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evona
05-07-2008, 02:13 PM
I went backpacking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Northern California the middle of April and I finally have pics to post :cheering:

My BF and I spent a week backpacking through the area. Its not huge so we kind of went around the same trails a lot, but all in all we did put in about 40 miles over the week. It was off season really so there was still a lot of deadfall from the winter storms obstructing the trails. We had to go up and over many trees. I've posted a picture of one of the obstructions to our path here. There were many bigger than the one pictured and there were a few times, in my most exhausted state where I just didn't think I could go over another one of these things. But then I thought about how uncomfortable it would be to sleep at that very spot. Some of them were fun to climb though, although I did slip once and landed on my butt. That left a mark! :p

We had typical Northern California Coast Spring weather, which meant it rained one moment and was sunny the next. It was never very warm, but it was beautiful. I actually love being in the forest in the rain. The rain trickles down the branches of the big trees so it doesn't really pour on you. As a matter of fact often you don't really get rained on until the clouds have passed and the sun is shining above the canopy.

The day before our hike out was threatening rain constantly, but nothing really came down. I was really hoping to not have to use the tent the last night because it would make it a lot easier to just get up and go the next day. By the time we got to our last campsite we were beat and the sky looked relatively clear. We both made the decision that it probably wouldn't rain over night and decided against putting up the tent. Wrong decision!!!!!! I woke up in the middle of the night to rain on my face. We have down sleeping bags with some degree of water proofing, but my first concern was not to get the down wet. Once that happened we were done sleeping for the night. I woke up my boyfriend and we made the second worst decision in our backpacking lives together. Well, maybe we made a few worse decisions on our very first backpacking trip, but not much dumber than this :rofl: :rofl:

Rather than wake up and get out of our warm bags we decided to pull the tent over us in its flattened state. :rofl: :rofl: My BF, being the cover hog he always is, kept taking the tent off of me all night. so I was pretty wet by morning. The down kept me warm enough all night, but a wet down bag is not a good thing to deal with and it definitely shouldn't be stuffed into a pack in that state.

We had our bags on the tarp prior to the rain. In retrospect it probably would have been a better idea to get up, brave the rain and at least set up the tarp. It probably would have cost us about an hour or so of sleep to either rig the tarp or put up the tent, but we wound up wasting much more time than that drying everything out the next morning. Once we got back to the car we had to lay out the down for another couple of hours just to make sure it dried properly. Of course, then we had to make a mad dash back to L.A. so I could be at work the next morning. We wound up getting into town at about 8 a.m. - just enough time to take a shower and be about an hour late for work.

Now about the pics:

The blue jay hopped onto the side view mirror of our car while we were getting ready for our first day's hike. He was trying really hard to be extra special cute to convince me to give him food, but I didn't. I bet he was thinking "This has always worked before" Crafty corvid!!!!

There's also a picture of me standing next to a redwood tree for size comparison. You really can't capture their grandeur properly in photo. You just gotta be there. I like the picture because you can't really see me either :rofl:

Thirdly, there is a picture of a redwood with a beautiful flower at the base. These flowers were all over the place in the forest and I don't know what they're called. They look like some type of lily to me. I checked a California Wildflower book and couldn't find them. If anyone knows what the flower is called let me know.

And finally, there is the picture of the deadfall I mentioned before.

bailsmom
05-07-2008, 02:22 PM
Oh wow! I'm so jealous! My DH is an arborist and that is our next vacation - to the Northwest to see those beautiful trees!!

auburnchick
05-07-2008, 02:32 PM
Beautiful pictures. I don't do the outdoorsy-camping thing, but I can certainly appreciate the beauty of nature.

Thanks for sharing!

Karina
05-07-2008, 03:30 PM
Beautiful photos, am so jealous. thanks for sharing.
What happend about the rabbit woman?

evona
05-07-2008, 03:39 PM
Beautiful photos, am so jealous. thanks for sharing.
What happend about the rabbit woman?

Oh - that's right, the Bunny Lady! We got into Arcata, CA on Saturday morning in time to visit the Farmers Market on the 1st day of the season. I had called a couple of days previously to inquire as to whether she would be there and what she would have available. She indicated that she had some bamboo blends, alpaca, angora and angora blends for sale that weekend. I couldn't afford any of the angora, but I did get some alpaca that I am going to make into a hat. I also bought some handmade bamboo needles that convert from straight to circular from her husband. Her husband grows bamboo and makes some great stuff with it. My BF got a bamboo flute. I will post some pics of the yarn and needles soon. I'll try to take them over the weekend :)

Puddinpop
05-07-2008, 04:06 PM
Do you have any idea how old these trees are? The picture of the flower shows how huge the tree is very well.

Jan in CA
05-07-2008, 04:18 PM
I love Prairie Creek! Did you see the Roosevelt Elk? We had a little camper when were there and the elk came up really close. Kind of freaky actually. :teehee: I've camped up and down the CA coast, it's gorgeous!

figaro
05-07-2008, 04:31 PM
HOME!! I grew up in Arcata and I miss the Farmers Market there. It is so nice to here that someone spent their vacation in that area, there is not much to do in the towns, they are not touristy really but then there are the trees, the parks, the beaches (Moonstone is one of my favs), and yes the weather. The weather there is why I still want to grab a sweatshirt every time I leave the house even if it is 80 outside! And the flower you are wondering about is a Trillium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium). Oh, and the redwoods can be hundreds of years old to thousands of years old.

