" Two roads diverged in a wood.."

That's a large tree!!!

Yesterday we had a very nice drive to Fortuna CA. Couldn’t have been more beautiful day for a drive. Highway 101 is a fun ride (at least this far) part interstate quality combined with interesting 2 lane sections. It was mainly a mountain forest drive which is always a gem for us. We arrived at Riverwalk RV Park in Fortuna, California for 3 nights. This park got very good reviews on rvparkreviews.com and I have to say it lives up to its positive reviews. We have  nice pull through and it will fit our needs for the next few days. 

Today we wanted to really experience the Redwoods. We got a taste of it on the way up because 101 goes right thru Humboldt Redwood State park. Even on the highway there are times these humungous trees are right next to you but today was time for an up close and personal view. So we headed south on 101 to the north entrance for the Avenue of the Giants. What an amazing drive. there is something to be said about traveling these areas in the off season, for the first few hours we were almost alone in the park. We stopped at the visitor center for Humbolt Redwoods State Park and talked to a great  work camping couple manning the visitors center. They had only awesome things to say about volunteering here (for all of you looking for a good place to work camp). They suggested a couple hikes and off we went. 

Our first stop were the trails near the Founder’s Grove. These are some of the oldest trees in the park and has a very large tree that came down in a storm that you can walk around and check out all its root system etc. I took lots of photos to make sure you could really see how large these trees were. I kept making John be in the photo and he did the same when he was taking photos. Without a person in the photo it is really hard to get the true size of these trees. The ecology growing on the downed trees was also fascinating. There is one plant that looks like shamrocks; my Irish husband  really liked these. The undergrowth is lush with ferns and the light trickling through is almost magical. I think the Redwoods should be a must see for everyone because photos and words just do not do them justice.
don't these look like shamrocks?

How do you like the look of this road?

Then we were on to the next spot the volunteer suggested but as we looked at the map it looked like it might be fun to take that road to Honeydew all the way west and then go north back to Ferndale and then Fortuna. Now all we had were the tourist abbreviated type maps and it looked like a straight shot. This is where the real adventure began.
Worth the view!
The road was tight at first with Redwoods really hugging the roadway. It was suppose to be 2 lane but really it was 1.5 lanes and if you met someone on the road one of you had to get over. It was beautiful but a little scary. Once out of the park it first appeared the road was going to improve but no------it began going up and up and up. It was a very curvy and not so well kept 2 lane (or should I say 1.5 lane). The mountain views were incredible so we just kept going even though this road is a little nerve racking. We had areas where it went to 1 lane and 1 lane bridges. We passed a very occasional car but for most of our drive we were alone on the road. This road was narrow with true hairpin turns; some that made us both go whoa!!!! After about an hour and a half of very slow travel we came out of the trees into hills of pasture land, tuned the corner and there was the Pacific ocean. What an amazing sight. It is rough coastline and the waves were huge and crashing the shore, such a beautiful site. We wound along the coastline to Cape Mendicino, which is the furthest point on the western side of the continental USA. What an amazing site. The road then took us up up up again into the hills of pasture with lots of cows grazing in open range and back to the mountains once again and finally back through Ferndale to Fortuna.
Our first view of the Pacific

There were many moments during the drive that John and I thought maybe we were a little crazy to take this road but at the same time so glad we followed the adventure off the beaten path. As Robert Frost once said, 


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Today that was our adventure and if we had know what the road was like we may not have taken it but are glad we did. Such a beautiful place. Northern California is a beauty to behold.

Comments


  1. Just stay off Hyw 1 with your rig. We almost had a disaster last year. By car, almostany road is possible.

    I love te redwoods! We have some on our land .

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  2. I just love that part of Northern CA the best. The redwoods are magnificent.

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  3. Love the California Redwoods. I agree with Merikay, Hwy 1 is not for RVs. We had no problem in our car. Beautiful pictures.

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  4. We've only been as far north as the San Francisco area. Definitely on our list of places to go along with Oregon and Washington. Some day our time will come :)

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  5. Very cool looking road! Man, those are some big trees...

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  6. You sure do not want to drift off the road among those trees!

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  7. Beautiful drive and Isnt that the truth... if we know that it will be scary, we may choose to not do it... but not knowing, we do it, and in the end we are so glad we did!!
    Cheers to another good day on the road!

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  8. no doubt about those trees are huge...

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  9. Loved reading this post. We drove 101 after our Alaskan Cruise in 2009. The Redwood forests are wonderful and need to be experienced. We also took a road over the mountains then along the coast to Cape Mendocino. I wonder if it was the same road. I see we turned of at a little town called Legget after staying in Gaberville. It was very like the kind of roads we drive on all the time here on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand and we met logging trucks and fifth wheelers just like we do here. The main difference is that our roads do not take as long to travel so it was wonderful to be on this amazing forest fringed road for an hour or more instead of 15 minutes.

    That was a very rushed trip and I long to go back for a more leisurely Redwoods experience. http://withgodnothingistoohard.blogspot.co.nz/2010/04/our-last-few-days-in-usa-ans-home-again.html and here http://withgodnothingistoohard.blogspot.co.nz/2009/10/we-left-depoe-bay-quite-early-probably.html

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  10. It stuns me how the groves actually suck up sound. Sound-canceling trees - what a concept!

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  11. We absolutely loved the redwoods. So glad you two got the opportunity to see them up-close. Safe travels!

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  12. From Ferndale out to Petrolia, it's called Wildcat. Having lived in Eureka the past 25 years, I was on this road many times, and you're right, it's a thriller, but so beautiful! Glad you found it, most people never find the "Lost Coast" road. And absolutely, I would never take an RV on the road, but I have met big horse trailers on it, as the ranchers use it.

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