Tesla Model S - Redwoods
Rockefeller Loop Model S
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Days Charging at
Destination   Supercharger
0 1
Crescent City
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.

Lusk Supercharger

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. Star Wars Return of the Jedi

Hiouchi Visitors Center
TimeEventRange Remaining
9:31 amDeparted Best Western Crescent City310
9:49 amArrived Hiouchi Visitors Center298
Range/Distance ratio: 1.33
Conditions: Backroads

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.

Hiouchi Visitors Center

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.

Stout Grove
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, and when the sun backlit the high leaves it felt like the life here was glowing.

Stout Grove Parking

Stout Grove
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. Yuck. 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 Redwood Highway", 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.

Redwood Park Sign

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.

Caves of Mystery

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.

Prairie Creek Visitors Center
Eureka Supercharger
TimeEventRange Remaining
1:25 pmDeparted Prairie Creek Visitors Center232
2:27 pmArrived Eureka Supercharger172
Range/Distance ratio: 1.15
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.

Eureka Supercharger

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

Bathroom Anxiety

Humboldt Redwoods
TimeEventRange Remaining
3:15 pmDeparted Eureka267
4:00 pmArrived Rockefeller Loop214
Range/Distance ratio: 1.23
Conditions: Backroads
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 beautiful visuals. The only thing driving us out were the mosquitos, which apparently preferred dining on us in the late afternoon.

Rockefeller Loop Trailhead

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.

Drive Thru Tree Entrance

Shoreline Highway
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 California coastline. I greatly enjoyed the drive.

Hardy Rock Viewpoint
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.

TimeEventRange Remaining
5:02 pmDeparted Shrine Drive Thru Tree196
7:09 pmArrived Agate Cove Inn88
Range/Distance ratio: 1.16
Conditions: Scenic driving winding through forests and coastlines

Mendocino Cafe
Mendocino Cafe

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.

Agate Cove Inn Charging Model S

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.

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