Still in a cloud the next morning, we departed from Crater Lake and headed toward the last big destination of our trip (before the airport, that is): The Redwood Forests. We crossed over into northern California, had to go through a fruit checkpoint — I was really bemused by that — and ended in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. After a brief pause at the ranger station, we went straight to an old-growth forest and essentially lost ourselves in the splendor and wonder and awe of these trees that have stood for potentially thousands of years. They’ve withstood multiple lightning strikes, fires, humans, anything else the world has thrown at them and they still stand tall. I mean, talllll. It was amazing. Being there was like being in a cathedral or an old library, where people are subconsciously hushed (and those who aren’t clearly don’t understand the majesty in their presence).
Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands — a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world. — Sidney Lovett
No matter how many pictures we took, none ever came close to capturing the spirit of this place — and maybe that’s the point. It’s somewhere you just need to be.
We camped overnight at the Jedediah Smith Campground within the park, right next to the Smith River, which was the perfect way to finish out the last destination of the trip. We spend a good chunk of the evening by the river, and the rest by our campfire.
The next morning we were a bit tired, and I was bug-bitten, but we packed up and headed north toward Portland to get ready for our flight home. It was a good long drive, and we were exhausted by the time we got to the hotel by the airport. Though we appreciated the unique quality of most of the places with had slept throughout the trip, I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to crash into a standard hotel bed. At o’dark-thirty, we headed toward the airport and flew home.
Real talk: It was a tiring trip with the constant moving, but completely amazing as well (I know, I’ve used that word a lot in these posts, I’ll work on varying — but it’s true!); ever since coming home we’ve been dreaming and scheming about how to go back. If you’ve never graced the Pacific Northwest with your presence, go do it.