Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prairie Creek Redwoods State park

Prairie Creek Campsite Prairie Creek By Our Campsite
Wednesday: (05/19) It was only about 20 miles to Prairie Creek SP from Trinidad. There was a school group taking all of the prairie campsites so we drove through the lower campground and found the best site, #33, which was occupied. Undeterred, Lou ask the occupants if they would be leaving and the said yes so we registered for the site and waited in the picnic area.

Elk Prairie Trail Flowers Elk Prairie
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is now part of the Redwood National And State Parks cooperative but it is the best  campground and area in all the parks. We took a short walk around the prairie.

We had leftover tri-tip noodles, chili relleno and mushrooms for lunch followed apple pie.

About 1pm we moved into the site. It's right next to the creek, a pull through and has some sun, when it exists, which hasn't been too often today. I napped much of the afternoon, just as well and maybe because it was raining. Lou was a bit more active going down to the camp book store and looking around. We took a walk out by the prairie in the late afternoon. For dinner Lou fixed roasted chicken, fresh corn on the cob and a spinach, onion, dried cranberry and ruby red grapefruit salad.

Fern Canyon Fern Canyon
Thursday: (05/20) We started with a walk around camp then Lou fixed eggs, sausage nd fired potatoes for breakfast. After our showers we were finally off to Fern Canyon. Davidson road out to the beach was quite muddy and really full of big deep pot (mud) holes. It was much like an obstacle coures trying to avoid most of them and we finally made it through. Then there are the three creek crossings. Those weren't at all bad. We've crossed them when the water was deeper. And so eventually we made it to Fern Canyon and hike into the canyon but the water was too deep and the bridges (wood planks) then place across the stream weren't installed yet since the rainy season hasn't ended yet. Since we didn't have good water hiking shoes on we had to turn around.

Beach Trail bove Fern Canyon Boat Creek Above Fern Canyon
We did continue on up the beach trail a mile or so. We explored Boat Creek where it comes out to the beach in a narrow gorge like Fern Canyon, but narrower.

Lou Hiking Toward beach At Boat Creek Red Frog At Boat Creek
The trail is kind of muddy in the trees but nice in the sunny areas. We spotted some red frogs near boat creek.

Beach trail Above Fern Canyon White Flower At The Beach
When it's nice, it's very nice. The flower on the right was trying to hide But I found it.

Weed Flowers At The Beach White Flower In The Sand At The Beach
Then we headed out to the beach and back to where we started. Even the weeds look nice like above left. The sand dunes were full of flowers.

Strawberries IN The Dunes Sand Flowers
Even many strawberries were in the dunes. And lots of succulent flowers.

My 13 Buzzards At the Beach Eating A Whale Elk Herd At The Beach
Along the beach we saw our usual 13 buzzards. They follow me everywhere, hoping. There were even some crows hanging about. They were busy with lunch eating a baby whale, about 5 feet long. Our lunch as we walked along the beach was some banana chips and dried corn and peas. As we came back into the parking area we finally saw our first elk then on the road out we passed the whole beach herd, about twenty females. When we turned off of highway 101 onto the parkway there was about a half dozen big bull elk by the road.

We enjoyed some apple pie as we watched our camp hosts, a bunch of chipmunks. The friendliest chipmunks we've ever seen. They really wanted us to feed them but we didn't for their own good, though they don't see it that way. As Lou was dozing in the chaise lounger one jumped onto here. Just curious. Later one did the same to me when I went to sleep. Once we awakened they jumped off.

For dinner I fixed grilled cheese and tri-tip sandwiches. After another camp walk we enjoyed a campfire. After yesterday's rain and wind, today turned out really nice.

Hail At Prairie Creek
Friday: (05/21) Our morning started out differently that yesterday's nice afternoon and evening. About 7am it started to rain heavily. It rained off an on, mostly on all day except around 10am when we had a heavy and long hail storm, little stuff but enough to cause drifts.

On our morning walk around camp about 9am we were surprised to see the group from Susanville High School were gone. They occupied the entire upper prairie campground. It's part of their schooling with projects to do and tests to be taken. They were evidently here all week. They must have gotten up quite early to have breakfast and packup all their tents and such by 9am. They did leave a very clean campground. They must be very organized.

We understand we can expect some 5th and 6th graders on Monday. Oh boy!

With the upper campground empty now we considered moving up there so we could get some sun but will stay here in the forest under the trees because it is quite nice next to the river. So our generator will get some use while we're here, really the first time we've had to use it for charging the batteries this trip.

We tinkered inside most of the morning. Lou was sewing. I tackled a pesky problem with our LPG leak detector. It is new but constantly sounds false alarms. It trips when Lou sprays her hair, when we cook, when we clean the floor or bathroom, when we run the generator and also does actually trip for the very rare buildup of PLG like when a range burner is hard to light. I've avoided taking the drastic action of tossing it out the door or other similar means of shutting it up, until now. six years is enough. I finally put a switch on it to kill it when we need to when it is obviously a false alarm. As part of the new method of obtaining silence, we add in a little sound by running our bathroom vent fan to keep the place ventilated in case there ever is any actual harmful gas. It's a new item to remember to turn on again but the silence is so much better now.

