NORTHERN CA, REDWOODS, FERN CANYON ,AVE of the GIANTS, MENDOCINO and lots of fun touristy stops

 

Three hour drive up the 101 we arrive at Benbow KOA in Garberville. We will stay 4 nights, the total is $159.12. FHU! Cable, wifi, laundry, clean showers, propane, dog park and dog wash, pool, game room, nice setting, grass next to site. (dogs are happy). There is Rays grocery store and gas station 2 miles away, otherwise not much. We set up and just hang out, it’s a beautiful day, and rain is expected tomorrow.
Today adventures reminded me of my family trips 50 years ago, when we would pack up the station wagon 🚙 and go on vacation and stop at places like we did today.
Miss my mom and dad and those treasured trips. Here’s what we did:
Chandelier Drive Thru Tree🌲DSCN3874

(since 1937 in Leggett. $5.00 to drive thru.DSCN3867
It is a 2000 year old tree, 315 ft tall, 21 ft wide. Fun.
Famous One Log House (since 1946) on highway 101DSCN3891

Built as a motorhome, cost $1.00 to go in. They give you a code to access the door Worth the $1.00. DSCN3884
Next door is Grandfather TreeDSCN3893

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Little further on highway 101 is Legend of Bigfoot, silly little shop with lots of Bigfoot books and gifts.DSCN3911
Last stop today was the Benbow Rec Area where Bob practices his fly 🎣 fishing in the rain ☔️ and I sit in the car and see Bambi cross the river, so cute.

 

It has been raining now most of day and talk of snow ❄️ , yikes.
Okay, so yes we woke up to some snow (February 19th),lots more in the mountains, and its cold.DSCN3933
We head out for the 31 mile Avenue of the Giants scenic road,in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, it runs parallel to hwy 101.DSCN3941

Ten miles from KOA is the southern entrance.DSCN3946

There are 6 Albino trees (ghost trees are what they call them) in the park. Get a map there are stops along the way. We stop at Korbly Wood Products, a very nice shop, he has been here since the 70’s. We buy a hand carved 🐻 bear, whom we named Red. There is also the Shrine drive thru tree, we did not do this as we did the Chandlier Drive thru tree in Leggett. We stopped at The Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center, they are very helpful and informative. We got some info on hikes.

 

Next we stopped at Founders Grove, here is the Dyersville Giant, was the worlds largest until it fell in 1991. It was 200 ft taller than Niagara Falls.DSCN3958

Driving along we see a turnout and stop to take picture of the Eel River.DSCN3881

When the sun is shining on it the right way, it’s beautiful shade of green blue. We passed by the closed for the day Eternal Tree House and Cafe. Stop at the Ancient Redwood RV park,DSCN4006

here you will see the Immortal Tree. It has survived lightning, being axed and the fish on the tree, is theDSCN4002
water line from the flood of 1964. After we finished this scenic drive we got back on highway 101 towards KOA. We got off at the Honeydew exit, near the town of Redcrest and drove to the Rockefeller Forest and hiked.DSCN4036

Stop at the Lower Bull Creek Flats parking area on the left (kinda hard to see) and did the easy 1/2 mile loop. Then to the Big Tree Day use area about 3 miles further. Here is Tall Tree🌲 . The Rockefeller Forest contains 10 of the worlds 16 tallest trees. We were unable to see Giant Tree and Flatiron Tree, bridge out because of weather. The 31 mile is the most outstanding display of giant trees in the entire 500 mile Redwood belt.

 

Off for very long day today, so we pack up the poochies 🐶 and head to Mendocino. Highway 101 to highway 1, we are in the Jeep, nothing over 40ft allowed here, but I wouldn’t do it at all in RV. It is 30 miles on twisty, windy narrow road and takes forever. Once you get to ocean, change in elevation with no guard rails, then is okay for awhile. It took us almost 2 hrs to get to Mendocino, someone in our campground did do it in RV and it took them 5 hours.

 


Mendocino is cute little town, shops and restaurants and nice views. Heading back the way we came ,we stopped at the beautiful Point Carrillo Light Station, from 1909DSCN4110
You have to park and walk and easy 1/2 mile each way to get to Lighthouse. Dogs are allowed on leash. There is a few quaint vacation rental houses here,DSCN4115

with outstanding views. Also a good whale watching area. From here we drove to Noyo Harbor and had a picnic. This harbor was in the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was where they sailed out of the harbor at the end of the movie 🎥 .

 

Finally we stopped at Ft Braggs Glass Beach.IMG_7678

Here you can see sea glass pieces (best at low tide and clear day). This is rubble from 1906 earthquake in San Francisco and up till the late 60’s. In those days the ocean was commonly used as a dump site . Glass is from broken bottles, etc. most rare is the ruby red glass from car taillights from the 60’s.

We head home, only 74 miles, but again 2 hours. Today was cold, cloudy and windy, so not best photos.
We depart Benbow KOA (would definitely recommend) for 1 1/2 hour to Emerald Forest RV in Trinidad. Nice park surrounded completely by trees, and decent size spot. FHU, Wifi, cable, laundry, propane and nice people. We pay $203.00 total (military discount) for 5 nights.

