Miles: 10942And now: California!
So it was Saturday, and our stay at Gold Beach had come to a close. It was a misty and cold morning. It was one of those thick foggy mornings that require deeply philisophical analogies to things like pea soup or settling gelatin. Needless to say, we eschewed any sort of breakfast preparation plans and found ourselves a nice lodge based eatery. It was good.
After breakfast we drove through some additional fog. It cleared up around Elk Valley, just as we entered the Redwoods State and National Parks. We drove through the forest, checked in to a campsite down in the Prarie Creek park, and headed out on a hike. We observed some very large trees with very whispy filtered sunlight pushing through the remainder of the fog. Even though there were probably dozens of people around on the trails, there were enough of them (the trails) that we didn't really feel crowded. It was beautifully tranquil and secluded. Eventually, we had hiked enough (5 miles or so) that Ceridwen's feet started to hurt, so before we crippled her we hopped back in Vantom and seeked out some less cardiovascular entertainment.
We stopped at the Trees of Mystery, which promised a sky tram up in to the redwood canopy. After inspecting their prices and the trails full of redwood carvings en route to the sky tram, we decided to pass. So we shelled out our fifty cents to squash out one cent and headed back out to the van. It was at this time that we noted that the gigantic tall tale characters outside the entrance were not only motorized and audio equipped, but also featured some particularly unnecessary reproductive details. For the record, we were not the only ones taking time to photograph Babe's fiberglass assets. Many other tourists posed for closeups with them. Or pressered their girlfriend in to posing, as the case may be.
We headed back to the campground for a fun filled evening of dinner, s'mores, wine, and our newly purchased book trivia game. It turned out to be a cool combination of Trivial Pursuit, Clue, and Monopoly. You answer book-related questions to get money each turn (or take the "novice" patch and answer a "what is your favorite..." question for $25) and then roll to move around the board to find and buy the books on your "essentials" list. The game also has a bit of wine on it now, because we learned that night (again) that apparently we did not pack a corkscrew. Either that or we packed it really, really well.
Our neighbors clearly had more beverage available than the single bottle of wine we had, for there was some jolly good times coming through the shrubberies. They had some problems with making dinner on their campfire, but that probably was more a factor of the fire building by committee than the boozin'.