Friday, September 09, 2016

#WYFF - Walker Road Adventure

It's Friday! We've finished our second full week of school.  Michael reminded me  we schedule Friday lighter so we can explore....and 84 degree weather was predicted.  I'm proud of us; in addition to school this week, I had two days to run into town (Mom G's labs and Mom G's pedi), we made it to church on Wed night, and we ate dinner every night. The boys worked like maniacs on Thursday to make sure they could finish school by lunch on Friday. Score! We're worn out! But we did it!!!

There is a little sign off Hwy 199, on the way in to Crescent City, that says, "Walker Road."  We decided it would be fun to explore. This could be hiked, we chose to drive. By the end of the day we'd explored both spurs. Both lead to the river. We'll be back. We discussed any tow behind vehicle we buy will need to be able to handle roads like this, as well as in town driving. Jeeps are looking like a favorite option. Do you have a toad? Do you tow a vehicle behind a Class A or C? If so, which do you have and what are the pros and cons you've discovered of your model?

This being Friday - we did take a couple of "Where's Your Feet" photos....

Feet on Walker Road

Feet in the Smith River
Michael continues to illustrate the finer points of skipping rocks across a river. The kids continue to find the biggest rocks they can handle to chuck. To see this in action, watch the video below.

I did not grow up in the woods - or hiking in the woods. I've noticed some lovely vines climbing over the trees....this week the leaves turned pretty. It turns out the vines are poison oak - this sort of ruins the beauty for me. ::snort::

I plan to get smaller glasses. Stacia responded this week, "Please, don't buy embarrassing Grannie glasses."

Fall can't be too far away.....stay away rain! 

Our own tower of stones

We drove the rest of the way into town to pick up a Papa Murphy's pizza.  The kids and I were amazed at the change in weather. It was 84* on Walker Road....7 -8 miles later in town it was foggy and 59*. That's some weather variation. I understand why Mom G says she loves living "out here," but doesn't want to live in Crescent City.

The video version of our Walker Road Adventure. The final view reminds me of Mirror Lake in AK.

#WYFF (Where's Your Feet Friday) is sponsored by Fulltime Families. For more #WYFF entries, click the tab above.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Grove of the Titans

While hiking Mill Creek Trail on  Saturday, a couple of hikers asked us if we knew where to find the trail to the Grove of the Titans.  They had a map, but it was rather sketchy, and they were lost. Michael is the 4th generation of his family in the area and hadn't heard of the Grove. Mom G hadn't heard of the Grove. We did some research and some said it was an urban legend. HOWEVER, the couple had stopped at Jed Smith park for help with their map and were told it "wasn't officially open to the public, so we don't give directions." O.k. That sounds like it exists.  Our research indicated there used to be a marked trail and signs in the grove, but the signs had been removed due to concerns of damage to the Grove. The Grove was "discovered" in 1998. We checked more sites, read up about what we were supposed to see and where people thought the Grove was located; we scoured google earth/maps, checked photos and stats on the trees, and finally found a site that listed coordinates!

With all the coordinates confidently loaded into our trusty GPS, we headed out. The first problem we encountered is the GPS couldn't get a signal out in the woods. ::snort:: This looked like the parking spot and trail head described on several sites. There is a sign, it's loose, it doesn't say Grove of the Titans....but we were 99% sure this was the starting point. 
"Mill Creek Trail, Hiouchi Trail, Howland Hill Rd" 
Without the GPS, we depended on my print outs of  descriptions, mileage, sketchy maps,  and my fit bit to navigate. We decided it was a GORGEOUS hike, and we were in awe of the BIG TREES - even if we weren't 100% sure of their names and such. LOL 

At one point we went right under Redwood Roots

The Lost Monarch - Largest Multi-Stem Coast Redwood

We were skeptical, but YES, this tree was bigger than Stout Tree and the others in Stout Grove.
All of a sudden the GPS worked
 We discovered the tree we had thought was El Viejo Del Norte  - wasn't. This one was. 
4th largest Coast Redwood

Screaming Titans (only ones we didn't video)

Mill Creek

 Del Norte Titan - 3rd largest Coast Redwood (Above and Below)

Under the Roots

This was spectacular! The hike is more rugged than many of the maintained trails. While there are paths around the Titans, nothing is marked, and it is rather overgrown... so we felt as if we simply walked right into them while out for a hike.  I loved not having multitudes of other hikers on the trails, and those we did meet were in the same state of awe. LOL I also appreciated there was no trash, no graffiti,  and no carvings in the groves. It was lovely.

Michael was in a lot of pain for two days after this hike - a lot. He couldn't sleep the first night at all due to Charley Horses and such, but he says this was worth it!  If you're familiar with the area, the above link with the coordinates should get you there. If you are unfamiliar with the area and have questions, feel free to email. I sure wish we had run into the couple asking about the Grove THIS weekend - we know right where to tell them to start now. LOL

Here is a a video of our hike and time in the Grove...sorry for the noisy auto focus. I'll switch to manual. I wanted to deal with the shakes and edit titles...but my laptop froze and this was the version that was I went with it rather than starting all over. LOL 

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Mill Creek Trail Hike

*Note if you prefer the story in video - scroll to the end and watch the story unfold. 

Michael and I sat out the Little Bald Hill hike, but today Michael suggested we make ice cream, hike Nickerson Ranch Trail and then spend some time swimming at the Smith River.  It was already 2 p.m. by the time we were ready to leave the Caboose. Nickerson Ranch Trail is an easy 1 mile hike. It seemed doable.  We hopped on to Howland Hill Road and headed to the turn our zeal we read this sign quickly, stopped and started down the trail, confident we'd be at Nickerson Ranch Homesite in a mile.

It was a BEAUTIFUL hike and meandered in and out of old growth Redwoods and ferns...alongside Mill Creek...turns out we were on Mill Creek Trail.  Ah, the sign should be read as - "Keep going .8 to the Nickerson Ranch Trailhead" not, "Head off here and you'll be there in .8 mile."  We did eventually intercept Nickerson Ranch Trail. Unfortunately, we had no idea WHERE we were on the trail and opted to take it back to Howland Hill road and the walk back to our car. LOL  We'll do Nickerson Ranch another day - but none of us were sad to have done this part of the Mill Creek Trail. 
 Seriously, who would begrudge this hike on a gorgeous day in September? 

Along the way we spotted a rope swing down by the creek. The kids headed down and Krista and Nolan tried it out. We'll remember to bring appropriate gear for playing and picnicking at this spot another time.

I commented that these trees reminded me of "sistering." That'll preach. The boys then pointed out two tall Redwoods, standing straight, a discreet distance from each other and said those were "Bro trees." ::snort:: 

Girls illustrating sistering on the sistering trees....

Beautiful hike! 

We can't deny the fall colors we are starting to see. I am hoping the rain holds off - we still have so much to explore!

The video version of the hike.....Not liking the auto-focus sound in the video. Thanks for your grace.