Our journey through California was almost complete. After our time in Yosemite, we hit the road again to make it to Oregon. On the way, we made some pretty cool stops…
Dad had to go to work at the San Francisco office for his company, so we made the most of it and took a day trip to the city to see the Golden Gate Bridge. After Mom braved the horrendous traffic and got us an AmAzInG parking spot (remember, we drive a dually y’all), we finally got to see what the city was so widely known for. We learned about how it was engineered to flow with earthquakes to minimize destruction, the stages of construction to get it there, and the physics applied. Let me tell you, it was some cool stuff!
Bonus: everybody knows that it’s extremely difficult to rock and roll through a big city with anything bigger than a compact car. Just because we found a great parking spot right next to the bridge, does not mean that we always wing it. We plan quite extensively before heading in. Not this time though, so Mom rocked that drive! Just wanted to give credit where credit is due:)
San Francisco was a cool stop, but we were anxious to get outta the city and see the big trees!
On our way to Redwood National Forest (we mean that quite literally) we made a stop at the Jelly Belly Factory. Daddy has a passionate love for jellybeans-so we just had to take a tour. We learned how the beans are made, flavored, and filtered. Did you know that all the “imperfect beans” are filtered out and given the name Belly Flops. Yes, Dad bought four bags of the things:) Did you know also that Ronald Reagan, the USA’s 43rd president, loved Jelly Belly jelly beans so much that he had a secret stash of licorice jelly beans in his desk drawer? If I had a way to hide my favorite flavor of jelly beans, I would totally take advantage of it! It was really cool to learn about their history and how they create bag fulls of mouth watering jelly beans.
Our campground near the redwoods was called Elk Country-and lived up to it’s name in every way. Apparently, there was a herd of elk that wandered in one day and never left. The campers are all given instructions on how to handle the elk situation, because they will walk right into your site!
Another thing that was really great about this campground was that it was only about 30 min. away from Redwood Nat’l Park and Fern Canyon State Park.
You know how the color theme out West was orange? Well, the color theme for the Pacific Northwest was green! Fern Canyon was SO much like a rain forest, it was crazy (it got even better at Mt. Rainier-just you wait). There were little streams weaving throughout the whole canyon and ferns were hanging off the walls everywhere-and some were fuzzy! It was captivating, but also a lot of fun to hike. The streams had little foot bridges that bounced…you can imagine who had fun with that;) The Mist Trail may be one of our favorite hikes, but this one was high up there. We got muddy but it was so worth it.
As a follow up, we went and hiked Redwood Nat’l Park. This one looked like a rain forest too! A weird fact about the Redwoods is that it’s not just a national park…it’s also a state park and national forest. These gigantic trees don’t grow anywhere else in the world, so I’m glad we got to see them. Bucket list: CHECK! Obviously, these monsters were named after their bark; and we’re here to clarify that it was actually red. It was interesting to compare the differences between Sequoias and Redwoods…
Redwood Fun Facts:
- When a tree falls or is burned, the Redwood can reproduce by stump sprouting-when little trees pop up around the stump.
- Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world
- We hiked through the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, dedicated to the Fist Lady by President Richard Nixon in 1969. Lady Bird Johnson was an environmental activist and loved these trees. Along the trail, you can read all about the her dedication and protection of the Redwoods.
Next post will be all about the Oregon coast! This will be a special one, so make sure you keep an eye out! Thanks for reading y’all!