SAN-2-SEA day 4 – Crescent City to Coos Bay

We woke up in Crescent City – and it was foogy! After some quick “continental breakfast” bites, we rushed out, a little bit back south to the area of nearby Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, because we were really eager to make some photos of redwoods in fog (which is, as far as I understood it from the brochures that we collected, actually much easier in Summer than in Spring).

As we drove into the forest, the fog disappeared, we were too high already. Damn! The map showed access to the California Coast Trail nearby however, from Enderts Beach Road, so we headed there and began to walk a bit along the trail – the fog was dense and thick, but there were no redwoods here. It was still nice though, moss grows all over the trees in these cold and wet coastal forests. Doug explored the Nickel Creek Trail a bit and I continued on the Coast Trail, hoping that it would lead into areas with redwoods, but as the trail climbed up and some smaller redwoods appeared, the fog disappeared at the higher elevations again. All the sweat while hiking up on the trail, for nothing (well, except for burning off the breakfast calories). 🙂

We photographed along the creek instead a little bit, before heading back into Crescent City, which was still nicely covered in fog. While putting on gas, I talked to a local and asked if there would be another redwood area nearby that may have some fog, and he recommended leaving Highway 101 for Highway 199 and drive just a couple of miles into Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. After getting ourselves a healthy supply of coffee, that’s what we did. The first trailhead that we saw was on Walker Road and while there was no fog, the morning light was pleasant so we stayed a little bit and photographed along a short interpretive loop trail before it was time to finally cross the border to Oregon. (I had asked a lady there if she knew anything about Tolawa Dunes State Park just north of Crescent City, but she told us that the Oregon coast had better dunes, so we didn’t stop there.)

The weather was still mostly “unpleasant” for us, blue skies and no clouds, and while the coastline of south Oregon is pleasant, we didn’t make too many stops during the day, except for lunch at Gold Beach’s “Barnacle Bistro”. In the afternoon we reached Cape Blanco, a spot that the lady at Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP had mentioned, so we left Highway 101 there and drove out towards the cape, which features a lighthouse (sic!) on the cape’s head, and interesting seastacks on the beaches north and south of it – it was breezy again and cold, and just as we got out of the car, we got a break from the blue skies with some clouds, which, combined with the wind, provided an excellent opportunity to try some long exposures. A quite satisfying photo stop!

After a little more driving, we left Highway 101 south of Coos Bay in the late afternoon because the area of Cape Arago looked interesting as a sunset location. There, we realized just how much later sunset would really be – good thing we still had some fruits in the car and Doug’s supply of protein bars, it would be a late late dinner for us, with sunset at 20:45 and blue hour ending about 21:30…

Turns out Cape Arago was not really the most thrilling location – the steep rocky coast is beautiful, but rather unaccessible without using steep and dangerous, unofficial use-trails. I don’t think any of my photos from that spot (except the ones I made with the phone;-) are really compelling and worth showing.

After finding accommodation for the night we were lucky to find a bar in North Bend that was still open and serving food (it was late Monday evening, and most restaurant close at 9pm), so we finished the day with clam chowder, a burger and a beer in a funny place with pool tables and old 80ies rock music – and the weather forecast promised clouds and rain for the coming days! 🙂

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