Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
April 14, 2017
CA Counties Hiked in 2017: 2/58
Del Norte is a small county in the far NW of California along the Pacific Ocean, a place where giant redwood trees thrive below 2,000ft. due to the heavy winter rains and mild summers. When we first visited the area, we didn't hike in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Instead, we decided to hike through one of the farthest north groves of redwoods in southern Oregon because at that point in the summer of 2014, Laurel had never visited Oregon and the girls needed to hike in the "Beaver State" as part of our Hike in all 50 States Project.
The rain fell at a constant rate as we drove along the rugged northern California coast. The road varied from sky scrapping redwood groves to cliffs dropping away to the rocky Pacific far below.
The rain had stopped by the time we arrived at the trailhead, but moisture was still thick in the air. The lush green of the forest was so over powering it seemed to dwarf the redwood trees. Laurel would learn (hopefully) a lesson on this trail. When the trail shared the campground road for a short distance, Laurel was convinced that we needed to follow the road back to our car instead of dropping back into the forest at what she thought was a different trail. Instead of arguing (too much), I let Laurel lead the way through the mostly empty campground. We did not have a map. When we came to the closed visitor center, we were able to get a trail map. I helped Laurel figure out where we were, were we've been, and where the car was parked. She came to the realization on her own that we walked a considerable distance out of our way (I estimate an extra mile or so). As we were walking down the road towards our car, Laurel asked, "Dad, why did you let me pick the way when you knew it was wrong?"
Laurel is someone who needs to learn every lesson the hard way and I hope this one registered somewhere in the wires of her brain.