We thought that the drive from Lassen Volcanic National Park to the Oregon coast was going to be a straight forward easy drive along I-5. Not so much! It may have been an interstate highway, but because it went over and around the mountains, it required our undivided attention. And in fact, when we left I-5 and drove on CA199, the road was closed for quite a while due to an accident. It’s times like that, that I am grateful that I have a toilet and refrigerator right behind me.
Our first stop on the Oregon Coast was Harris Beach State Park. Our campsite there was snug to say the least. Very snug! And the driveway was perpendicular to the road making it a bit challenging to get in. But we did it! We had an audience as well who complimented us for several days afterward on our skill in getting into that site. We had electric and water and we were staying put until our time was up no matter what! I wasn’t crazy about the sites but they did have a handful of nice ones with a water view that had to be reserved well in advance. There was also a nice large playground for kids. And a beach!
The weather was much cooler on the coast. The mornings started pretty fogged in and by afternoon the weather was warm and delightful. Now we’re getting into a new bad habit. Slow easy mornings and playtime all afternoon. Well, maybe not such a bad habit but definitely a different life style.
Of course, once we got in and we settled down, I wanted to take the dog for a walk and see the beach. The ranger had suggested the Rocky Beach Trail, so off we went. Well, it was a very steep trail. I did not have the proper footwear or eyewear to survive walking down this trail. So after about a third of the way down, we abandoned that idea, climbed back up, and walked down along the road to the day use area. Ah, the coast, what a beautiful sight! Water, rocks, sand = HAPPINESS! We enjoyed a little time there, soaking in the waves and beauty, and then made our way up for dinner.
The next day, we decided to backtrack a little bit, head south back to Crescent City, California, and venture into the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which is in fact part of the Redwood National and State Parks. We took a drive along Howland Hill Drive which becomes a narrow 1 1/2 to 1 lane dirt road through a massive old growth redwood forest.
Rumor has it that there may have been some star wars and/or Jurassic park filming done there. It’s almost an “out of this world” experience. The trees are so large and so high and the road so narrow. There are also large ferns growing and you really feel like you are back in a time of long, long ago. We stopped at Stout Grove to hike and view more of this gigantic old growth redwood forest with our feet. Once again, I am humbled by these old and giant trees. This is truly an amazing experience!
Now back to Harris Beach. The rocks are really cool looking! We got some great sunset pictures! The dog loved running on the sand beach and into the waves. We took the beach approach to the rock beach and found some interesting tide pools, mostly hermit crabs and barnacles with one starfish. It’s a lot of fun looking for them. Harris Beach is a busy beach, however. It is a day use area with very easy access from the campground.
On our final day at Harris Beach SP, we went to discover the beaches and scenery along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. This corridor is a 12 mile, forested park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches. Some of the viewpoints and beaches were more easily accessible than others and by the end of the day, we were settling for easy. But, the beaches were spectacular and with very few people on them. We actually were able to let the dog run free! This was a great way to end our stay at Harris Beach State Park.