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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Northern California Redwoods and Trinity Alps with a little serendipity

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Our 12-day plan included Avenue of the Giants (Humboldt Redwoods State Park), Redwoods National Park including Jedediah Smith State Park, and a lot of other places, with a combination of low-stress camping (no cooking) and motels. However, we veered off-course, as serendipity intervened, and also headed to the Trinity Alps, where we accidently found Coffee Creek Ranch. All-told, this was one of our top-5 vacations! We would have gladly spent a week longer in the Redwoods...and at Coffee Creek as well.

Unfortunately, I had a really bad fall a week before we left, tripping on a raised sidewalk edge and sustaining a nasty head injury. Misery for a full week. Stitches out the day before we left. I felt rocky, but determined to go. Luckily, hiking trails in the redwoods are relatively level, soft with humus, with few surprises, unlike hiking in the desert or in the Sierras.

DH had gone to the library and checked out some classic CDs for our trip.
Travel music on first day: "Annie Get Your Gun" - original 1946 Broadway cast recording with Ethel Merman, "Australia Collection" - work songs of the Outback, and Japanese Flute Melodies with Jean Pierre Rampal. Perfect! We sang along ( at full voice) on everything, and then drove in awe through the redwoods to the Japanese flutes until we arrived at Burlington Campground.

Burlington Campground is in a nice location next to the Visitor Center, just a few miles north of Myers Flat on the old Avenue of the Giants. We noticed that all the restaurants in Myers Flat had closed down, and that the funky market was still there, but only with its usual supply of Hostess Cupcakes, Slim Jims, Ho-Hos, and ice cream. The best thing to buy there was ice, $2/bag including tax.

Firewood was available at the ranger gate, 12 pieces for $7. Kiln-dried redwood and it really burned great! The campsites were clean and decent and had metal bear boxes. Bathrooms were spotless; private toilet/sink and private hot showers. If all campgrounds were like this, I'd camp more often! The only minus came at bedtime: we could hear the traffic of Hwy 101 up the hill, something we are not used to hearing while in the woods!

This campground was extremely well-run. I'm embarrassed to say that we got in trouble for "laughing after 10PM" - the ranger came to scold us at 10:10 - we had no idea it was that late, nor were we very loud, but sound does carry in a campground. We were actually grateful they do try to keep a quiet campground from 10PM til 6AM, and the next night we kept REALLY quiet.

The first day we took things slowly (due to my headache). DH insisted on going to the Visitor Center to see a film on the Christmas Floods of 1964. I am so glad! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND seeing this film (just ask one of the volunteers). It provides 30 min. of history that will put your entire trip to the redwoods in perspective!

Since we've been to this area before, we selected one hike...well...stroll. The Drury-Chaney Loop Trail has always been one of my favorites. Usually there is not a soul on it. There are no huge trees, but I love the ambiance of it. (I'll post photos).

After the walk, we went to a fabulous little organic produce stand near Pepperwood. It has the best-ever blackberry popsicles!! On the honor system, you weigh the vegetables you want and/or pick up the popsicles from the freezer, and put the money in the box. I can still taste those popsicles!! Yum! Just like devouring a half-basket of fresh blackberries!

The next day we broke camp and headed to Scotia, an historic logging town.
(To be continued...)

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