Saturday, after taking in the beauty of Crater Lake, we hopped back in the car and drove to Northern California, stopping only for some fast food in Grant's Pass. We were headed to Crescent City, CA to begin at the visitor's center. To get there, we drove along the edge of the Redwoods at 55mph. They were impressive enough that you wanted to hang your head out the window to get a photo (We didn't, mom!).
When we got the the visitor's center, Super Chatty Park Ranger Guy told us everything we needed to know and more about everything we could do in a 30 mile radius, most of which we ignored. However, he had a couple good pieces of advice. The first was that there were seals and sea lions in the Crescent City Harbor (which was recently the most damaged area in the US from March's tsunami in Japan).
We drove over and, of course, since Desiree and Curtis only got to see a couple of seals in Newport, and even those were way out on a rock, they wanted to get "close". But I think the park ranger scared them when he said seals and sea lions can bite. Melissa and I had a good time laughing as they inched forward and then backed away.
We drove the dirt road, taking in a few sites and stopping for a photo op in front of this giant downed tree.
My sister and I proceeded to play chicken as we decided which trail to hike. Mind you, we had spent the morning at Crater Lake and then driven to California so by this time it is already after 3:00. I was in favor of the short trail and some quick photos - but I wasn't going to say anything. Let the game of chicken begin. She didn't want to say "I just had surgery 3 weeks ago" and I didn't want to say "I haven't tried to hike this far since I had hardware put in my spine". Since no one flinched, we set off on a 5.6 mile hike. Oh, and I forgot the best part - the ranger indicated that there was a tree down on the trail. For a normal forest, that isn't a problem because you can hop over a downed tree. You cannot "hop" over a downed Redwood. More on that later.
We started the hike.
It was a little muddy.
Then we got to a place where the trail looked like this:
"You can't go under it and you can't go through it. You have to go over it." It was a team effort.
We made it to the waterfall.It wasn't much since we had just been hiking Silver Falls three days earlier, but it did mark the half way point. We had made it 2.8 miles. But, we had that far to go (and we still hadn't found the Boy Scout Tree).
Melissa went and checked a side trail we thought to be THE tree. It was!.... so we hiked straight up hill and finally saw it: The Boy Scout Tree
The hike out (from this point it was over 2 miles) went faster. There were only a couple stops for photos - actually they were stops to rest, but Melissa started snapping. We looked like this.
We cleaned up. I took a ton of Advil. We stopped in some small town and had the best tasting Subway sub ever (maybe because I was famished) and drove back to Corvallis. We got home around midnight.
Best day ever.