Our Great American Road Trip – Part III

Days 7 – 9

Day 7

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On Day 7 we decided to start our day with a hike in Fern Canyon. It was like something out of the tropics with these amazing walls of green. We hiked about a mile up the canyon. The kids had fun climbing on the logs and playing in the water.

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Then we went to Lady Bird Johnson Grove and hiked the loop of that trail (hike . . . more like walk). I laughed because we were SOOOO loud on that trail. The kids were just laughing and teasing and playing. The few people we saw there quickly moved away from us. I don’t think they knew what to make of our chaos. But the kids had a great time, and Wyatt said it was his favorite hike of the entire week.
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Next we went to Patrick’s Point to enjoy the view, and down to Agate Beach to dip our toes in the water (we didn’t really play too much at that beach). On our hike back up to the car from the beach Olivia found the most beautiful little yellow pepper looking thing. She reached out to grab it and — EEEEK! — it was a squishy and slimy banana slug. It sure startled her, and she was at once both grossed out, and hilariously amused.

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That night we drove down to Ferndale, this darling little Victorian town – mostly just because I wanted to see it. It would have been a ton of fun during the day when the shops were open, to poke around. As it was, the town was closed up for the evening except the two eateries. After driving up and down the streets looking at the amazing victorian homes and store fronts, we got pizza at the local joint and then headed back to Eureka.

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The kids’ very favorite activity was ALWAYS swimming in the hotel pool.

Day 8

We drove up the coast to the Northern Redwoods. Just the views on the drive were amazing. We drove past these big beautiful barns, and even past these giant herds of Elk.

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We went to the Prairie Creek Redwoods where we hiked the “Big Tree” loop, and also visited the Corkscrew Tree.

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Family Picture in front of “The Big Tree”
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I thought this sign was SO HILARIOUS! It’s good to know that the parks people have a sense of humor!

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This is the corkscrew tree. Can you kinda see how the trunk of the tree is twisted like a corkscrew?

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Then we went to The Trees of Mystery where we hiked the loop and looked at their beautiful trees. We even rode the Tram through the canopy of the trees. How neat to see the trees from a different perspective!

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The kids were super excited to see statues of Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe. We got the old Paul Bunyan Disney Cartoon at the cabin this summer, so the kids were acquainted with this American Legend.

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Next we drove on to “Stout Grove” – a grove I imagined to be full of trees with even wider girths than the already impressive ones we’d already seen. Unfortunately I was mistaken. Stout Grove was just a grove – beautiful, but much like others – named after some guy named Stout. Unfortunately Stout Grove was flanked by a wide river, and the sunset time of our hike made it abuzz with pesky mosquitos. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful. But because of it’s out-of-the-way-ness of it, and the bugs, and the let down of the regularly-ginormous-trees it wasn’t my favorite.

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Olivia, and her buddy, the Banana Slug. She was the only one of all of us that found any on the trip.

As we pulled out of Stout Grove we had to decide: Back track to the coast and continue up the Oregon coast (something we’d talked about doing) or continuing East and towards Wyatt’s childhood hometown of Medford.

With the speed of the freeway under our wheels, we decided not to backtrack, but headed East for what adventure awaited.

Day 9

SO SAD – I LOST THE PICTURES OF THIS DAY FROM A CAMERA-COMPUTER ERROR. THE ONLY PICTURES I HAVE FROM THIS DAY ARE FROM WYATT’S PHONE. TOO BAD TOO BECAUSE THE PICS OF THE STORM OVER CRATER LAKE WERE PRETTY AWESOME IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF. BUT NOW THE WORLD WILL NEVER KNOW.

We came into Medford that morning and drove down the country roads Wyatt knew as a child. We went to the baseball field where Wyatt played his little league championship game. We played a fmaily game of baseball right there on that field.

Next we kept on down the road and found Wyatt’s old Elementary School. Wyatt found it much the same as when he was a boy, and enjoyed showing the kids around his old haunt.

And then on to Wyatt’s childhood home. No one was home when we stopped by, so Wyatt poked around just a little, looking at the old barn and pastures he knew as a kid.

Right down the road of his home was a dog training facility for service animals. We stopped and took a tour which actually was quite neat. They can train those dogs in the most amazing ways!

Next we drove to the church where Wyatt attended growing up, and then we went and found the temple. We saw the movie theater where Wyatt saw Star Wars, and all the fun places Wyatt remembered. It’s was his first time being back in over 20 years, so I think it was a very sweet experience for him.

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That afternoon we drove up to Crater Lake National Park – we got there just a giant thunderstorm was making it’s way over the horizon. We looked at the lake (no hiking that day) and then went in to the gift shop. When we re-emerged a half hour later the storm was upon us. It was wild a fierce and chased us all the way down the mountain and back to Medford (a full two hour drive). It was so neat!

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