A week in Northern California – Part 2 of 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageHere is the second part of my time in Arcata, northern California.

This article will cover Thursday, a very busy last day before Craig and I started our road trip to Reno for GPUG Summit 2015 on the Friday.

So, this was the day that Craig had been planning for a while, to take me to see the giant Redwood trees (115m, 379ft) that cover parts of northern California.

We started with breakfast of savoury pancakes in Arcata before heading north on the Redwood Highway towards the Redwood National and State Parks near the small town of Orick.

On the road to Redwood National and State Parks

On the way, Craig decided to pick up a young couple (Cidney and Chianti) and their dog (Mama) who were hitchhiking north to Brookings. They were looking for work in Humboldt County but were a little early for the marijuana harvest, and so were travelling to visit some family first.

Cidney and Chianti with Mama in the back
(I promised to make them famous on my blog)

Originally, the plan was to drop them off at Orick before we went to see the redwoods. However, Cidney and Chianti ended up joining us on the The Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail (click link for map).

The trail was an easy walk (2.2km, 1.4m) over fairly level gound. Here are some photos from the walk.

David thinking about climbing a tree… NOT

All of us inside a burnt out but still alive tree

Redwoods1Even fallen trees (cut to allow the path to continue) were huge

Redwood trees at Lady Bird Johnson Grove near Orick, California (direct link)


The dedication plaque for Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Redwoods2Craig gives us a sense of scale with this huge tree trunk

Dwarfed by Redwood trees at Lady Bird Johnson Grove near Orick, California (direct link)


The forrest was also full of life with a large variety of flora and fauna (click for larger images).

Redwoods6 Redwoods7

The experience was fantastic, you feel absolutely dwarfed by these gentle giants. A very similar experience to walking amongst the tall Karri, (80m, 260ft) Marri (50m, 160ft) and Jarrah (40m, 130ft) trees in the South West corner of Western Australia. If you have not walked in a tall timber forrest, you must add this to your bucket list.

After the walk trail we dropped Cidney, Chianti and Mama off in Orick and then headed south back to Arcata. On the way, Craig suddenly stopped the car without any warning or saying anything. I was confused until I looked up and spotted a couple of large “deer” on the roadside ahead.

We were in Elk country and a couple had decided to cross the highway to feed on the narrow strip between the road and the water of the bay.

Elk on Redwood Highway

Elk on the Redwood Highway south of Orick, California (direct link)


On the way home, Craig took me to see the Samoa Cookhouse. This is the last surviving cookhouse in the west. It still serves food “lumber camp style” as it has since 1890. It also serves as a museum to the history of logging in the region.

We did not stay for food, instead we ate at a restaurant on Woodley Island in Humboldt Bay, looking across the water to the town of Eureka. Dinner finished off a fantastic day before we headed home to Arcata.

Hopeful seagulls and seals hanging around a fishing boat

Thanks Craig for a great week in Arcata and for ensuring that I got the full Humboldt County experience.

Tomorrow we start on our journey to Reno, Nevada for the GPUG Summit 2015 conference.


This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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