Thursday, June 28, 2012

Redwood National Park & Klamath River

Wednesday we left the Avenue of the Giants and headed over to highway 101, and then up to the town of Klamath.  We stayed at an average RV Park with a great view.  It was the Golden Bear RV Resort, which like many RV parks, call themselves a "Resort" when all they really are is a RV park.  It is a Passport of America site, which gives you $15 off the normal $30 price, but we paid $25 since we paid cash, another option advertised in their office.  However, there was no Internet, no Cable TV even though they have cable running through the park, and no cell phone reception for me (AT&T) and weak signal for Marcia (Verizon).  The park was 1/4 filled, we got this great river view.

Here is view of our motor home....parked right next to their flag, and honored to do so.
We did get right out and go visiting the Redwood National Park/Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  This is a joint effort by the broke state of California and the going broke country of the USA.  There was no admission fee, lots of people there, and wonderful staff, and wonderful CHP officer who helped us with our directions as we were parked looking at a map.

First thing we did was to check out the Elk.  On the way to Klamath with the motor home, we saw some Elk in an area called Elk Meadows.  We wanted to see them again to get a picture, and with our luck, yes, they were still there.

What a pretty sight!  We both wondered if these were "pet" Elk since they were right on the property of a place called Elk Meadows Cabins.  But nope, they are wild Elk which seem to like this area.  We then entered into the State/National Park, and saw some more near the visitor's center.

These were a bit further away from us...but still big, wonderful creatures.

We then drove through the large grove of Coastal Redwoods in the park.  These are a little different looking than the ones we saw along the Avenue of Giants, particularly in the underbrush, and the wonderful smell of the forest.

 The pictures above and below show the many ferns that are along the ground.  They were everywhere, and they were very thick, and nearly hide all the rest of the undergrowth that was there.
It was a pretty drive, and after we got directions from the CHP officer, we turned around and went back through it the other way.
So WHY was the CHP assistance needed?  Well, it was not, but he thought there was a better place for me to stop and read the map than where I did.  And he was very nice about it, and did help with the map and made me realize that I had not gone far enough to the south to catch the road in the park that I was looking for.  Since our route back took us back to the visitor's center, we stopped and I got a park map.  Now this is the first National Park that I know of that had no entrance gate.  The officer told me that just recently the State (aka: Poor State) had made a deal with the National Parks (aka: Headed towards being a Poor Nation) and "things were still being worked out".  Well, if both the state and feds are needing money, why don't they have entrance gates and charge the normal National Park price? 

 I wanted to find the eastern portion of the park where I had heard there were even larger herds of Elk.  We did find this real neat overlook of the area, but alas, no more Elk.
 But the views were outstanding, even though a haze was starting to roll in from the ocean.

The view above and below are the same picture, with the lower one being just a portion of the upper one showing where the Horizon was, and where the Ocean was.   You can see the fog just starting to head ashore.  The Coastal Redwoods thrive on the fog, it is a major source of the water they take in.  Ferns rely on it too, which why the two grow well along the coast of Northern California.
We also came across this purple flowered plant.  There were many of them along our route in this eastern portion of the park.

 On our way home, you can see the fog starting to creep in over the hills.
I needed gas, and Marcia saw a "chicken sign", and suggested I get some chicken so that we did not have to cook.  "Chicken?", I said.  And then there was the familiar, yet a bit different looking chicken sign that I was well too familiar with in Pine Bluff....
Well, almost the same.  It is Chester's Fried Chicken in Arkansas, and it is Chester's Chicken To Go here in Klamath, California.  But it was just as good...especially since Marcia whipped up a quick variation of her Greek Potatoes...more like a Greek Mashed Potato mixture which was also so very good.

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