Saturday, December 29, 2007

Brookings, OR

We got as far as Brookings today. We need to get groceries and get organized. We are staying at a place with the surf crashing right outside our window. There are surfers in wetsuits. Brrrrr. I think I'd be cold in a wetsuit if I were wearing it on dry land. It rained most of the day today, but the sun came out for a few glimpses of the beautiful southern Oregon coastline. South of Bandon, I took a few shots of the outcroppings. If my "test drive" of this wireless internet service lasts long enough, I'll try posting a couple of them. I don't want to stay on too long because I don't know how much time I'll have. We are going to explore the Redwoods tomorrow. Crescent City is just about 27 miles down the road. Tonight we'll be visiting our favorite Fred Meyer! Two floors! Do we know how to have fun or what? So, when I have another free shot at the internet, I'll tell you more. To use this beyond our "test drive" is 10 bucks for 24 hours. Sheesh. Til later . . .

So now it's later--the next day in fact. Now I'm using my fallback method of getting onto the internet--Mike's cell phone. It pays to live with a techie. We've spent the day checking out Brookings, which is a town we kind of like. The Fred Meyer store is only the beginning! But today, we also left TLOFM (The Land Of Fred Meyer) and headed across the border into California. We explored a small (very small) part of Redwood NP (From the Redwood Forest . . .) and found a terrific campground inside the park that even has a water hookup. When camping without hook-ups, it's great to at least have water.

We discovered that Redwood NP is actually a national park within a series of state parks. When driving down Hwy 101, you actually go into and leave the park several times before reaching the end. The park stretches 50 miles down the coastline, which is rocky and rough. There is a spectacular lookout with big breakers, rocky outcroppings, and foaming waters. Mike was better able to capture it photographically with his video camera.

We took a short (very short) hike on a trail where we saw the Big Tree, and it was incredibly huge. 304 feet tall and estimated to be 1,500 years old. Steinbeck wrote, "The redwoods once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always . . . from them comes silence and awe. The most irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect."

We learned that around 200 feet off the ground, and living as a part of these tall trees, is an separate ecosystem with species that live their entire lives within this tree-top world, never touching the ground. Fantastic. Although I've seen the redwoods many times, I never get tired of looking at them, and I never get over how big they are.

Our plan is to spend tonight and tomorrow night here in Brookings, and then we would like to go down and spend at least one night within the park. The campground we saw is across from a meadow that is well marked with signs warning not to approach the wild Roosevelt Elk that roam the area, especially in the evening. We were treated to a rare sunny day in the park today, and we are hoping the weather will hold just a little bit longer so that we can enjoy our time there in the sunshine.