We left Lake Tahoe, racing to Sacramento to pick up my mom, and the kids couldn’t wait to see their precious Grandma. We couldn’t have been happier to see her!
We decided to take what we thought would be an hour detour to go check out the famous glass beach in Fort Bragg on the way to the redwoods. While the beach was beautiful,
we quickly learned that many of the beaches were closed, and almost all the beach glass had been carted off in garbage cans by greedy tourists, leaving only small pieces. Finally, beach-glass loving Grandma found a risky spot to get down to the beach, giving us a private beach to explore.
We were so excited to find some beach glass on our search!
By the time we got done exploring, everyone was starving! We stopped at Denny’s for yet another ‘kids eat free’ meal.
The ride up to the redwoods turned into a nail-biting experience on this route.
Much of the coastline had major construction. In hindsight, this road was totally unsuitable for a rig like ours. We were shocked that we were even allowed to go this way!
At last, we reached our destination, Giant Redwoods RV Park. We were lucky enough to have a site nestled right in the big trees.
The kids were quickly adjusting to California time, so Mom and I got to head off to explore a small redwood grove before everyone woke up. I think no matter how many of these trees I see, I will always be in total awe.
Mom was thrilled to be on this segment of the trip.
When the kids woke up finally, we raced off to explore Avenue of the Giants before checkout time. We certainly didn’t get enough of this grove the last time we were here, and we could have spent days here this time.
The kids could not have been happier to explore this magical play land of giant trees. If only we could have spent all day here!
Laney loved finding these amazing giant clovers!
We got a big kick out of shining our flashlights up the insides of these beauties.
Daredevil Ellie could not resist following her brothers.
As you can see, the kids asked to have their pictures taken at every tree.
Because we had to head back to check out of the campground with the camper, our nature trail visit ended too soon. We enjoyed driving the rest of the Avenue of the Giants.
It’s hard to believe the redwoods stretch 4 hours up the California coast, but they do. Our next stop was at yet another grove, Jedidiah Smith State Park, which is connected to Redwood National Park.
This site was definitely a favorite, surrounded by all the giant trees.
Of course, tough Grandma could not resist sleeping in her tent among the trees.
The girls loved finding a giant moth on our walk to the river.
We had hoped to cross the river to a redwood grove by land bridge, but we discovered the bridge had not been out in yet, as the water was still a foot too high.
Braden enjoyed climbing a giant boulder.
The boys insisted on taking the inflatable kayak out on the river, so they all woke up at 5 am the next morning to hit the water.
Of course, Gavin was excited to come back to muffins for breakfast after their early paddle.
The kids received their junior ranger badge before we headed off to the redwood grove by road.
It was a little chillier on the coast, and we were surprised by the number of mosquitoes here, but of course, the beautiful trees was well worth it.
We found yet another amazing play land of trees to play in!
The kids discovered the joys of moss. So much fun!
Again, the kids wanted pictures of every tree, stunt, and pose.
These trees are amazingly resilient, as evidenced by all the abuse they can take, including fires. We wondered what kind of abuse this tree had been through. Despite all they can survive (including fire), we learned that coastal redwoods do not survive in snow. Braden bought a mini sequoia to try growing at home. For now, he sent it home with grandma for her and grandpa to take care of.
We had come back to the redwoods because we had not gotten enough of them when we had to play catchup and race through them two years ago when our car engine had blown, but once again, we have not had enough. We will most definitely return!