Yellow Flowers On Coastal Drive Red Flowers On Coastal Drive
For lunch we shared a Marie Callendar's chicken pot pie and leftover potatoes followed by a pina collada yogurt. After lunch we drove North through the park along the Newton P Drury Parkway then took the Coastal Drive to Klamath. We stopped a couple of times for me to capture some flowers alongside the road. The we explored as much of small town of Klamath as we could find. Then we drove out highway 169 to Klamath Glen. Not a whole bunch to be seen in either area. Then we returned home.

For dinner Lou fixed Italian/Mexican chicken soup. Since it was raining we spent the evening inside doing more tinkering.

Saturday: (05/22) It rained lightly al night and continued in the morning. We took our usual morning campground walk then had our maple and brown sugar oatmeal for breakfast. Since it was raining and looked like it would continue to rain we headed off to Crescent City, about 30 miles North.

Our first stop was at a garage sale where we found a nice set of pewter wine glasses. Our second stop was for lunch at the Chart Room restaurant out in the harbor. We both had their fish and chips, among the best fish and chips around. Next Lou dropped me off at McDonald's so that I could update the blog and she was off to the thrift stores.

We looked a a couple of antique stores before doing our grocery shopping at Safeway, then headed home.

Sunday: (05/23) We started the morning with a walk around camp then I fixed Don McMuffin's for breakfast. After breakfast we moved the RV a little to get some more sun.

Tunnel Under Redwood Tree Redwood Stump Garden
About 11am Lou dropped me off up the road a few miles at Zig-Zag Trail #2. I hiked up the Zig-Zag #2 Trail to the West Ridge trail then to the Friendship Ridge Trail the back home on the James Irvine Trail. The hike was about 10-11 miles total and through some really nice redwood forest.

Interesting Redwood Tree Limb Interesting Redwood Tree
I like the Friendship Ridge trail because of the many unusual redwood trees.

Flower Friendship Ridge Trail
Friendship Ridge is also a lush trail with lots of ferns along the trail. As you walk along you can also hear the surf on the br=each just over the next ridge West that is lower than Friendship Ridge.

Interesting Redwood Tree Live Redwood Tree Bridge
More unusual trees like the ribbon tree on the left and the bridge trees on the James Irvin Trail just East of where the Friendship Ridge Trail meets it. Upper Fern Canyon is below in a narrow gorge.

James Irvine Trail James Irvine Trail Boardwalk
The James Irvine Trail, while still a beautiful trail, isn't what it used to be. The trail has been relocated and where in the past you walked in the bottom of the ravine along side a creek on boardwalks, now it is much higher up on the hill side on a graded rock trail. Probably easier to maintain and it is now an accessible trail but not as nice as before. The section of boardwalk above right was the only section on the trail.

Flower Red-Brown Snail
And of course the flora and fauna were interesting. I haven't seen the little red flowers before and only saw two along the trail. While this area is famous for it's banana slugs, large bright yellow slugs, they were not in abundance yet and are more brown than yellow  right now. I did see this interesting red snail on the trail. Most of the snails are kind of gray, this one was showing it's colors.

My lunch was dried corn and peas, jerky, and a peanut bar. Lou had liverwort and ??. Lou worked at camp cleaning up the car and swapping stuff around form car to RV and etc. For dinner Lou fixed roasted chicken, hot potato salad with cucumbers and peppers.

Monday: (05/24) After our morning campground walk Lou fixed apple pancakes with bacon. Most of our nightly neighbors were gone by the end of our breakfast.

Elk On Elk Prairie, Prairie Creek SP Velvet Horned Elk
The weather was nice again today. We took a walk on the Elk Prairie Trail around the prairie in the morning. The male elk herd was on the prairie as we passed the entrance to the park. I took advantage of the dry weather to fix a new chip in the RV's windshield. We evidently picked that chip up on the way here from Eureka. About 2pm we went down to Orick for lunch at the Palms Cafe. We shared a chicken fried steak dinner and topped that with a peach cheese cake pie. When we returned, I reattached the protective cover on the car. It evidently came loose on the road out to the beach the other day. Our day was topped off with an evening campfire and dinner by the campfire was cold cuts cheese and crackers. About 8pm it started to rain a little but not enough to drive us from our fire once we brought out an umbrella.

(05/25) Our last day here and it's raining again. Hopefully just this morning. I fixed a porkchop and eggs with leftover hot potato salad for breakfast. After breakfast we stayed inside keeping dry. I worked on the blog so that it can be published quickly when we have Internet. Lou was reading until she couldn't stand being inside and took a walk around camp in the rain.

Since we have an 80% chance of rain today and it's raing 100% of the time all morning, we decided to not stay for our last day and return down to Eureka to the Redwood Acres Fairground where we intended to move tomorrow anyway. We left our camp about 1130 and stopped in Orick at the Palms Cafe once more for some pie before we left the area. Lou had some mince meat pie while I had berry pie. Fully fortified, we hit the road South to Eureka.

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