we did was Agate Beach. However, a bus with a prison work crew pulled up into parking lot for clean-up so onto views further south in the park we went!
Our first stop was Wedding Rock. The trail here splits into two as you head down. To the left takes you to a viewpoint on top of Wedding Rock, the trail to the right descends to the rocky beach (there is no sand). After viewing Wedding Rock and the rocky beach, we made our way towards Patrick Point Overlook and the rocky shoreline nearby.
We were hungry by the time we made it back to the Corolla, so we decided to head towards Palmer’s Point to enjoy the scenery while we ate lunch. Palmer’s Point has some nice tide pools down below, and it features some great views from the headlands above.
Redwood National and State Parks
After a nice lunch, we headed north into Redwood National and State Parks. The large trees and old growth forests are always a site to see. As we went further north, the sun of Patrick’s Point gave way to clouds and overcast skies. We made our way up into the mountains of the park to get a view overlooking the creeks and forests below. Sun broke through the clouds creating brilliant streaks of light shining down from the clouds above. With that, it was time to pull out the tripod and camera for some shots.
After spending some time taking in and photographing the stunning views,we headed to check out some of the giant Redwood trees up close. The size of the Redwood trees is truly mind-boggling. These massive trees will make you seem as small as an ant when you stand next to them. It’s truly a humbling experience
Trees of Mystery
After viewing more of the giant Redwoods of Redwood National and State Parks, we headed back down towards a spot we both remembered from our childhood: the Trees of Mystery. In the parking lot here sits a giant Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. As with the Chandelier Tree the day before, we had to take some family pictures in front of Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan.
After finishing family photos at the Trees of Mystery, our plan was to make my way down towards the Pacific Ocean and watch the sunset over the Ocean. However, as I turned around I awestruck by what I saw. The colors of the sun shining through the clouds as sunset approached was stunning. The sun illuminated the underside of the clouds a stunning gold. It was certainly a site to see.
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean
After taking in the view and snapping some shots of the stunning sky, we hopped in the Corolla and headed towards the Pacific Ocean. My plan was to shoot the sun setting over the mouth of the Klamath River and the Pacific Ocean. So, we parked and quickly made our way towards the mouth of the river and the Pacific Ocean to enjoy the views. The sky lit a gorgeous orange as the sun dipped below the horizon.
As the sun continued to dip further below the horizon, and twilight set in, the orange gave way to a beautiful yellow. The indirect light from the sun below the horizon reflected off the clouds, leaving sun streaks shining down from the breaks in the clouds reflecting on the water. It was certainly a stunning site.
We sat there and enjoyed the view until dusk. Once dust arrived, we packed up quickly and headed North to Crescent City California to grab some dinner. We moved quickly in order to beat the fog. Our timing couldn’t have been better. We arrived in Crescent City just as the fog began to set in. It had been a day full of fun, adventure, and beautiful sights capped off by a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean. For now, it was time to relax and eat some dinner before heading up Hwy 199 back towards Interstate 5 and home. This epic journey across 5 states may have been drawing to a close, but as a professional landscape photographer I knew our adventures as a family were just beginning.
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