Fire damaged Redwood tree is still standing, photograph taken in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Day 2 of our Photography trip over Spring Break. We spent the night at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and got up early for the promise of a colorful sky at sunrise at Klamath Cove. Clouds had moved in overnight more than what was forecast, so I settled for what Mother Nature gave me.

  False Klamath Cove Beach

We got up early and headed back north toward False Klamath Cove. The Skyfire App showed a hint of sunrise color north of Prairie Creek State Park. We got back into cell phone coverage and I could see the forecast had changed overnight. The promise of sunrise colors was pretty slim, but I was there and not going to pass up the opportunity to explore a little. The tide was out and there was a little color to the south.

Humbolt Coast Morning

As the sun got closer to rising over the mountains the clouds started moving in and the color disappeared. It looked like a good time to go retro with a Black And White shot.

Humbolt Coast B & W

Notice all the seaweed from the tide being out? Well I slipped on the way back up the beach and got a bloody shin. My tripod flew out of my hand and lost some paint on the ball head. Luckily the camera was in my camera bag, otherwise the camera or lens or both would have been broken. Shins always hurt when you bruise them and knock off skin, so I stayed put for a few minutes before recovering my tripod from a crack in the rocks. I walked back to the pickup (or maybe I limped) and we headed south to look at the Redwoods.

Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove

A few miles south of Prairie Creek campground is the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. It is a steep windy road up to the grove from Highway 101, but just a couple of miles up the hill. Vicki and our grandson hiked the 1.4 mile (2.25 km) loop through the grove. This fire damaged tree was still growing strong, it is amazing how much damage they can sustain and still keep growing.

Fire damaged Redwood tree is still standing, photograph taken in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove

The clouds and fog that were at the coast cleared off as we moved inland and up in elevation to the Redwoods. Redwood trees can grow to almost 400 feet (ca. 122 meters) tall.

Redwoods in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove

The higher elevation of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, along with higher winds along the ridge top means the trees do not get a tall as those in protected valleys, but they are still pretty tall.

Another Redwood Tree in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Avenue of the Giants

Leaving Redwoods National Park we headed south through Eureka. There are several elk viewing areas along the way, but some are not such good places to stop. One herd was scattered on both sides and the middle of the road. We stopped at a narrow pullout and watched a yearling elk pick and eat daffodil flowers. Our grandson got a good laugh out of that.


We did not make too many stops before we got to the Avenue of the Giants drive south of Eureka.However, we did stop at Ferndale to look at the buildings along main street. Of course, they also had a town park, where our grandson had some fun on the play structures.

Main Street in Ferndale California

Avenue of the Giants parallels Highway 101 through the Redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We stopped at a couple of the trails for a short hike under the redwoods. There we found several flowers blooming under the Redwood trees, along the trail. The rain was still dripping off of this Trillium.

Trilliums were blooming under the Redwoods in Redwood National Park

Coastal Toothwort was also blooming

Image of the Coast Toothwort flower, growing under the Redwoods

This Coastal Toothwort even had a bug hiding on it.

Image of the Coast Toothwort flower, growing under the Redwoods

After hiking the trails, we stopped at Burlington Campground getting one of the last two camp spots available. The forecast was for rain starting at 10:00pm. They got this forecast correct as the rain started at 10:00 and it rained hard all night long. Rainwater puddles were all over the campground, I think it rained an inch that night. I was beginning to wonder if the weather would cooperate at all on this early spring trip, but the next day was looking good.

Next up; south on Highway 101 to Leggett, then cut over to the coast on Highway 1.