After crossing the Oregon border into California, I spent the night in Crescent City. Located on the Pacific coast in the northwestern part of California, about 20 miles south of the Oregon border, Crescent City is the site of the Redwood National Park headquarters.
For lunch that day, I had a Cobb Sandwich: turkey breast, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise on grilled sourdough bread with a cup of Ministrone Soup at Good Harvest Cafe, a locally owned restaurant that serves traditional American food and has a full bar. The second floor of the restaurant offers harbor- view where you can sip on a cocktail and enjoy the view.
After lunch, I went to explore ancient trees at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The park was named after first American explorer, Jedediah Smith, who traveled by land from the Mississippi River to California in 1826, passing through the area. To get to the park I took one of the most scenic redwood drives in California, Howland Hill Road, which passes through the center of the park. Located 9 miles east of Crescent City along the Smith River, the park offers 18 miles of hiking trails and over 100 camping sites.
Magnificent redwoods leaning against each other.
The next morning before leaving Crescent City, I went on a short walk at the harbor. It was a beautiful morning – the sun was shining brightly and a light breeze was coming from the ocean.
After the walk, I headed south on U.S. Route 101 and stopped in Eureka for lunch. The city is located on the shores of Humboldt Bay, adjacent to theredwoods, 270 miles north of San Francisco and 100 miles south of the Oregon border.
I decided to try something exotic this time, so I went for Annie’s Cambodian Cuisine. I tried two dishes: Rice Vermicelli Noodle Salad: grilled pork, lettuce, cucumber, and bean sprouts served with house sauce, drizzled with coconut sauce, and topped with crushed peanuts.
Grilled Meat: grilled marinated meat served with homemade pickled vegetables, house sauce, and topped with crushed peanuts.
After delicious and satisfying lunch, it was time to drive in the direction of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park on the Avenue of the Giants, California’s third largest state park and the largest old-growth contiguous coastal redwood forest in the world. The park is named after the great nineteenth-century scientist, Alexander von Humboldt. Before continuing my beautiful drive through the 32 mile long Avenue of Giants, I grabbed some quality coffee to go from The Daily Grind in Myers Flat, a small town in the heart of the redwoods. I didn’t drive through the famous Shrine Tree though, which I should’ve done. Maybe next time.
Over 100 of the 137 known coastal redwood trees over 350 feet tall grow in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The average age of the redwoods is between 500 – 700 years old.
Walking among the redwood giants is one of a kind experience – a tree lover’s heaven I should say. Even though it was my second visit to the redwoods, I was in awe looking at and touching these resilient giants that stand the test of time by reaching for the skies. Happy travels!