Due to the pandemic,
this Best Western at Crescent City provided packed small breakfasts for pick up in the lobby
rather than set up a buffet.
The resulting breakfast was limited but enough to get by after waking up this morning.
After our usual rousing of the children out of bed,
we fed them this breakfast, then packed up, and loaded the car.
The night before I checked through the National Park one last time to determine the best sights.
Our route today actually has us backtrack a bit,
at first going inland into the Jebediah Smith Redwoods State Park we drove through
the day before.
In preparation for this trip, I made a point of having the children last night
watch a world-famous
movie that was shot in the redwood forests found in this area.
This was the setting for the moon named Endor and the home
of the diminutive woodland species called the Ewoks
who helped the Rebellion overthrow the Empire.
Here was the location of the ground battles and triumphant scenes of
the movie we all know as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
|Hiouchi Visitors Center
Range/Distance ratio: 1.33
|9:31 am||Departed Best Western Crescent City||310|
|9:49 am||Arrived Hiouchi Visitors Center||298|
Going back on the route 199 was our path to the Hiouchi Visitors Center.
Like many others, the building is closed but a couple of Park rangers were there to
hand out maps and Junior Ranger packets.
I asked him how to get to Stout Grove, and he gave me a little map
that directed a path east, over a bridge over Smith River,
and into a dirt road on the south side of the river.
I thanked him, and we took the path.
The dirt road was very very dusty.
I was careful to be slow because the trees near this dirt road
bore a clear accumulation of this dust, making
it looks as if this was grey forest rather than a redwood one.
I didn't want to accumulate this dirt on my car either.
At this hour we saw a few mountain bikers making their way here.
The paved asphalt made it clear we arrived at the parking area for the Stout Memorial Grove Trail.
Now we could make out the redwood trees, but we were only getting started.
We entered this 44-acre grove of old-growth redwoods with awe.
It was so quiet and peaceful, with enormous redwoods up to 300 feet tall
and the ground covered by green ferns and other smaller plant life.
Fallen trees and branches were the start of nurse logs where new growth sprouted upwards,
a sign of this forest constantly renewing itself.
The morning sun illuminated the trees and the ground,
when the sun backlit the high leaves it felt like the life here was glowing.
Try as we might, we couldn't find the Ewok village or the destroyed shield generator.
I made a point of having us hike very slowly here
to take in the gentle beauty and peace that seems so rare and precious these days.
The number of other hikers were relatively low, so we could take our time to shoot pictures of the forest
and ourselves here.
Some of the trees were indeed enormous, some so big it was nearly impossible for me to capture the entire
tree in the camera.
We only could place ourselves near their bases and let them reach far up out of view.
In other views we could only admire how far they reach up out of reach into the sky.
The hike was very easy and flat, but we took a great deal of time here because
if this was the only place we really visited, that would have been enough,
but we did have more.
|Redwood National and State Parks
To leave we had to return on that dirt road.
Again I drove slow, but many other drivers were much more aggressive and drove fast kicking up a great deal of dust.
We then continued back around to route 199 and saw Crescent City one last time before making our way
south on 101.
We were welcomed with a beautiful drive through redwood forests,
earning the name "the
which we began to drive yesterday in Oregon.
At times we were close enough to the coast that the fog rolled in through the trees,
casting an eerie look.
An unexpected stop was the "Caves of Mystery".
I was doing my best to ignore the advertisements for this tourist trap before our arrival,
but the enormous Paul Bunyan and Blue caught
my wife's attention and she said we should stop to look because these stories were read
at school to my daughter's classroom last year.
It was rather amusing yes because the statues moved and there was also someone
speaking as Paul Bunyan who would interact with anyone nearby.
The place had tickets to a man-made set of elevated walkways mounted on the trees here, but
we did not go. We looked at the gifts but they did not seem worth our while.
However, we purchased ice cream for my daughter here.
|Prairie Creek Visitors Center
We made our way further south to bridge from the northern to southern sections of
the Redwood National and State Parks.
At Prairie Creek was a wide open area where elk are historically observed and several trails into the forests here begin.
We had time only for a few stops today.
We checked out the Visitors Center here and they had items on sale outside, so we purchased a few shirts and other
things to help us remember this area.
Back at Hiouchi Visitors Center I asked about the Lady Bird Johnson Grove,
and he advised that Lady Bird Johnson had the same sort of forest as we were about to see at Stout Grove,
except Lady Bird Johnson has a lot more people around, so
our plan was to skip Lady Bird Johnson in exchange for more time at Stout Grove.
