Thurs 25th Redwoods!

Today’s been a great day!  I left Eureka late morning – I’m really struggling to get up and about at a reasonable time.  Hopefully camping tonight (more on that later) will help tomorrow morning.

It was only about an hour’s drive from the hotel (or should that be Inn?) to the first visitor’s centre for the redwood state forests.It’s odd – the visitor centre is at the beach!  But that’s because the whole ecosystem runs from the ocean high up into the hills – the trees depend on the moisture coming in from the coast.  They absorb a lot of what they need direct from the air, they only suck a proportion up through their roots (which is a good thing, given how high up they have to pump it from ground level!

I got my bearings, and a map, and was off on a couple of scenic routes (getting me off route 101, which though very pretty, is busy and there’s almost nowhere to pull over and admire the view and/or take photos).  First stop was Elk meadow – where I saw one male who promptly sat down – so all I could then see is his antlers moving amongst the ferns(?).  I waited around for about 10 mins, but he was apparently very comfortable and didn’t move.

Second stop was more successful:

So successful in fact that he got so close I couldn’t fit him in my frame anymore! I’m glad I was in the car – it’s breeding season and apparently they can get aggressive (although there wasn’t another bull around so that probably helped).  After he’d crossed the road in front of me and disappeared into the forest, I went for a wander.  Those trees really are gorgeous:

 That last one was a lookout from where you could see the whole ecosystem – ocean to forests.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a good shot of the whole thing.

And look where I slept!  A cabin in amongst the trees. 

Fantastic.  And complete with campfire:

I toasted marshmallows, too – or rather, I went local and made ‘smores: toasted marshmallows, partly melted chocolate, on sweet crackers.  Yummy!