Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find amazing beauty. Often it is in your back yard.
I’m very fortunate to live very close to Redwood National and State Parks – more than 139,000 acres of old-growth Coast Redwoods situated on the North Coast of California. The parks contain 45 percent of all remaining old-growth Coast Redwoods. There are also miles and miles of rugged coastline and grassland prairies.
While on a recent day drive to Crescent City, I took a detour off Highway 101 before reaching the town of Klamath. The side drive, known as Klamath Beach Rd. follows the Klamath River into the forest. Klamath Beach Dr. intersects with Coastal Dr., which used to be a part of Highway 101, until the bridge over the Klamath River was washed out during the flood of 1964.
Coastal Dr. loops around the peninsula created by the path of the Klamath River as it enters the Pacific Ocean. The road turns into a one-way dirt road with stunning views of the ocean. On this day, the waves were high due to an incoming storm. On the return portion of the loop, I located a solitary folding lawn chair in a clearing containing an abandoned house that was slowly being reclaimed by the forest.
After spending a couple hours in Crescent City, I started back toward home. I stopped at False Klamath Cove to watch the surf and sunset. The immense waves crashing over the rocks dotting the coast just off the beach gave you a great idea of the power of the ocean.
I finished the trip by turning off Highway 101 again to take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. NBDSP is another former alignment of Highway 101 and passes through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The road winds its way between towering redwoods and fern-lined cliffs. The south end of the parkway passes through Elk Prairie. I didn’t see any of the elk, but there was a nice layer of fog hanging over the prairie.
Though often overlooked because it’s so close, beauty is out there in your backyard.