Over the long Thanksgiving weekend of November 25, 2009, Tracy and I drove ALL the way out to the Redwood National Park in northern California. We had never been there and we had just wanted to check it out. We also didn’t want to fly, because it was just too expensive, and we figured the drive would be fun, too. It took over 15 hours to drive all the way to Crescent City, but we made it by Thursday morning, after spending Wednesday night in Redding.
After making it to the coast on Thursday morning, we had a Thanksgiving lunch at a park overlooking the ocean. That was pleasant, until a crow tried to steal some of Tracy’s food. The ocean was interesting, because there was a thick fog hanging over the water, so you couldn’t see out over the ocean at all. That was something I had never seen before. We then drove up to Lost Man Creek Trail and hiked a mile or so up that trail. This was a nice trail with some big trees. After leaving Lost Man Creek, we hiked up to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, which had some really nice, big trees. We then headed through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and did a little hiking. We also drove along Coastal Drive and then headed on up to Crescent City in the dark and rain.
On Friday the weather was clear as a bell, but the wind was howling. We spent most of the day hiking around the ocean, including hikes at Enderts Beach, Hidden Beach, and the lighthouse in Crescent City. We also hiked around a little in the Jebediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which was nice, because it was more like a rain forest in that area, with some really big trees.
On Saturday we hiked some more in Jebediah, hiking mostly in the Stout Grove. We also hiked a good bit back in Prairie Creek on the Hope Creek Trail, which had some really big trees. We then started back east. We drove back toward Redding and did some hiking in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, which was nice to get out of the parks. We kept on driving, and spent Saturday night in Susanville, and then on Sunday we made the long drive back home.
We saw very little snow on this trip. There was a little snow in the Sierra Nevadas west of Susanville, but there wasn’t a drop of snow west of Redding. The weather west of Redding was surprisingly warm for the end of November. I was also surprised by how many mountains there were in northern California. Once we hit Susanville, we were driving in the mountains for almost five hours. I really didn’t think the mountains were that extensive in California. I really like northern California, and would like to spend more time there exploring the wildernesses.