California – Redwoods, Grove of Titans and the Pacific Coast Highway

I am so madly in love with California. I often dream of redoing life so that I could live in the Redwood forest, wear birkenstocks and wool socks and be a marine biologist studying the Steller Sea Lions.

I went to Seattle in 2012 for my brother’s wedding. After that, I stole his 4Runner and traveled along through Portland and hopped on Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway, at Coos Bay and headed to California and the redwoods. Before I left, I picked up a copy of Richard Preston’s book, The Wild Trees, which gave clues to find the Grove of Titians. The Grove houses 10 of the biggest trees in the world and is protected by secrecy…

Amazing, me in Seattle! Aren’t you surprised? This is a shot of the sunset over Puget Sound. Lovely.

Leaving Seattle early in the morning, I made it to Portland, Oregon around noon and grabbed lunch. Portland is definitely a place where I would enjoy spending more time.

I headed down to Coos Bay, Oregon to take in the sandy beaches along the pacific. Coos Bay was the first path to the Pacific Coast Highway off of the interstate.

Sun, sand, water.

Sand dunes in Florence, Oregon. Yes, I took out a 4-wheeler on the dunes and managed to not hurt myself. The dunes were huge and it was a blast!

I will admit that I had to get a guy to dig me out of a hole. The look on his face suggested that it was a common occurrence.

I continued down the highway and took in some of the most amazing views.

Sunset on the border of Oregon and California

My camping spot was in Jedediah Smith State Park and I was surrounded by these giants. So lucky!

High and wide, I have never seen trees so big before. The redwoods are something you have to see for yourself to understand the presence they demand. It is enchanting.

The main goal of this trip was to find the Grove of Titans, and I did! The clues are simple, it is just off of a major pathway and it is easily accessible. Don’t over complicate it!

Once you get to the Grove of Titans, you have a sense that you’ve reached the destination. I can’t be sure that I saw the Lost Monarch, but I was definitely in the right area. I had a park ranger confirm that my location was correct. There are several trees in the Grove that are simply enormous. If you find it, take a while to explore and take it all in.

After achieving my goal, I headed back to camp and took a dip in the freezing cold Smith River. It was perfect after a long day of hiking.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Peace Tea. I cannot do a road trip through the USA without buying at least 5 cans. It joins me on all of my adventures!

The next day I attempted to surf. As you can see, the waves were big and very close together. It was nearly impossible for a non-surfer like myself to get out past the break point, but I enjoyed the romp in the water anyway.

Here comes my obsession with Sealions. This rock island was about 5 kilometers offshore and you could hear the Sealions barking from shore. My first encounter with Sealions was in Alaska while visiting my brother. Here, the same Stellar Sealions mingle with the California Sealions.

The Sealions were all sunning themselves on whatever sort of dock they could find. Personally, I would not want to have a boat on this dock.

 “Oh heya, can I come up? Kind of tired of swimmi…”

“…ok, never mind. I’ll just keep swimming. Exercise is good.”

“Stop looking at me!”

“I don’t have to take this from you!”

“I am trying to sleep, keep it down you two…”

And that is as close as I got to the Sealions. How the heck would you manage to get these things away from your boat so you can use it?! Airhorn? Fulcrum and lever? Or do you just run and jump?

How could you not drive your vehicle through a tree when given the chance?

That ends the coastal trip. It was an amazing experience and I hope to go back on day and spend more time in the Redwoods!
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One thought on “California – Redwoods, Grove of Titans and the Pacific Coast Highway

  1. You wrote about not being sure if you saw Lost Monarch. Actually, as long as you saw trees in the park, you probably met your goal. Lost Monarch is not the largest post-2014. So as long as you saw big redwoods,the trip was worthwhile.

    Ciao, MDV

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