A slow moving morning today. Relaxing, stretching and talking about life and what’s next. We’d probably still be sleeping if it weren’t for Cali always pleading to go explore. She loves wandering along the river and we walked up and down the shore in front of the campground. The river looks like it might be fun to paddle but that will have to wait until after today’s hike.
We drove out of camp and turned left until we found the trailhead for the Hiouchi Trail. The path rose quickly up from the highway until it came parallel to the bridge and turned right to follow the river. Beautiful, lush wet forest with tons of ferns and every form of fungus imaginable, massive mushrooms, shelf fungus and smaller mushrooms in all sizes and shapes. The trail kept us working with lots of short climbs and then down hill treks.
It wasn’t long before we came upon a grove of giants. We love the redwoods, the size and the backdrop of the redwood forest is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Fallen trees and undergrowth just add to the spectacle. We sat in awe looking up at the canopy way high in the sky realizing how insignificant our day to day struggles really are. We met only a few other hikers out on the trails and relished the solitude and silence.
Find the hidden gnome
The bridge was gone where the trail was positioned to cross over to Stout’s Grove, a portion of forest known for its large trees and exceptional beauty. We decided to drive around to the other side of the forest and hike in from that side. It was amazing. A few more people were wandering around but seeing the joy and awe in others merely added to our own stoke at walking among these ancient living beings. We could see the sun shining out on the river and I got the urge to get home and paddle the river.
We made it back to camp just after four and I suited up and tossed the Inception into the water and paddled up river. There were several huge boulders under the crystal clear water gliding by underneath me as I stroked along the emerald green surface. The redwoods lined both banks and larger brothers to the submerged boulders broke the surface as little islands and rose up along the shore to line the far bank. I could only go maybe 400 yards upstream until it got too shallow to continue on. It was the same on the other side of camp. The river went from 12 to 16 feet deep down to a few feet where the water picked up speed as it formed little mini rapids over the shallow rocks. So our playground was only a quarter mile stretch of river to poke around on as the sun hung low in the sky.
I returned to the small patch of sand where I launched from and PJ wanted to have a go. No time to change, so she rolled up her pant legs and hopped on in her hiking outfit. She did a cruising lap around our river zone then we carried the board across the rocks and back into camp for a mellow evening doing little chores around the RV. Super quiet here now that most everyone has gone back to work.