The Storybook Forest

After our euphoria over the thrills of Highway 36 abated, we headed north along the coast to the Redwood Forest. Since I was a kid, the Redwoods have held a fascination for me that hasn’t, until now, been satisfied. I’ve been wanting to see one of these giants in person, and by the time we passed through our first stand of them I was already planning my next trip to this storybook place.

We stopped and played at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park Just off of Highway 101. At Prairie Creek, there is often times an Elk herd grazing right next to the parking lot. There are even viewing benches for people to take pictures. We missed the herd of course, but we didn’t come there for Elk, we came there to see huge trees. On that score we were well rewarded. As we walked the path through the trees, I had to chuckle because we sounded like people at a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. We oohed and aahed and oh-my-goshed our way around each bend. Whenever there was a particularly large tree amongst the already large trees, we had to comment on it. Those poor trees have probably heard this symphony a million times over. I bet they wish for ear plugs.

Seriously though, I was not disappointed by this place I have waited so long to come to. The ride up to and through this area was like being in a storybook. There were times we were riding through forests that towered above us and made us feel like characters in the children’s book series Fern Hollow. Then just when we’d get used to being storybook characters, we’d crest a hill and there would be the Pacific Ocean stretched out before us. I kept hoping that this was real and not just a dream.

I’m already scheming how to get back there!

Can you guess what the very first thing my monkey boys did when they saw these trees? They tried to climb them, of course.

Can you guess what the very first thing my monkey boys did when they saw these trees? They tried to climb them, of course.

I'm not the super romantic type, but this heart-shaped tree was pretty cool!

I’m not the super romantic type, but this heart-shaped tree was pretty cool!

It's impossible not to feel dwarfed by these trees!

It’s impossible not to feel dwarfed by these trees!

I had one goal concerning the redwoods - I had to be able to drive through one in the way I've seen pictures of other people do. After researching, I learned there are only 3 living redwoods that you can drive through, and all 3 are on private property. Fortunately, this one was right on our way north.

I had one goal concerning the redwoods – I had to be able to drive through one in the way I’ve seen pictures of other people do. After researching, I learned there are only 3 living redwoods that you can drive through, and all 3 are on private property. Fortunately, this one was right on our way north.

The Redwood Forest is also home to an abundance of other plants. It's so lush and green, and the amount of flowers are incredible. I don't know what this one was called, but the whole tree was covered in them.

The Redwood Forest is also home to an abundance of other plants. It’s so lush and green, and the amount of flowers are incredible. I don’t know what this one was called, but the whole tree was covered in them.

As soon as it was possible, we made our way to the beach. The Pacific Northwest Coast is breathtaking!

As soon as it was possible, we made our way to the beach. The Pacific Northwest Coast is breathtaking!

When I caught Riley sitting there on this huge piece of driftwood that was once a redwood stump, I didn't think he'd sit still long enough for me to get this picture. After all, he hasn't sat still for longer than 45 seconds most of his life, but somehow I got lucky!

When I caught Riley sitting there on this huge piece of driftwood that was once a redwood stump, I didn’t think he’d sit still long enough for me to get this picture. After all, he hasn’t sat still for longer than 45 seconds most of his life, but somehow I got lucky!

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