Avenue of the Giants

The week after Christmas, we checked the weather and it looked good, so we hit the road and headed south to see the Redwoods. I remember going as a kid and I couldn’t wait to see the look on my kids’ faces when they saw their first Redwood tree. We headed out after Erich got off work and drove for 5 hours before parking at a rest stop to sleep. We woke up in the morning and it was still dark outside, but everyone was stirring. The semi next to us started up his engine and pulled out, filling us with surprise as our camper filled with sunlight. Morning HAD come, and so we packed up and hit the road. There are several Redwood forests, but we were told the Avenue of the Giants, in the Humboldt Redwood Forest, was the best. We found an amazing campsite and the coolest campground ever, surrounded by monstrous trees. There were stumps there, that were bigger than our camper, and seemed to have once been bigger around, than even the still standing trees! As my kids would say, it was epic. It was also very cold. We set up camp, the kids laid claim to their favorite tree “forts,” and then we called it a night. The next morning we woke up to darkness again. This time it was the trees blocking our view of the sun. It stayed oddly dark, the sun never fully penetrating the high canopy overhead. We bundled up and headed to the Founder’s Grove. It was so, so cold and so cool. We learned a ton about Redwood trees, like how the tallest Redwood is over half the height of the Space Needle. Can you imagine?! Oh, how I would love to see them side by side. Redwoods can grow up to 350 feet tall, 24 feet in diameter (not talking radius), and their bark can get up to 2 feet thick, protecting them from wildfire damage. We spent the day exploring the different groves nearby, trying to decide which was our favorite. That evening we stopped at a visitor center where a very passionate and enthusiastic employee told us the best grove was on the Drury-Cheney Trail. We decided to check it out the next morning, and man, was she ever right. The forest floor was covered in ginormous clovers and ferns and moss… and green, everywhere. It was breathtaking. Our kids, who had seemed like they’d had enough tree hugging and were ready for the beach, suddenly changed their tune and never wanted to leave. We hiked until we literally had no time left to hike, and even then, none of us were done. We reluctantly hooked up the camper and headed up the Oregon coast, hoping to catch the sunset before jetting back over to I-5 for the drive home. We stopped at Harris Beach and watched the waves roll in as the sun set. It was as short trip, but a full one. I’m pretty sure that someday, my kids will bring their kids back to experience the magical unrealness of the Redwood Forest. I know that’s not a word, but it should be, because they really are unreal, otherworldly, magical, and just plain amazing.

Women’s Federation Grove
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Burlington Campground

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That’s not a trail… that’s a tree. 
Drury-Cheney Trail


Founder’s Grove
I lost track of groves, but sometimes doesn’t this feel like the path of life?
Lower Bull Creek Flats


After the massive waves on our trip to the Peninsula, Micah is NOT a fan of waves. 


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