The redwoods are HUGE, I keep looking at the trees here in NJ thinking that they are sticks that someone just stuck into the ground:teehee:.

evona
05-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Do you have any idea how old these trees are? The picture of the flower shows how huge the tree is very well.


Yes! They are amazingly old and just awesomely tall. Words just can't describe. They can grow to over 300 ft. The tallest so far is 379ft high. For those who use metric measurements that's 115.5 m!!! For reference, the Empire State Building is 381 ft.

The oldest recorded redwood tree is 2,200 years old! It was It was already nearly 200 years old by the time Christ was born! That's really amazing! Many of the old growth trees have burn scars toward the middle. Its interesting to note that the fire that made those scars predates the USA!!!!!

They can regenerate by seed or, more often, by sprouting right from the burl of an older tree. I've seen 3 or 4 of them growing together from the same burl and one day they will actually join together as one giant tree. The fallen trees create an ecosystem of their own and many of them look like they have entire forests growing on them. That's why I hate what at least used to be the common logging argument that they should be allowed to go into protected forest to remove the deadfall. That deadfall is home to many many many organisms, plants and animals and is absolutely necessary to the health of the forest. Could you imagine the damage of dragging a dead tree from the forest out to the road too? Its been a long time since I've lived in Northern California so I'm not sure if this argument is still made though.

Being in the forest, with the tall trees, ferns, mushrooms and other flora is so amazing! Its a mixture of the primordial and the fairytale. I really didn't see much in the way of animals while there; however, I did wake up to a herd of Roosevelt Elk about 250 feet away from our campsite on our second night. I haven't gotten those pictures yet. :)

evona
05-07-2008, 04:43 PM
I love Prairie Creek! Did you see the Roosevelt Elk? We had a little camper when were there and the elk came up really close. Kind of freaky actually. :teehee: I've camped up and down the CA coast, it's gorgeous!

I woke up to a herd of them about 250 feet way from our campsite on our second morning :) I'll add pics of that soon.

evona
05-07-2008, 04:49 PM
The redwoods are HUGE, I keep looking at the trees here in NJ thinking that they are sticks that someone just stuck into the ground:teehee:.

lol - there was a shirt I wanted to buy for my DS there that said "Redwoods! Anything else is just a weed." Too bad I saw that on our way home when I already spent up my souvenir allowance. :p

I want to move up that way, but the economy is so bad up there that I am a little scared. I am returning to school to pursue Geology and Humboldt State has a great Geology Department, but I'm not 20 something anymore so I can't really live off the help of my friends so much if you know what I mean. Plus, although I have one kid out of the house and one kid who will graduate next year, they still need me financially. There's a lot to think about before deciding on that type of a move.

evona
05-07-2008, 04:50 PM
Oh - and thanks for letting me know the name of that flower figaro! :) :)

knitgal
05-07-2008, 04:50 PM
That's incredible! My DBF would be so jealous of your trip. Have you watched any of the series Planet Earth? It was made by the BBC very recently. If not, you should. This is where I learned a lot about this type of forest and trees etc.

figaro
05-07-2008, 06:21 PM
You wouldn't happen to remember where that shirt was would you? I have a shirt from The Fisherman's Memorial in Eureka but it is wearing thin and I want another shirt from home and that would be perfect! Friends and family gotta be good for something back there:teehee:.

I know what you mean about the economy up there, both of my brothers are in the lumber industry (or whats left of it) and I keep telling them that they need to find something else soon. It was hard for me to leave there but looking back, it was the best thing for me and hubby moneywise.

evona
05-07-2008, 06:57 PM
You wouldn't happen to remember where that shirt was would you? I have a shirt from The Fisherman's Memorial in Eureka but it is wearing thin and I want another shirt from home and that would be perfect! Friends and family gotta be good for something back there:teehee:.



Yes . . . it was at the Prairie Creek Redwoods Visitor Center Store. I couldn't believe I missed it when I came back through on my last day. I could have kicked myself for having already bought all my souvenirs by that time.

When did you leave Arcata? Do you remember Sacred Grounds Coffee? I order their coffee and have it shipped to me all the time Well, by all the time I mean when I need more coffee :rofl:

evona
05-07-2008, 06:58 PM
That's incredible! My DBF would be so jealous of your trip. Have you watched any of the series Planet Earth? It was made by the BBC very recently. If not, you should. This is where I learned a lot about this type of forest and trees etc.

My son and I are complete nerds and shows like that are practically all we ever watch on t.v. :rofl: :rofl:

figaro
05-07-2008, 08:47 PM
Let me think.....I think we left in 1998, boy that was a long time ago. I can remember the tears when we crossed the line from Humboldt County to Mendocino County. I do remember Sacred Grounds but at the time I was not a coffee drinker. My mom is still there and refuses to go to Starbucks but goes to Sacred Grounds whenever she is in town.

Karina
05-08-2008, 05:35 AM
I love the planet earth series, it was shown recently on BBC HD channel. watching it in HD is amazing.

cant wait see your yarn and bamboo needles.

Silver
05-08-2008, 03:10 PM
Beautiful pix!! Thanks for sharing!

Jaxhil
05-08-2008, 06:06 PM
oooh, I'm so jealous!! I've been to the Redwoods but that was a looong time ago! They have to be one of the most beautiful (and incredible) sights on earth.

And I think the bird you have photographed is called a Stellars Jay-also beautiful!! I need to look that up :cool:

yep, here it is:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Stellers_Jay.html

Thanks for sharing!