Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prairie Creek State Park

Prairie Creek State Park near Visitor's Center. Cars and telephone pole for scale.

One of my favorite trees in the park. Beautiful canopy structure. This tree can be seen along other trails and always catches my eye.
Another awesome canopy structure. A sea of branches.

Freshwater Lagoon on left, Pacific Ocean on right.
Drove up to Prairie Creek State Park in an attempt to simply enjoy a redwood hike. Only was lured off trail a couple times to visit big trees deep in the forest, but it was enough to wear me out. So much for simple enjoyment. Forest was filled with bright sunshine yesterday. I forgot just how much water collects on the ferns, as I received a good, good soaking from the two bushwhacks from this past week's rain. Saw quite a few hikers on the trails yesterday, more than usual. One hiker I talked to mentioned a group of hikers getting cornered by a bull elk recently and having to be rescued. Mating season will commence shortly. Will have to keep an ear out for the mating calls...

Friday, September 26, 2014

This Week in Humboldt Redwoods State Park: More Rain!

Ever wondered which tree is the tallest in the Children's Forest? Found this neat overlook off a trail that brings you eye level with the canopy. You can take a guess from this spot!
Good news. More rain fell from the sky this week, bringing much needed water to the region. The Eel River was noticeably higher on Thursday, and tributaries that were once dry are flowing again for now. I am hopeful for an exciting salmon run this season. The forest was very damp, and again the colors really came out as a result. Mushrooms should also be popping out of the ground soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Canoe Creek: Humboldt Redwoods State Park

I did a little exploring around Canoe Creek yesterday in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I was glad to make it over there before the major rains come, raise the water level in the Eel, and make the grove off limits until next summer. It's a peaceful little spot, and there are some nice trees growing on the flat. I also pushed up the creek a little ways off trail. I went about as far as I could stomach, which wasn't really all that far. Better to have a partner if one is to really explore up the creek. Yesterday I realized that as soon as I think I've come to know the park, I still have barely begun to know the place. The area I saw was the home of the mountain lions and bears. I was content to leave it that way for now...

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Rainy Season Has Arrived!

The first rains of the fall/winter arrived on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Hopefully this will be a good sign of more rain to come this fall. The redwoods take on a completely different character in the rain. Thursday, the forest was filled with the popping sounds of raindrops falling through the canopy onto ferns and sorrel. Frogs could be heard chirping in the evening. The days are getting noticeably shorter and pretty soon my post work evening hikes will become a summertime memory. The rainy season is a great time for photography as the colors really come out. The forest seems clearer to the eye as well it seems.

Friday, September 12, 2014

This Week in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Just like that, it looks and feels like fall in certain spots in Humboldt Redwoods State Park...

Friday, September 5, 2014

This Week in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Temperatures felt noticeably cooler in the mornings a couple times this week. The groves were also rather smokey yesterday afternoon as smoke from nearby fires blew into the area. Many of the parking areas are covered with newly fallen, orange redwood needle segments, which is common this time of year. Below is a video taken by a man showing low water flow on the Eel River. The video was taken near Fortuna. The Eel is low but flowing through HRSP. Below is also a photo I took of Bull Creek last month. It has stopped flowing near the spot where it enters the Eel. I also took a hike along Bull Creek flats yesterday morning and did not need to use a bridge where I crossed the creek, as the water was low enough to rock hop across. Lets hope for a wet rainy season this year...
I took this photo the first week in August, 2014. Bull Creek has stopped flowing just before reaching the Eel River. This is just an observation. I don't know if this is a regular summertime occurrence.

Monday, September 1, 2014

I Love the Trail!

Glacier National Park along the CDT (2013)
"I am ruined."

It's a comment I have heard often among thru hikers, a comment that resonates deeply within my being these days! I too feel ruined, but ruined in a good way. I can't wait to get back on the trail. It's nine months post Continental Divide. There has not been a day that has passed in the last nine months that I have not felt "ruined." It's the "elephant in the room" if you will. Within all of my daily interactions with people and place lies the fact that I would honestly still rather be on the trail. No matter how hard I try to be present, that realization remains. I can be present as long as I need to be throughout the day, but as soon as that time passes, I am dreaming of another thru hike. I hope that time comes sooner rather than later. For now I am doing my best to be patient, but everything feels like a cheap replacement, which is absolutely absurd considering where I am right now.

I love being on the move. I love being in the best possible shape. I love the feeling of clean socks or a warm shower after several days without one. I love the feeling of freedom, of eating whatever I want. I love waking up under the trees, or sleeping under the stars. I love looking at maps and planning, meeting new possible trail friends. Swimming in lakes and rivers, climbing mountains, sunsets, hitchhiking, being paralyzed by fear, experiencing the awe and dread of the power of Mother Nature. I love looking at wildflowers and clouds, that strange yearning feeling when looking out over a vast expanse and the 1000 mile stare. I love the trail!