Driving the Northern CA Coast

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park isn’t nearly as remote as Jedediah Smith. It’s easily accessed by Hwy 101, which runs smack down the middle of it and hundreds of cars a day take the scenic drive down the “Avenue of the Giants.”

I had forgotten to take melatonin that night and slept horribly. Regardless, I roused myself out of my bad mood and out of my sleepless bed at 6 am to ride my road bike and hunt for good picture opportunities in the quiet dawn. I didn’t end up with any stellar photos, but the hour long ride did manage to squelch my grumpiness.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

To tell you the truth, we were all a little sick of big trees. We were ready to move on. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of being there, we made quick laps through the Rockefellor Loop Trail and the Founder’s Grove, which were both flat, short and scenic laps of less than a mile with some really big gorgeous old growth trees. Some of the standouts of this forest, in particular, were the massive downed trees that have been sliced open so that you can walk through the cross sections.

R, exploring Founder’s Grove, Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Some of the living trees here, because of the foot traffic, have walkways built around them, which I found an interesting solution to the issue of human interest.

Super creative name you guys! The “Giant Tree,” Humboldt Redwoods State Park

After our rapid hikes through the trees, we were anxious to head south to the coast. We had a mission for our afternoon and next day and it included: Mendocino coast, Boonville and lots of breweries!

We stopped briefly outside of Mendocino to wine taste at Pacific Star Winery. Pros about Pacific Star: gorgeous views and a lovely picnic area. Cons about Pacific Star: terrible wine, $5 tasting fee that isn’t waved with the purchase of a bottle. I highly recommend that you go picnic on Pacific Star Winery’s lawn with wine from a different vineyard.

Taking in the view at Pacific Star Winery.

After quickly setting up camp at the gorgeous and highly recommended Russian Gulch Campground (another one of the list of best campgrounds in CA), we headed back north into Fort Bragg for some early dinner and beer tasting at North Coast Brewing Co. Their food was some of the best I’ve had in a brewery. Garlic waffle fries? Yes, please.

Beer Sampler at North Coast Brewery

That night we played on the beach in Russian Gulch, drank wine, had an extremely long game of corn hole, and all ate far too many s’mores. It was our last night before we returned home and we wanted to savoir the outdoors (not that we didn’t have an amazing day planned already for the route home).

Russian Gulch State Park

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