Brookings is less than 30 minutes from the California border and a grove of big, beautiful old growth redwood trees. How could we pass that up? So after two nights in Brookings, we hit the road yet again and headed further down the coast into Cali. I was sad as we were driving away from the coast. I wanted to stay longer. I thought I made a mistake. But as soon as we saw our first giant tree, we were in awe and were happy we left the coast (and the cold and wind) behind.
Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
We hiked a trail in the Stout Grove. The hike is pretty flat and less than 2 miles including the two spur trails. I wasn't sure how long it would keep our attention. We ended up spending over two hours in the grove. It was majestic.
It was a busy summer day, but we were the noisiest people there so it was very peaceful.
The grove has a cathedral-like feel... quiet, towering canopies, and light filtering through the leaves almost like stained glass.
|Clarky looks so little|
Another hiker showed my kids an edible plant - Redwood Sorrel. It tasted like lemon. Matt and I each tried a leaf or two. Willa had 20 or so. Oliver refrained. Clark ate handfuls and handfuls. He's not a big salad eater, but he got a kick out of eating these leaves. It cracked me up.
We climbed off the trail to a little stream. Matt found frogs and banana slugs for the kids. This was my first encounter with a banana slug. They are pretty cool little creatures.
The Smith River runs through the park. It's a gorgeous river - clear and rocky with pine trees and towering cliffs. We took a spur trial to see it, and we drove along it for an hour later in the day. If we ever return here, we might just have to kayak down this river. Definitely somewhere to visit again.
We ate a picnic lunch after hiking and then hit the road for our 5 hour drive back to Portland. Willa and Clark have grown into good little travelers. Oliver isn't quite two years old and is NOT a reliable traveler yet. He still cries in the car at times. Thankfully he was good on this drive. He slept a little and had to be entertained a little. We stopped an hour out of Portland and ate our first fast food of the trip at a neighborhood park for dinner. We made it to Portland around 9 and checked into our pricelined hotel - the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers. It was great.