Trinidad has beautiful beaches and great 🌅 sunsets.DSCN4155

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Some fun things we did the next few days include:
Town of Ferndale, 50 minutes away is a charming Victorian Village.IMG_7802

The Golden Gate MercantileIMG_7803

and the Blacksmith Shop are great shops. I also heard you must try the sticky buns at Humboldt Sweets, but they were closed today. Heading back we stopped at the popular Loleta Cheese 🧀 in Loleta. You can sample all the cheeses and they even have a grilled cheese bar. Closer to the campground, is the town of Eureka. We drive thru the Old Town Historic District and the pretty Waterfront Harbor, with all the boats🚣.
There is a Costco in Eureka and has lanes you can get in with RV for ⛽️ gas. It is 30 cents cheaper here than rest in town.
After few days of cold and rainy, today is 50 and sunny ☀️ so we head out for a hike. I want to go to Prairie Creek Redwoods in Orick. We stop at the very helpful staff at
Thomas H Kuchel Visitor Center. From here is it 5 miles to Elk Meadow,DSCN4164

at highway 101/ Davidson Rd. Here is a major Roosevelt Elk spotDSCN4326

and we saw lots of them.

 

Down Davidson Rd, it is unpaved( ok in the beginning) , but then you cross streams, potholes.DSCN4294

You are on this road abt 8 miles. It is $8.00 or use your America the Beautiful pass. Road is pretty rough (we have Jeep and was ok) but saw lots of cars driving it. You will pass along Gold Bluff Beach (11 miles of untouched wilderness, Elk also roam the dunes).DSCN4299

Finally we reach the parking area for Fern Canyon.DSCN4209

Make sure you have waterproof shoes or boots, your feet will get wet. Fern Canyon is where scenes from Jurassic Park, The Lost World was filmed.DSCN4241

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Before going home we stopped at Moonstone Beach in Trinidad, very cool little beach.DSCN4349

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We decide to stay few extra days in Trinidad, and head for dinner at the famous
Samoa Cookhouse, in Samoa (right by Euerka)

DSCN4381

The cookhouse from 1890 is the last surviving lumber cookhouse in the west. They have a weekly menu on Facebook.DSCN4388

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Definitely worth a stop, and just few miles from RV park, is Patricks Point State Park, $8.00 fee. Hiking and sightseeing within the park.DSCN4398

Wedding Rock, Patrick’s Point and Palmers Point have beautiful views, and you can see seals and whales.DSCN4423

 

 

We drive into the tiny downtown, population about 350, but huge on viewsDSCN4373

and beautiful Trinidad beach, and Trinidad Head.DSCN4445

They also have a pier and few shops.DSCN4437
Our final day we drive 50 minutes north on highway 101 to the touristy Trees of Mystery in Klamath. It is Northern Californias largest attraction. Quite expensive at $18.00 per adult. Outside you are greeted by massive Paul Bunyon and Babe Blue Ox,

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Then you walk trails

 

 

 

and end up at the Skytrail (tram takes you thru the trees).DSCN4504

 

 

It was fun, but I think overpriced. Dogs are allowed on leash, even on Skytrail. For lunch we drive to Klamath Overlook, at the mouth of Klamath River and ocean. Picnic tables for a nice lunch with outstanding views.DSCN4553

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This is also one of best places to whale watch, unfortunately we didn’t see any today.

We drive home on the scenic Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway. It is a 10 mile drive, which includes Corkscew tree and Giant Tree, which is the 3rd largest in the park.DSCN4577

Here we meet the very nice Laura, from Michigan. She reminds me of my daughter Jessica.
Tomorrow we head north, we are almost to Oregon, yeah. Its been pouring all day so we stop in Smith River, Ca. to boondock at the Lucky 7 Casino, where we will spend a few nights for free in the parking lot, until the rain stops. It’s a nice little RV parking area and a nice little casino. One thing I did want to see was the Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City (since 1856). Even though the rain and storms continues we decide to go see it.DSCN4590

It’s very pretty and the neat thing about this Lighthouse is, when it’s low tide you can walk to it and during high tide it becomes and Island.DSCN4596
Finally off to Oregon after almost 4 months in California.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “NORTHERN CA, REDWOODS, FERN CANYON ,AVE of the GIANTS, MENDOCINO and lots of fun touristy stops

Add yours

  1. Its been so nice having you close by for these many weeks. Thanks for sharing pictures and information about the many sites in California that I have never visited. Thanks for the ride-along. Enjoy Oregon.

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  2. Summer 2015 took my 3 grandkids on two-week road trip from WA…….the redwoods was one of our stops. Had wanted to go there for years and finally did with the grandkids (2 year old, 13-year-old and 11 year old….my grandkids are great and so much fun and easy to travel with, even the two year old. We drove our car through the Chandelier tree as well and drove through the avenue of giants and the scenic byway.

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