The Great Redwoods

We have been a VERY busy little family recently so I have been really slacking on updating the blog. We have been going like crazy... had family in and out for 3 weeks, then Turner and I went to Mississippi for a month until Jesse joined us for Kelley's wedding. Great problem to have, right?  I have LOTS to update you on. Well, let's start back at when Kelley came to visit!

So, Kelley flew in the Wednesday after Memorial Day to celebrate the end of another teaching school year and to kick off her summer.  This was pretty much the only weekend she didn't have something wedding related planned, so we are so glad she shared her down time with us.  I had been counting down the weeks for her visit and we were so excited the day she got here! We spent the first few days hanging around Portland while Jesse worked.  We had plans to leave Friday morning for a trip to see the Redwoods in Northern California... well, our car was in the shop and we weren't sure if it would be done in time for our trip.  Turns out it wasn't, so the mechanic hooked us up with a brand new Yukon XL for the weekend. Holy moly that thing was HUGE. Imagine: Jesse and I in the front, Kelley and Turner in the backseat, all of our stuff in the 3rd row, and Maggie had the entire back all to herself. It made for a very spacious comfortable ride, but I don't think we will ever own anything so big! Seriously felt like a bus.

Anyways, we left Portland Friday morning and made our way over to Hwy 101 - The Pacific Coast Highway.  Have you ever wondered what the Oregon coast looks like? Probably not. I had never thought about it before, so I wasn't sure what to expect but it BLEW ME AWAY.  Hello amazingly beautiful rugged mountain and forests meets gorgeous water and huge rocks out in the surf. It really reminded us of our time in Hawaii, especially our time on the island of Oahu. So natural and beautiful.

We followed 101 along the coastline for a few hours until we got to Crescent City, CA (known as the Gateway to the Redwoods) where we were staying for the weekend. We got some seafood, then studied the map for the best way to get to our cabin that we rented. The most direct way we found went straight through the Jedediah State Park, so we took off into the woods. Not 5 minutes later the road got narrow, the forest got thicker, and we were completely surrounded by GIANTS.  Out of nowhere we were in the midst of the BIGGEST trees I have ever seen in my entire life.  The setting was perfect.  It was dusk, cool, quiet and we had miles and miles of this little forest road all to ourselves.  We rolled the windows down and stared out in amazement of these beasts of trees that surrounded us as far as our eyes could see.  No words can adequately describe it and no photos can do these trees justice.  It really is something you have to see for yourself to grasp the magnitude.  We realized that this is the same road we would come coming down the next day to get to the trailhead for our hike, so we really enjoyed our little HUGE preview of what the next day held for us.  This road led us to the road our cabin was on, so we continued on -- beginning to wonder if we had gone the right way because we were getting further and further away from the town and deeper into the wilderness.  Sure enough we eventually pulled up to a very cute "A frame" house on the Smith River - the Jade River Lodge.

This place was really cool! Completely off the grid - no internet, no phone service, no power (other than from the generator), and water from a well.  A total getaway from everything.  The owners lived next door and their sweet old Golden Retriever, Bella, welcomed us and kept us all company while we were there.  She was very sweet with both Maggie and Turner.  The Smith River was just down from the cabin.  The water was so clear and a gorgeous blue/green color.  If you find yourself needing a place to stay near Crescent City, we HIGHLY recommend this place!

The next day was simply amazing.  Again, no way to adequately capture it all, but here are some pictures to try to show what we saw!  Even Turner got out of the pack some and hiked around all by himself.  He did really great navigating over the roots along the trail. I had a few braxton hicks contractions on our way back out on the trail, so we took it slow and just enjoyed the scenery.

We were so sad to leave the next day, but made our way back up the coastline and headed back to Portland.


Kelley was in town for one more day and then it was time for her to go back to the reality of wedding planning and Mississippi heat. We had SUCH a great trip and were so glad to have shared this experience with Kelley.  If you have not seen the the Redwoods and ever have the chance... take it!  Simply amazing.

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