June 30, 2019
After waking up at the rest stop, we broke camp, and made our way to the Thomas H. Kutchel Visitor Center in order to get help planning our day in Redwood National Park. The staff was very helpful and provided us with all the maps we could possibly need. They shared with us that wild elk roamed near Fern Canyon. Needless to say that is where we went first. They also warned us to keep our distance as the elk can charge if humans get too close and they feel threatened. We were told to keep far enough away that if we put up our thumb, it would cover the entire elk. And if the elk charge, run into a wooded area as their antlers can get caught between trees and they will will probably not follow you. You can also climb a tree. Basically the opposite response from a bear encounter.
Armed with this information, we headed straight to Fern Canyon. What a magical place. The ferns cover the valley walls, small waterfalls trickle in between the ferns, and a stream makes it way through the valley floor. Pictures do not do it justice, but we will try.
After completing the loop trail around Fern Canyon (about 1 mile), and taking more pictures of elk than we will ever need (thank goodness for digital cameras!), we once again heeded the Park Ranger’s advice and took the Newton B. Drewry Scenic Byway and found a little secluded spot in the forest to have lunch (and shoot our camper walk-around video).
In the afternoon, we headed to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park, taking Howland Hill Rd (a narrow dirt road) to Stout Grove in Jedidiah Smith.
We didn’t get to spend as much time as we would have wanted in Jeddidiah Smith Redwood State Park, but we were racing to beat the sunset and find a place for the night in Oregon.
Once in Oregon, we found what we thought was cheap gas at the time ($3.39 /gallon), and were reminded that in the state of Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas, a gas station attendant must do it for you. Finally having good cell signal, we searched for National Forest Fire Roads we could take to set up camp for the night. We ended up near Eight Dollar Mountain located in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. I’d say we lucked out!
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