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Redwoods National Park

| 10/24/2011 5:11:48 PM

Sarah S HeadshotThis week’s been a little different for us. We’re staying on the golden beaches of Southern Oregon. It’s a bit of an unexpected trip. Hubby came home Tuesday night and told me we were leaving the next afternoon, that he’d gotten a job for the dump truck. I had the distinct pleasure of pulling the camp trailer to Gold Beach on what I consider one of Oregon’s worst highways – 42S. It’s windy and tight on a good day. We won’t talk about what it's like pulling a camp trailer. Little Man did not want to ride in the dump truck with Hubby – dang it! But I had a stroke of genius and brought along six CDs of Farmer Boy. It worked like a charm. He did not peep for four hours and I didn’t feel the need to drive us all in into the Coquille River – a bonus in my book. 

Being so close, I decided to take Little Man south of the border – to California. We made it through the agriculture inspection which consisted of me driving through at a slow speed and the lady in uniform waving me by. I guess I didn’t look like I was carrying any contraband fruit – their profile must not include big dusty Ford pick-ups with a dog in the back. I did take note of the large sign that said I couldn’t abandon my dog for fear of a large monetary fine. (There are some days it would totally be worth it, especially since the crazy lady that accuses me of not taking care of my dog visited again. I think that might be considered irony.) 

In Crescent City we stopped at the Redwoods National and State Parks Visitor Center to get a brochure and find a place to hike. We have big trees in Oregon and I wasn’t sure that Little Man would be impressed, but it was a trip of firsts for him – first new state, first National Park (gasp – no I haven’t taken him to the one in our own state! Bad Mommy!).redwoods 

Being a Forestry school alum I think that I have a different take on National Parks. I’ve visited several and this one was no different. Right inside the door was somebody’s great idea to brainwash young children. Kids were supposed to draw a postcard to send to Michelle Obama and appeal to her to “save the Redwoods.” (Because they aren’t already preserved in the National Park System?)  

The gal that handed me the brochure had dreadlocks. (If she had Berkley tattooed on her forehead it wouldn’t have been more obvious where she was attending school. Strike One.) She asked me where I was from and when I replied that we were “down for the day from Gold Beach” she looked at me with complete and utter confusion. I might also mention that I had on a t-shirt with Oregon State University emblazoned on it in four inch orange letters. She says, “I’ve never heard of that.” Strike Two. I tell her it’s just a little ways north over the border in Oregon. I tell her that we’d like to go on a short hike to see some big trees.  

Marking the map with a yellow highlighter, she gives me elaborate driving directions. Here she undoes half a strike for her ability to make sense of a map for people that can’t tell north from southwest, but then she tells me about the road. She explains that it’s an “old logging road” that winds through the trees and is very tight, so trailers aren’t allowed. I reassure her that I’m not towing a trailer and have driven a gravel road or two in my lifetime. Then she says, “It’s such a beautiful road that winds through the big trees, and they didn’t cut down any of the trees to build it.” Strike two-and-a-half and three.  

Nebraska Dave
10/26/2011 5:30:25 PM

Sarah, your little man is getting quite an education. I've been to California a few times but only to the tourist things like Disney Land and Knot's Berry Farm. Then I have spent some time going to a occupational school in Sacramento with a drive over to San Francisco. Then there was the time spent in the military at Fort Ord which is no longer there. I haven't seen the giant Red Woods or the Petrified Forest and really don't have any desire to make a special trip to see them. I'm just not a traveler to see things. My Mom was the traveler. After I went off to make my fame and fortune in life, Mom dragged Dad all over the world. Dad would have been just fine to stay home and watch game show re runs but Mom had other ideas. Together they traveled all through Europe, went to Australia and New Zealand, and wanted to go to Japan but grew ill and never recovered from it. Dad never traveled much again after Mom passed. Being 87 and having failing health, his world is now a room in a long term care facility. Very sad how life ends. Isn't it. We all start out with parents taking care of us and if we live long enough we go full circle with kids taking care of us. Anyway it looks like the trip was a great success. We don't have any bright yellow slugs here in Nebraka that I know of. We have the big huge green ones. There wouldn't be any place to hide being bright orange in Nebraska. I'm glad you made it home safe with another hands on learning experience for the little man. Have a great Oregon day in the garden.

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