Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunset, Big Trees, New Harbor


Hey kids, time to get inside…. Daddy has a sunset to catch.


That was last night in Klamath, after I posted yesterday’s blog….today we moved 35 miles north, just 5 miles south of Oregon, in a community called Smith River.  The Smith River enters the Pacific Ocean here, the river being named after Jedediah Smith, a frontier fur trader who is recognized as the first United States Citizen to cross from Mississippi through the Colorado/Utah frontier, through the Mojave Desert into California.  Jedediah and Robert Stuart discovered the Southern Pass, used by the Oregon Trail migration.

2a         2b

Above top is our view of the Smith River and Pacific ocean…a much better view is found in front of that building.  Above left is where the river enters the Pacific.  Above right is more downstream where the blue sky makes the river look much bluer.  This was at low tide, during high tide I think the sand bar will disappear.

We are staying at the Salmon Harbor RV Resort, another Passport America park for $19 cash, but has Internet and Cable TV.   Other than being right at the River/Ocean and having that view, there certainly are no thrills about this park which is pretty much a full-time live at RV park.

And I had to try and capture a bird in flight…and got these gulls coming right at me.

We stopped here just north of Crescent City so that we could visit the Jedidiah Smith Redwood Park.  We missed visiting this park last year, although we did drive along the highway through it on our way to get our fuel leak fixed last year in Grants Pass.  So one more night in California was in order just for seeing these giant Coastal Redwoods.

3a     3b

At the information center, they have a Coastal Redwood and a Giant Sequoia growing fairly close to each other, both the same age.  The top left is the Coastal Redwood, and the top right is the Sequoia.  The lower picture above shows them both, but due to the angle, it is hard in the picture to see that the Coastal Redwood is around 8 feet taller than the Sequoia, and the trunk of the Sequoia is a bit bigger in circumference than the Coastal Redwood.  I have not seen these trees growing so close together.


We decided the best way to see the park in the time we had was to drive the scenic Howland Hill route, mostly an unpaved, but fairly good condition, one lane road which travels about six miles through the park in a fairly remote area.  Although traffic goes both ways, there were few cars.  We passed over both the north and the south fork of the Smith River, just about where the two meet.

In the picture above, the ripple out in the middle of the river half way up were two swimmers… don’t know if they had clothing on or not… honestly did not look.


Marcia caught a picture of this quaint bridge (above) and the Smith River (below) before we got to the dirt road.


As you can see below, the dirt road is well packed, there was one spot, about 100 feet in length, where there were pot holes to deal with…otherwise it was a good road, just a bit narrow at times, but everyone we encountered drove at a slow pace, and most pulled over and waited for others to pass….which means that at times we pulled over, they pulled over, and we flipped coins to see who went first.


Along the route there is a turn off, paved road no less, to Stout Memorial Grove.   Below is a portion of a information sign about the grove.


The trail is a loop trail, but has a few other trails that spur off of it.  It is a good half mile once you walk about an eighth of mile down (up on way back) to get to the loop.


As we said last year when we visited all the other Redwood Forests we could find….taking pictures of Redwood trees is a big challenge.  They are so tall, they allow light in in some places, no light in other places, and there is so much to see.


Above shows you the problem….it takes two shots to get the full picture of just one group of trees.


And you can take shots like this all day long, but even these don’t tell the full story of how big and tall these things are.


And you can put a person, such as Marcia and her GoGo, up next to one….but this does not tell you that out in the forest away from where the GoGo can go, there are even larger ones than this.

5g     5h

And you can’t forget the forest floor, full of ferns and clover, and all sorts of plush green material laying on top of redwood chips and twigs and pieces.

5i    5j 
And then you come across features like these …. trees which have fallen into trees, trees which fell decades ago with plant life growing out of the tree as if it was earth...

Or this tree that looks like a hand is growing out of it...

Or trees with trunks so mangled and twisted one has to wonder what this tree went through compared to the others around it…and just how old could it possibly be?

We wrapped up our drive which ended in Crescent City, and headed to Safeway from some more goods and dinner food, and back to the park to enjoy the birds and view of the water.  Tomorrow we will be in Oregon…not sure where yet, but that is the beauty of this life of leisure.


  1. Oh my, the redwoods are absolutely awesome! You managed to get some great shots too! It is hard to look up and down at the same time...there is so much to see!

    Safe travels to Oregon! We have never been there...can't wait to see pictures!

    1. We see Giant Redwoods, you see Giant Arches in Utah...makes us feel so small, doesn't it? If "we" could be transported (beam me up Scotty method) to anywhere, I think it would be up to Delicate Arch so that Marcia could see and feel it too...unfortunately, the GoGo Scooter would never make it....and I would be huffing and puffing all the way myself now days.

  2. I'm so thankful to all of the people who saved their stands of redwoods then donated the land for the public to enjoy. Funny thing that this woman's husband was one of the guys cutting all of the rest of them down!

    1. Just so you know Karen, if you ever make it to Stout Memorial Grove, the path down is a little steeper than most ADA pathways....Marcia's Scooter gave out on the way back up which happens if it is "over taxed", a 30 second rest and hitting the reset button got it up and going again, and we made it up without problem from there because another hiker and myself gave it a bit of a push as she gave it the juice. It probably would have made it with just my help. Anyway, Tony will have to be up to a good push up hill, but other than that the pathway is very ADA friendly.

  3. I just love the Giant Redwoods. They are so mysterious and magnificent and you did a great job capturing that. Super photos:)

    Enjoy Oregon!!


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