Friday morning the kids awoke to find their cousins had arrived during the night. (Actually, it wasn’t a surprise to Raine. She woke up at 2:00 am, when they arrived, and talked off Uncle Daryn’s ear for a good 15 minutes before I was awake enough to realize that that little voice I was hearing belonged to Raine!)
After breakfast, we drove into Redwood National Park. Our first stop was the Lady Bird Johnson Grove trail.
Many of the trees were hollowed out by fire, they looked like little tree houses ready for exploring.
It is impossible to capture the enormity of these trees . . . but I tried. Here is another photo-stitched panorama of the trees.
After our hike, we drove up the road to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Along the way, we saw a herd of Roosevelt Elk eating lunch on the side of the road.
We had lunch on Gold Bluff Beach, right next to another herd of elk.
Our next hike took us into Fern Canyon. It was AMAZING!
We hiked along the creek bed, surrounded by 30-foot walls of lush green ferns.
The little creek was full of fish fry.
The hike was a bit challenging for our little ones. We were constantly crossing the creek and scaling giant fallen tree trunks. The kids loved it (and no one fell in) but eventually we got stopped by a series of fallen trees that we couldn’t quite conquer and decided to turn around. It was a beautiful hike!
On our way back down to Arcata, we stopped at Patrick’s Point State Park. The fog was rolling in and it made for quite the ambiance as the waves crashed against the jagged rocks below.
I love this shot. There is a little orange sea star clinging to the rock.
We stopped for dinner at a little restaurant in Trinidad and had some delicious clam chowder and fish and chips. Then the kids proceeded to play at the house until almost 11:00 when we finally made them go to bed! I don’t know how Raine and Carter stayed up that late, it was well after mid-night in Texas.