Saturday, May 31, 2014

Odd and End

One evening a few weeks before we went to Crescent City, Claire asked "why don't we ever have S'mars?"  I think Adam and I looked at each other and busted up laughing.  But after grilling out one night, Claire got her wish.  And we have yet to correct her misunderstanding of what S'mores are actually called.  It really is the gift that keeps on giving.


That last day of hiking, not to mention the late nights we'd had the entire time we were in California, really wore out those kids.  But it was kind of funny that they really utilized the WHOLE bed at the hotel.  And of course, it wasn't at the head of the bed.  

Tidepool Combing

Despite the fact that we'd already hiked in the redwood forests and made our way up Fern Canyon, we had one more stop to make:  we checked out the tide pools once we got back to Crescent City.




We didn't have much luck.  Here we are checking out some hermit crabs.  But it was enough for Claire and Henry to still be excited.  I love to watch them discover the world around them, and am happy that they find wonder and amusement in the activities of things as small as hermit crabs.




It was a beautiful last stop for our busy day!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fern Canyon

This area of California has no shortage of beautiful places to explore.  After hiking in the redwoods, we switched gears a little bit and headed to Fern Canyon.  It is immediately apparent how it got its' name.






It was a great place to hike around.  Henry especially loved throwing rocks into the creek.


Henry also thought that his uncle Andrew was pretty darn cool.


While I found walking in the cold creek incredibly refreshing, this kids found it a little jarring.  So when it was absolutely necessary to get our feet wet, the men found that the best bet was to portage the kids. 



This was just a fun place to climb around.


We did have to climb over this mess of fallen trees, which was a little scary with a 3-week old infant strapped to my chest.  But Adam and Andrew were very patient and helpful, so thankfully it went well.




After getting to the end of the creek bed, there was a trail that took us out of the canyon.  The kids hiked the whole time with no complaints.  They did a great job.




Henry and Andrew were hiking buddies.


The trail itself was really pretty.  Amongst the tall pines were irises and rhododendrons.   



And at the very end was a herd of elk.  


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hiking on the Forest Moon of Endor

After our first glimpses of the redwoods at the Trees of Mystery, Adam and I definitely wanted to see more. So we hit the road, saw a sign for "Big Tree", and pulled over.   


It really was a big tree.  Thankfully, that wasn't all.  There was a trail there as well.  


And that hike was beautiful.


Adam and I asked Claire what she thought of the big trees.  We, as adults, found the redwoods to be some of the most beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring, impressive things we had ever seen.  But Claire was mostly just a fan of the playground-like qualities, like trees she could walk into and root systems she could climb over.


And Henry just liked to run.



These forests were where scenes from Return of the Jedi were filmed.  We half expected Ewoks to crawl out of the ferns.





We saw some beautiful trees, and we never even made it to the national park section.  I guess that just gives us a reason to go back!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trees of Mystery

For Memorial Day weekend, we decided to head south to visit Andrew in California.  He lives in redwood country, and Adam and I were excited to spend some time checking them out.  First stop:  Trees of Mystery, designed to reel in tourists, for sure, but it had some awesome redwoods and highlighted some of the interesting things that redwoods do.  And Paul Bunyan and Babe were there, of course.  Because no good redwood/giant-themed park would be complete without them.



This one is called a "family tree."  There are 12 upright "trees" growing from the main tree trunk.  



This one has two root structures - one for the horizontal tree and one for the vertical tree - but they are growing together.  Redwoods do some funky things!




This one is pretty cool.  It's called a cathedral tree.  Probably 1,000 years ago, a massive tree fell down.  But the redwoods are amazing and grow new trees from the old stump.  The new trees grow from the perimeter of the old stump, and that's why they are in a circular pattern.  They are also clones of each other.  


This one lost the top 74 feet (!) in a storm, and is still growing strong.  Save for cutting them down, it seems as though these things are pretty indestructible.  



We were able to take a tram up through the forest.  



This was a pretty fun place to get our introduction to the redwoods and learn about some of the amazing things that redwoods do as they grow!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Meanwhile...

I was nursing Harper in the house.  Meanwhile, out in the garden...






Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...