So it was time to leave these parks and continue south.
Range/Distance ratio: 1.15
|1:25 pm||Departed Prairie Creek Visitors Center||232|
|2:27 pm||Arrived Eureka Supercharger||172|
Conditions: Backroads, Traffic
By this time we needed both lunch and the restroom.
Fortunately Eureka has a Tesla Supercharger at a large mall.
Unfortunately the mall was mostly closed due to the pandemic, but we
did end up using the restroom at the mall,
in part because the local McDonald's would not open their restroom like
the one back at Grants Pass did.
Because many restaurants here were not open, we decided to go back to the Carl's Jr just north and
use the drive-through to pick up lunch, then drive back to the Supercharger to plug in and eat that lunch in the car
with the air conditioning on.
It wasn't as pretty for lunch as other places we stopped but it worked.
Cost to Charge: $0
Range/Distance ratio: 1.23
|3:15 pm||Departed Eureka||267|
|4:00 pm||Arrived Rockefeller Loop||214|
Our one last stop of the day was at the Humboldt Redwoods.
I found guides online of dozens of hikes available in Humboldt Redwoods,
and not being a National Park it was not in my National Park book,
so it was a little tricky to choose which to take.
I settled on one labeled "ADA Accessible" and only 0.7 miles
so that it would not make my daughter upset.
Nonetheless this was a fine choice.
Again the redwoods were stunningly tall and majestic, casting a protective canopy
over a floor of green ferns and other growth.
See top picture.
We found a stream with a bridge to hike across and back.
Again we took a gentle pace so we can absorb the
The only thing driving us out were the mosquitos,
which apparently preferred dining on us in the late afternoon.
One very optional stop after Rockefeller Loop
was a so-called "Drive Thru Tree".
It thought it would be funny to literally have my Tesla inside a tree
for a picture here.
But once we arrived, the price was $20 for the privilege,
so I nixed that.
I read some cars get stuck in the tree, so it wasn't worth the risk.
After, with great sadness, we left the forests of redwoods,
we broke off from the 101 and
took the fork to the "Shoreline Highway".
Descending towards the coasts took us through more forest,
but at a town named Hardy it was like we popped out of the
forest and saw the open ocean with fresh eyes.
Taking Highway 1 starting in northern california and winding our way south
was a bucket-list drive I wanted to do for a long time.
This was our chance to do it.
By driving south, we
could see spectacular views of the rugged
I greatly enjoyed the drive.
|Agate Cove Inn
But it was getting late in the day,
and we reached Mendocino to locate our hotel.
I booked this reservation rather late because my uncertainties about the pandemic,
but it turned out to be a wonderful choice.
Range/Distance ratio: 1.16
|5:02 pm||Departed Shrine Drive Thru Tree||196|
|7:09 pm||Arrived Agate Cove Inn||88|
Conditions: Scenic driving winding through forests and coastlines
The Agate Cove Inn is a bed & breakfast that is
also a member of the Tesla Destination Network.
It was a very quiet places with a beautiful view of the coastline and sunset.
I was able to book the Opal room, which had a large bed for my wife and I downstairs and
two twin beds in a loft upstairs for my children.
The condition was that our children had to be quiet because there were neighbors
who might hear any stomping, so we advised our children to be careful and kept an ear on them.
But it was getting late so my wife quickly picked out the Mendocino Cafe as a
place where we could have an outdoor dinner at this late hour.
The food and service was really excellent, so I would highly recommend it to anyone.
We returned after dinner back to Agate Cove Inn in darkness.
The charging was in the back, with both a Tesla-native plug and an J1772, so
Agate Cove Inn was quite well equipped.
Cost to Charge: $0
We returned to the Opal room, took showers, and settled in for a very pleasant night
after such a beautiful day.
Dean E. Dauger holds a Ph. D. in physics from UCLA, where his group
created the first Mac cluster in 1998. Dr. Dauger is the award-winning
author in multiple American Institute of Physics' Software Contests and
co-authored the original, award-winning Kai's Power Tools
image-processing package for Adobe Photoshop.
After founding his company,
Dauger Research, Inc., its debut product,
Pooch, derived from Dr. Dauger's experience using clusters for his
physics research, was soon awarded as "most innovative" by IEEE Cluster
and continues to revolutionize parallel computing and clusters worldwide
with its patented technology.