Dropped down from Tahoe into the mayhem of Bay area traffic. Crawled through it and headed north on Hwy 101 up to Santa Rosa where we were visiting friends Candice and Richard. They invited us on their 50 cent tour and first stop was off the beaten track Grove of the Old Trees. An excellent introduction to California’s Coastal Redwoods.
There are a number of small circular groves where once upon a time a big one had stood in the middle. It got felled but the “offshoots” around it survived into trees of their own.
From Santa Rosa we went north on 101 through the many construction zones and found our destination at Elk Country RV Resort near Orick and just south of the combined Federal and State Redwood parks. We had seen a clip of the Elk RV resort on an old Huell Howser TV show and then a neighbor had told us that we just had to visit the Redwoods. The two were co-located and a plan was formed.
First day we hiked the Foothill and Prairie Creek trails where the forest is at about 600′ and close to the ocean. Plenty of rainfall provides for an abundance of fern and moss vegetation that gives the forest a moist succulent environment compared to those of the higher found groves of Redwoods and Sequoias. We really enjoyed walking here.
The following day we set off for the Tall Trees Trail. Here you need to get a permit to drive to and park at the rather remote trail head. First six miles along Bald Hills Road where you can stop and look back to the coast at Redwood Creek Overlook, then through a locked gate and a further six miles down a gravel road towards the grove. Story has it that the grove survived because there was no way to extract the trees even if they had been felled down in this remote hollow.
On the morning of our departure the Elk came down for a graze in the meadow behind us. They seem to graze and then sit down for periods before resuming their breakfast across the meadow and down towards the 101 where more passers by can see them.