Saturday, May 27, 2017

Seattle -> StL - Day 3 (3/2/2017) - Redwoods

Considering that this entry is about 2.5 months late, this won't be my best travelogue.  I did a decent job of writing during the first 3 days of the trip, but then I completely neglected the travelogue (except for some notes) until now.  So this nonsense is all you get...

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Today was reserved for exploring the Redwood National and State Parks.  After breakfast at the hotel, I headed up to the park headquarters in Crescent City - which I found to be closed for the season.  Heading back south, I stopped for a quick picture at Trees of Mystery before continuing on to the Klamath River Overlook.

While refueling back in Klamath (I had become a bit more paranoid after the day before), an elderly local warned me against hiking the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, and instead recommended the trails in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park - I'm glad for the recommendation.  Continuing south, I found the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway to be closed, as the gentleman had alluded (I later found out this was due to downed trees), but was able to access the Prairie Creek Visitor Center from the south end of the parkway just as he had said.

A ranger recommended a 2.5 mile loop starting on the Prairie Creek Trail and continuing back south on the Foothill Trail after the Big Tree, so I went off to do that.  Unfortunately, I took the wrong turn *north* on the Foothill trail after passing the Big Tree display area.  I had the feeling that I was continuing to head in the wrong direction, but instead trusted that I would end up in the right spot - despite having a map with me, I didn't even realize at the time that the Foothill Trail continued north past the Big Tree.  I was also perplexed that the trail had become a bit steeper than I expected (I thought I was still in the ADA accessible section), and that I came across three points blocked by downed trees or limbs.  I realized my error after hitting the Parkway again, crossing back over it, and seeing a sign for the Prairie Creek Trail which indicated that the visitor center was 2.4 miles away.  So I headed back south on the Prairie Creek Trail, cut across to the Big Tree again, and then headed in the correct direction (south) on the Foothill Trail.  I ended up doing kind of a skinny ~5 mile figure 8 instead of a loop half that length.  Luckily, the weather was pretty nice (about 55 °F with a bit of sun through the clouds, though most of the route was shaded) and the trail was mostly flat (except for some sections of the non-ADA Foothill Trail).  I also had carried along my backpack which contained snacks and a drink, but I never really considered consuming any of that.  The only problems I had were that my hands became cold and a bit stiff (poor circulation strikes again), and that a small blister began to form on one of my big toes - neither of which were overwhelming concerns.

After returning to my car, I drove down to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove anyway, and quickly did that 1.5 mile loop.  From there I drove further south in search of an early dinner, settling on the Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery before heading back north to the hotel.

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Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/zLKCNQoHytDDxSUB6

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