The primary reason for visiting the California coast before trekking north was to see the Giant Sequoias in the Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park. Only about 15 minutes from Crescent City, California it was a short drive in the morning to the state park. There was a steady light rain and complete cloud cover for the duration of the day. We ran into initial trouble finding trails to walk through the forest but after consulting one of the employees at the information center we set out in the right direction. We drove along a dirt road full of puddles and pot holes for about 15 minutes and then hiked along Boy Scout Trail which promised many of the giant trees. Part of the trail was closed due to a downed tree but the first mile and a half was open. Along the trail on either side the massive trees could be seen, touched, and admired.
We walked for about an hour through the forest, silent and dripping from the rain. A mist settled in the higher canopy of the evergreens and moss clung to the bark and branches of the smaller trees.
It was worth visiting this forest out of season because it seemed that we had the entire forest to ourselves. We took our time along the trail and only covered about three miles but we soon had to hit the road because we had another part of our journey to look forward to that afternoon.
When we discussed some of our travel plans with a relative they highly recommended taking route 101 along the Oregon Coast as we traveled north. The scenic view followed the Pacific shore offering views of the cliffs, rocks, dunes, and beaches found along the way.
The route also went through a handful of coastal towns with quaint restaurants and many cottages. The cool rain we experienced in the redwoods continued in the afternoon was cool but this did not detract from the view, in fact, the rain and mist seemed fitting for the Oregon Coast. There were plenty of places to pull off and take pictures along the route. We stopped to climb on massive sand dunes that could be found for a good stretch along the shore. We also stopped at Cannon Beach, famous for its use in the classic movie The Goonies.
Every turn in the road seemed to offer a new scene of evergreens, cliffs, and ocean. We drove for about 350 miles up the coast, we could have spent two or three more weeks along this part of the drive just to take in everything that the Emerald Coast has to offer.