Monday, August 15, 2011


No free time is complete without a road trip! After the Seattle wedding excursion, we stayed home for two (2) days of glorious unpacking and having nervous breakdowns (ahem: me) and then headed on another adventure. We're trying to pack in all the fun we can before Jim's classes start and we become near strangers for the next 3-5 years... so we went camping. First stop on this trip: Redwood National Park. I had never been there and wowsers! I was sure in for a treat.

(I'm really curious to see if the top edge of the sign and the top edge of the photo not being parallel will bother Jim)
Our first stop at any park is the sign for our traditional photo, and the second stop is at the park visitors center to stamp our National Park Passport. The Northern visitor center was out of the sticker we needed so we headed to another center to see if they had it (it's almost an obsession you see) and the road joyously followed the coast. This is where we stopped for lunch and it took literally about 5 seconds after we stopped the car for Aeryn to be face down in the sand. She loves sandy beaches.

In one of the sheltered tidal areas we found this purple sea star. I was elated and had to show my little bug. Really I think this is only the second time I've seen one outside of an aquarium and the only time I could get up close and personal.
We left him peaceably where we found him, but I had to let the little bug touch it. You know, for the whole sensory experience.
The ranger at the first visitor center had told us about this whale that had come upstream in the Klamath River. We stopped alongside the other eighty-four-thousand-bajillion people and watched her circle around the estuary. As whales circle around in the somewhat salty somewhat fresh water they churn up the little creatures that inhabit the river bottom and secure for themselves a tasty lunch. This was also my first time to see a whale outside of an aquarium.
And then we made it to the forest. What a sight that was!
Aeryn is about 4 feet tall if that gives a sense of scale.

The first thing Aeryn found at our campsite were these two banana slugs doing, well, what banana slugs do to ensure the continuation of their species.
In the morning this guy was right at the base of our tent door. Like, I almost squashed the poor bugger with my flip flops.
This may have been the most gorgeous camp site we've ever stayed in. I was completely enamored with this big tree behind our tent.
See? Enamored.
This guy has fallen (the tree, not the hubby) and been in this same spot for many many years. Jim is 6'3" for reference.... it was huge! The thing I found most fascinating about these huge trees is how shallow their root systems extend. Only 10-13 feet.

If you ever find yourself here, you'll not be able to help looking up. And really, why would you want to?

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