Travel Northern California: Redwood National Forest


DSC_7492edit fbThe fog and overcasted skies laid heavy on the coastal landscape as we headed north for the day to visit Redwood National Forest.

It was short lived though and burned off by the time we had arrived at our destination. Our first stop was in Prairie Creek SP, with a winding dirt road making its way from CA 101, through the forest, down to the coast line so we could make it to the Fern Canyon trail head. As the thick, dark forest opened up into the coastal area, we spotted the resident Roosevelt Elk.

How many do you count here?

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click images to enlarge for best viewing

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Famed Fern Canyon, aside from being spectacularly enchanting in its own right, was also used by the creative genius Steven Spielberg in some of the scenes for The Lost World: Jurassic Park. There are several ancient species of ferns that cling to the walls of the canyons that were etched out and left behind millions of years ago as the sea withdrew.DSC_7538EDIT fb

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To be able to look down this ancient creek bed and imagine a scene in a movie coming to life here is a trait I wish I had more of. The ying and yang relationship of imagination and creativity on the foundation of determination to do is so enviable to me. That is what makes Spielberg so successful as a dreamer and creator.

Find the courage to craft your dreams.
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We headed next to a place called Trees of Mystery. I really had my doubts going into it, thinking it was going to be pretty corny, especially after coming out of Fern Canyon. However, it was actually kind of neat in it’s own right.DSC_7635EDIT fb

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We took the gondola ride through the redwoods to the top of the canopy (a 571ft vertical rise). I am no lover of heights, so I won’t lie, it was a little nerve-racking for me. Being able to hide behind the camera gives me a sense of separation or distance from whatever is going on in front of me and gives me a feeling of empowerment. So once the initial sense of nervousness began to set in, I started snapping away and those feelings retreated. DSC_7708EDIT fb

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Several very neat wood carvings were spread out throughout the area. I began to think that Redwood National Forest just stimulates creativity in all sorts of people- from film makers to artistsans. Apparently, you can’t help but be inspired.
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Between a rock and a California Poppy…DSC_7893EDIT fb

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Josh almost drove right past them, but those elk just looked so relaxed catching the evening light in the field, back-dropped by the conifers. DSC_7841EDIT fb

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Here’s to being inspired to create.




If you have been following along on the trip notes, we flew into San Francisco and made our way to the edge of Yosemite. We explored Yosemite National Park and have a ton of pictures between  here and here. Then we drove many-a-mile up the central valley and arrived in Eureka, exploring some of the local redwoods. Then we spent a day checking out Humboldt Bay area.

Coming up next on the blog, we made our way back down the coast to SF and squeezed in time to see the botanical gardens and a couple of the coastal state parks for marine mammal spotting, all in the last few hours left before we headed home. It was intense, so stay tuned.


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