Archive for the ‘California’ Category

From unsuccessful elk hunter to finding my feet as a paleontologist

July 9, 2013

Today we travelled from Trinidad, back over state lines, to Bandon in southern Oregon.  On the way we tried to spot a few elks.  Apparently the world’s largest Roosevelt elk herds hang around this area.  We checked out their known hangouts.  The old school house in Orick (pictured), the Elk Meadows at Gold’s Bluff, the nearby beaches and the lagoons.  We even tuned into Am 1610, the official wild elk spotting station.  Apparently they are everywhere… but we couldn’t find any.  Papi thought they must be out having bacon and eggs so we went and did the same thing.  Whilst our elk hunting skills were somewhat lacking, we did enjoy some spectacular road trip views (also pictured).

10 Elk hunting

10 view

 About 50 minutes before we reached Bandon we arrived at the Prehistoric Gardens where I turned my hand to paleontology and unlike elk hunting, here I excelled.  I took charge of the map and led Mum, Papi and Rafa on the tour telling fun facts about each dinosaur as we went around.  I loved this park so much I did the loop twice.  Check out my video at the end talking about my favourite dinosaur.

10 map

10 T rex

10 dino 1

10 dino 2

10 dino 3

By Ana.  Paleontologist, age 3.

The avenue of the giants

July 8, 2013

The giants that line this 31 mile route are redwood trees and they are the oldest and tallest living things in the world.  Even when we craned our necks we couldn’t see to the very top of the trees.  The tallest recorded tree is 375 ft (114 m) high and 52 ft (16 m) round, that’s like a high rise building!  The tallest tree fell over in 1991 but it is still a sight to see. 


9 avenue of the giants


I know I’m small but… these trees really are GIANTS! 

9 Rafa on tree

The Immortal Tree has been standing for 1,000 years against all odds.  The axe marks the scar where loggers in 1908 axed an undercut in the tree with the intention of falling it but for some reason they never went back to finish the back cut.  Life number one used.  Shortly after there was a big fire in the area lit by loggers slashing brush.  Again it was scared but did not kill the tree.  Around 1952 the 298 ft (90 m) tree was stuck by lightening, taking 50ft (15 m) off it’s top.  Finally, the fish (above the axe) shows the flood line, some 17 ft (5 m) above the base of the tree, from the 1964 flood which inundated the area.  

9 the immortal tree

Just by the Immortal tree is this naturally hollow redwood log which measures 33 ft (11 m) in circumference.  It was left over from a harvest sometime between 1850 and 1900.

9 Ana in tree

We had lunch at the Eternal Tree House Cafe and checked out the hut built in a living stump of an over 2,500 year old tree.  It’s hard to see how big the cavern is in this photo but it’s a 20 ft (7 m) room.  The hollow was made from fire centuries ago (and used by Indians, hunters and travellers over time) and then refined with a wood splitter’s axe in the 1900s.

9 eternal tree

Along the avenue are also lots of wood carvings and art.  This Indian Sculpture that looked over the picnic tables at the Eternal Tree Cafe was a favourite of Anas.  I liked all the bear carvings myself.

9 Ana in front of Indian sculpture

The Visitor Center had a rings of history stump that was a really clever way of highlighting just how old these giants are (and this is a relatively small log for the area!)  

9 rings of history whole

If you look closely this tree was pretty skinny when the Vikings discovered North America but quite sizeable when the University of Paris was founded and Genghis Khan conquered the Persians.

9 rings of history close up

Papi’s favourite activity of the day was driving through a 3,000 year old tree.

9 drive thru tree

Ana’s favourite place of the day was inside these two and three story tree houses (located in the same place as the drive-thru tree in Myers Flat).  I thought they were pretty fun too.  Ana and I suggested we stayed the night there but Mum said we had another night at our cabin in Trinidad already paid for.

9 tree houses

9 Ana looking out tree house window

The Avenue of the Giants is about 100 miles south of the Oregon boarder and 200 miles north of San Francisco and so, so, so much fun.

By Rafa.

Patrick’s Point State Park

July 7, 2013

We bought an all day pass to Patrick’s Point State Park ($8) which is a headland that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. 

In the morning we explored the Sumeg Village which was built in 1990 by an all Yurok team to preserve their heritage.  The Yurok people had more than 50 villages in this area in the 1800s.  The traditional redwood planked family homes had little holes for doors and big fire pits in the middle to keep heat in the house.  Rafa and I also paddled a canoe dugout of a single giant redwood.

8 Sumeg village family home

8 Sumeg village inside house

8 sumeg village canoe

In the afternoon we hiked some of the trails in the park.  I was the map reader and managed to keep us on track.  We saw lots of sea birds which I spied with my noculars and we climbed lots of steps.  Except for Rafa, he travelled by back pack.

8 hike map

8 hike the boys

8 hike wedding rock

8 Ana with the binoculars

8 hike wedding rock from Patricks Point

By Ana.

Crossing state lines to the Californian coast

July 6, 2013

Here we are in Trinidad Bay a Northern Californian seaside town.  We spent the afternoon eating clam chowder and taking the trail from the memorial lighthouse down to the beach which I felt in my legs climbing back up!   We’re now settling into our cabin in the Redwood forest for the night.

7 Trinidad Bay

7 beach

7 trail

7 cabin

By Ana.