Day 50 – Redwood Creek to Smith River

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 50:

Total km driven to date: 9403km

Total km walked to date: 385.82km

Redwood Creek – Smith River

212km drive

15.63km on foot

                As we dropped down the last few hills I realized that it has been 50 days since I have seen the ocean. That is the longest time I have ever gone in my life without the ocean which is really crazy if you think about it! It was a slightly overcast morning with some fog, but that is the norm around here at this time of year. We got down to the ocean and turned right on HWY 101 heading north. On the spur of the moment I turned in at the small town of Trinidad to let Ax out on the beach and Im really glad I did. The town is up on the bluff with a small unprotected harbour below with a ton of fishing boats anchored out in the bay amidst all these massive rock outcroppings. Very unique and beautiful in the fog. We climbed down this extremely steep set of stairs to the beach which was a gorgeous sandy beach once again with the massive rocks sticking out of it. There was sealife everywhere, seagulls, cormorants sunning their wings, leopard seals laying on the rocks and keeping a close eye on Axel. What a beautiful beach to end up on after 50 days of no beaches. After exploring around we hopped back in the truck and headed north to the Redwood National Park. HWY101 has a lot of traffic but its windy and runs along the ocean and into the trees, just my kinda road, we even ended up behind a line of about 50 old classic muscle cars driving north up the coast, lots of ’56 chevys and beautiful classics.


                We turned up Bald Mtn Road to check out the national park. As national parks go this one is lacking, no real signs, no entrance booth and very little information of whats in the park. We drove around a bit and then stoppped at the Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Grove (the only other real things to see in the park are a 7mile hike and a 10mile bike ride (both only one way….too far for Ax). The memorial grove was neat, lots of people but also lots of massive trees. I have seen some trunks as large in Avatar Grove back home but none of those Sitka’s are as tall as these Redwoods. The sun filtered through the leaves and there is a lot more underbrush in this old growth forest than we see back at home where there is barely any due to the density of the canopy. Hiked around and took some beautiful pictures (its hard to get a whole 400′ tree in a single shot!) and then went back to the truck to continue our journey north. We took the scenic bypass when we got back on the 101 and followed it for another 20km through more Redwood groves, once again lots of people around but beautiful scenery. At this point the road is a ways in land and almost 1000ft elevation but once back on 101 it starts to head back towards the water.

                Down the road winds until you end up right beside a gorgeous sandy beach just south of Crescent City, would ya know it, the beach is called Crescent Beach. I decided to make another beach stop and of course Axel is a beach dog at heart so we parked at the north end of the beach and headed back south. Turns out the beach is 5km long….since we walked all the way from one end to the other. Not that busy since its a Thursday but nice waves crashing with people surfing, the water is much warmer than at home and the sand is wonderful. We walked all the way down and back and in the process had our longest day on foot yet….over 15km of walking today! Ax had fun making friends and chasing sticks and doing his best Baywatch impersonations trying to run through the surf. Then it was time to find a spot to camp for the night so we hopped on Hwy 199 East and took a turn off along the Smith  River and followed the road for a few miles until we ended up at a beauty spot along the river in the shade of the trees. What a fantastic day, Im happy to be back on the Left Coast!

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