337 Miles Back Home

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

There we were in Crescent City, California and, besides the ocean, what’s there – you got it – Redwood Trees! Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State ParkWe planned the whole trip down here with the intention of spending the bulk of our time in the forest. Since the DMV visit took only a little while, we had more time to spend in the trees!

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

We went to the forest service office and asked for the best driving tour. The gentleman told us about the back door into the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, the Redwood forest starting right in town. 

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

It was a ten-mile stretch which sort of made a loop through the woods over to the main entrance on Hwy 199. He said the road was fine, but they didn’t recommend it for trailers or campers. 

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

If you look carefully you can see that it wasn’t much of a road – it was a dirt trail that was wide enough for a car – and it was bumpy. No wonder they said no motorhomes! I took a few videos while we were driving, but the car was jiggling so much I had to delete them. I got motion sickness just looking at them. Redwood Hollow at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

The road may not have been so great, but the location – spectacular! We had to get out and touch them. I know they are not the biggest redwoods, but they are impressive!

woman in a large Redwood hollow tree at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

I’m not sure the photos accurately convey the enormity of these trees. Hopefully, you’ve all seen them in person at some point and have a sense of the real majesty. A bit of fun!

Redwood Tree at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

You feel so tiny and insignificant standing next to one of these trees. It is awe inspiring here!

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Since it was mid-April, the weather was perfect. It was certainly the first time in many months that I didn’t have to wear two layers and a jacket! 

What you see in the photo below is me standing next to a fallen chunk of a redwood tree that is completely covered in moss! A picture of me taking a picture. 

massive fallen Redwood at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

This picture that is. Just look at that thing!

Moss covered fallen Redwood Tree at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

We were mesmerized looking at these trees. Our puny cameras, I mean our iPhones, were no match for these giants. The photo below is mostly here to share the sense of scale.

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Humans are specks compared to them. 

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

 

The trees are breathtaking, aren’t they! It’s a magnificent place – come and visit!

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

We both loved this place; it was so peaceful, quiet, and green!

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

At one point we found a walking trail, parked the car and set out for Stout Grove Trailhead. Along the way, we found this uprooted tree. Do you see the size of it? We could live in there!

Fallen Redwood at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Driving through this area was one thing, walking on the path was even better since we could touch the trees and go as slow as we wanted.

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

The photo below is the view at the end of the trail, or rather the start of the trail by the parking lot. Even that was stunning.

Redwood Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

At a certain point, we both reached overload. There’s only so much you can take in and fully appreciate. It almost felt disrespectful in a way. It would be so much better to spend a day or two and take little walks and sit amongst the trees. Maybe next time!

At the tail end of the journey and on our way out of the park, we crossed a bridge and found the Smith River flowing quietly along.

Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

It took a while to get back to the 101 and then we started traveling straight north.

Highway between trees

We drove through a little town Gold Beach. Honestly, there are only two decent-sized cities along the Oregon Coast – Newport and Coos Bay. All the others are tiny.

gold-beach-sign

There was a lovely beach there. We did stop for a few minutes and got some food at a crappy restaurant. Lots of those along the coast too.

large rocks on a beach in Oregon

Since the town is called Gold Beach, I guess the beach is also. We wanted to spend more time, but it was more like – look out the window, stop a moment, take it in, take a photo and keep driving!

grass, a beach, and a big hill

Now for a little change of pace. Did you know there are 40 miles of sand dunes along the Oregon Coast? We hadn’t visited them at all on our previous journeys along the coast. This time we picked a random campground, parked the car, and started walking.

We had no idea what we’d find over this hill. Let me tell you my legs were sore by the time we got to the top. Guess what we saw!

man walking up tall hill of sand

More sand! Oh, my goodness, we kept trudging along wondering why we were the only humans for miles. The photo below is not the same dune; it’s the second one!

oregon-sand dunes-

At one point, we thought we saw what might be a lake. We walked in that direction, and sure enough, it was. There were a few ducks and us; that’s it. We didn’t even see any fish.

trees reflecting in small lake in sand dunes

Yes, more reflection photos – what else were we going to do – swim?

trees reflecting in small lake in sand dunes

We walked around as much of the lake as we could and saw that it wound around quite a bit. 

Just one more – I can’t help it – it was so beautiful.

trees reflecting in small lake in sand dunes

After an hour of walking in the sand, we turned back toward the car. We never saw the ocean – not sure how far away it was. Might have been just over the hill. These sweet peas were growing all over the place, in the sand!

sweet pea plant growing in sand at the beach

By the time we arrived back in Bandon, it was getting late, and we decided to splurge and get a hotel room for the night. In four months we had never left the cats overnight, but we decided they would be okay until we arrived the next morning.

Bandon Inn Sign

Since we had enjoyed our time at Bandon Beach that morning, we decided to go back and watch the sunset.

Bandon Beach late afternoon

It was lovely indeed, and we were not the only humans witnessing the glory, others brought chairs and had staked out the best spots. 

Sunset in Bandon Beach

Okay, time for bed! The next morning we got going very early and stopped at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. There are quite a few lighthouses on the coast. These are always in great places – we wanted to see more. 

umpqua-lighthouse-park-sign

Before you arrive at the lighthouse, you pass this lovely lake. The picture is a bit dark, but you get the idea.

small lake surrounded by trees

Okay, here it is. It wasn’t that impressive, at least to us. It was the first lighthouse in the Oregon territory, built in 1857. The sign said – “It shines a guiding light to all mariners.”

Umpqua Lighthouse

Here’s a final photo of the beach along the Oregon coast. We saw so many beaches on this trip; we’re not sure which one this is. That, friends, was our trip back from the DMV, all 337 miles.

view of a bright blue ocean bay

What’s Next – Our last post from Lincoln City!

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