Califoregon Day #4

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

 

Mr. Kohlah (after losing an eye) said that was all right. “One eye is sufficient for the hings I am looking forward to seeing,” he smiled, touching his wife’s swollen belly. Whereas, he added, the ugliness of the world would  now trouble him only half as much – from  A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

I am thankful for the two eyes I had to take in the beauty of the redwoods. Pictures just can’t do justice to the sheer hugeness of these gentle giants.

We drove back north a ways to begin the day at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Here we got upclose and personal with the big guys.

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I always love when I stumble upon something someone else has made or left behind, such as a cairn.

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

After enjoying the redwoods, we headed for Crescent City. Although we were able to find some pockets of beauty, this little town was a disappointment as far as my expectations went. Perhaps it would be better to visit this area in the summer.

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Crescent City, CA

 

The lighthouse I was hoping to explore was unreachable. I should have read this:

“Visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides. Extreme care and caution should be used when crossing the two hundred feet between the mainland and island anytime wave action may cover the crossing area. Sneaker waves at any time can threaten visitors standing on or near the rocks and the shore of Battery Point Island. ”

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Battery Point Lighthouse

 

I did read more about it after the trip and there is a fascinating story HERE about the time Crescent City was hit by a tsunami in 1964.

 

We still had fun exploring a bit …

and I spotted Sasquatch near the lighthouse!

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Crescent City, California

 

We also went to The Trees of Mystery, but I’ll save that for another post.

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Califoregon – Day One and Two

 

 

This year I will turn sixty. And then we’ll celebrate forty years of marriage. So, even though it’s a few months early, I planned a trip to celebrate. I’ve always wanted to see the Redwood trees and trees we saw. Lots of trees. And it never got old.

We flew into Medford, Oregon via Colorado in two pretty small United Airline planes. We spent two nights at the White House B&B, built in 1906, where Kathie was a wonderful hostess. Our room was comfy, even with no air conditioning – it wasn’t needed. Kathie had a pitcher of ice water ready when we arrived and made coffee fresh in the morning, which hubby brought upstairs to me on a tray. Her breakfasts were wonderful and kept us fueled up for most of the day. I’d never had a poached apple but now I want to try it at home. We had some good conversations at breakfast with Kathie, though she was pretty absorbed the second morning in the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing on TV.  🙂

 

After unloading and freshening up that first day, we headed to Edenvale Winery. We had a tasting and then enjoyed a glass of wine in the lovely vineyard. After that we headed to Porter’s  for dinner, where I had a most delicious pork tenderloin. Porter’s is housed inside the old train depot and is beautiful as well as a great place to eat.

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The next day we headed to Crater Lake. On the way we made a quick U-Turn to hit up a bookstore in Shady Cove. There hubby found another Michael Connelly fan in the store owner. She grew up in California but has been in Oregon for years and loves it. I can see why!

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Crater Lake, Oregon

 

Crater Lake is gorgeous! I have never seen anything like it! We drove around the rim, stopping all along the way to enjoy the views. The blueness of the water reflecting the clear blue sky was absolutely breathtaking! I never knew there was so much beauty in Oregon.

 

Out and About in Bham

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In finalizing the cessation of my other blog, I thought I’d put together some bits and pieces about things to do outdoors around Birmingham.

Moss Rock Preserve

Looking for a spot to get your Saturday morning hike on? Moss Rock Preserve is the perfect place. Situated only minutes from John Hawkins Parkway and Shades Crest Road in Hoover, this 349 acre preserve is a great location for hikers and nature lovers of all ages and skill levels. This is where my husband began getting in shape for a trip to Montana a few years back. There are 12 miles of trails to explore. And it’s free!

Tips:

  • Bring water
  • Leave no trash behind
  • Bring snacks if you have a 5-year old – “I’m hungry” is a common refrain
  • A walking stick comes in handy
  • Watch out for wet, slippery rocks (I speak from experience)
  • Don’t forget your camera

 

Oak Mountain Park

This 9000+ acre park in Pelham, the largest state park in Alabama,  has so much to offer in addition to hiking. There is a beach and swimming area,  boat rentals, camping, biking, golf, nature programs, basketball courts, horseback riding –  and that’s just some of what you’ll find here – whew!

The trails are clearly marked ; when our five year old grandson hiked with us he was a great scout, keeping us on the white and yellow trails. Along the way there was a creek flowing through – a great spot for a break.

Tips:

  • Bug spray is helpful
  • Hiking shoes – it’s not about the looks, it’s about the ankle support
  • Buy a map at the park office and use it
  • Bring water
  • Don’t overdo it

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

bbg1Another beautiful and free place to visit, with so many varieties of roses! I discovered that there is a library at the gardens – mostly botanical related items. I was able to use my library card to check out a few magazines and I can then return them at the Hoover Library – sweet! There is also a wonderful gift shop that has delicious smelling soaps and candles and lots of unique items.

Pepper Place Market

This outdoor market, held on Saturdays,  has not just produce, but lots of local crafts and ready-made food items. There is music to enjoy and on hot days a mister for the kids, or hot adults.

Railroad Park

This 19 acre park along 1st street is right next to Regions Field, home of the Barons. It has numerous paths to walk, water features, two playgrounds, grassy areas for play  or picnicking and even a designated areas for skaters.

Birmingham Zoo

The Zoo is great for all ages. Your best bargain is to get a Membership for a year. This will also get you discounted admission to reciprocal locals across the country. Besides the animals, there is a train ride, carousel, playgrounds,and water play area for the kids. There are also numerous places to get a bite to eat, and also a gift shop.

Tips:

  • If you want to save money, go on half-price Tuesday
  • If you want to avoid crowds, don’t go on Tuesday
  • Use sunscreen
  • Take your time; go with your kids’ pace. It’s better to savor the moments than to try to see everything
  • May is prime Field Trip time for schools