Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 15-Redwood Forest

Last night we decided to not rush our morning routine since we loved this campsite so much; around 8:00 I decided to crawl out of my cozy tent and get the fire started for breakfast. (Chris if your reading; I miss getting up to the smell of bacon and a glass of juice waiting for me!) I gathered the wood from under the picnic table left over from last night, and was happy that even though I prepared for rain; I was happy it held out. Anna got up as well and helped me gather the kindling in order to get the fire going. We put the bacon and sausage on, and when the bacon was done I attempted to fry up three eggs; successfully might I add! It was delicious! Much better than oatmeal that is for sure, but I had my Greek yogurt for good measures. After breakfast Anna climbed back in her tent to read and I sat beside the fire reading. Our neighbor came back over and said he was getting ready to head out if we wanted any more wood; I notified him that we had already made breakfast, but if he was just going to leave it I'd take a few pieces. As I started to walk over, I noticed him carrying it already through the woods which joined our two sites. I thanked him as he put it down beside our fire. We stood for a moment talking how he had lived in Alaska for awhile since both he and his Father are in the Air Force and how he just moved to the area. He left to go back to his campsite and I added a few logs to the dying down fire. I sat enjoying the warmth as I continued to read. I noticed a little chipmunk checking out what I was doing and he would run from the picnic table to the log to get a better look. I think it was a little before noontime before we decided to pack up and leave the little oasis. Just before we left, our neighbor made one last debut; he brought over some small sticks of wood that I believe he described were trees derived from dead trees full of sap. He told me to smell the pieces of lumber and as soon as a grabbed ahold of one I knew they were different. For being so small, they were sense and heavy. They smelled so sweet and of fresh sap without being sticky. He said they are great if you cut them into smaller pieces to start a fire with. I thanked him and he left this time for the final time. Anna joked later that he was flirting with me but I didn't see it I think he was just lonely and being nice; either way I appreciated it. We arrived from route 199 to 101 and were enclosed in a shaded, winding road of massive redwood trees. With every curve, I stared like a small child viewing Disney World for the first time. The trees were truly amazing. We drove 15 minutes within the forest on the main road before getting into town to ask about the best camping; at one of the visitors centers. We arrived and were told "the best camping" was subjective. Then the ranger went through each campgeound to let us know what they offer. Since we weren't looking for beach camping, that ruled out a couple; we settled on Jedediah Campground and headed back up the 101 on the curvy winding road. Would the sight of these ever get old? Driving around the campground, I knew I wanted a site with at least one giant Redwood. We settled in at campsite 6 since it was close to the bathrooms and secluded, and there was a pretty big Redwood. I set up my tent in a little grove next to the giant tree to protect me a little from the rain that was projected to arrive in the next couple of days. After setting up, we explored the trail that was behind our site for a couple minutes before walking over to Stout Grove. Our campgeound was a network of trails, one lead to a river crossing at a temporary bridge which brought us to Stout Grove. My first view was a patch of bamboo and it was beautiful, who would have thought. I felt as though I couldn't take enough photos, and yet; the ones that I did take didn't do the trees justice. Unlike the Hoh Rainforest, this trail was not congested with herds of people which was nice for a change. It felt like such a sacred place I was in, and yet it was just a forest unlike any other I had spent 6 months in; well with the exception of the massive trees towering over my 5'2" body. This was one of the more fun times I've had in the forest though, climbing on and in trees, oh and of course doing a handstand inside of one. Which, may or may not be better than my runway walk through a laid down tree cut in half; you decide. I can honestly say I feel at home and comfortable in the woods, I have never been in these forests and yet it was a familiar sigh of relief. After completing the loop, we explored some of the other trails within the campground which brought us by the river, to a rocky beach, and through guided signs telling you about the trees and enviornment. Anna and I split ways and I chilled at the rock beach for awhile before following some of the trails which eventually brought me right back to our campsite, how convenient. When I got back it was dark and Anna was sitting on the picnic table, we made Ramen and kielbasa and practically headed to bed right after. The service is spotty at our campsite, sometimes I can send out and receive texts but not enough to catch up on the blog. I did see however that it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow, how depressing!

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