06 Sept 2014 ~ Damnation Creek Hike at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.
When we got back from our second hike in the Redwoods - the Boyscout Tree Trail - we drove into Crescent City to find a place for the night. It was slim pickin's. We settled on a mom and pop called the Pacific Inn. It was 75$ a nite with tax. Way too much but the Travelodge up the street would have been close to $90 and it did not look much better.
The next morning we went out to find our third hike in the Redwoods. Aspen had suggested Damnation Creek just south of Crescent city. And damn if she didn't pick a winner for us.
Click on the photos below for a larger image.
Here we are at the trail head. The hike is in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park . Originally established in 1925, the park is now 31,261 acres. Besides having a beautiful hunk of Redwood Forest it also has eight miles of wild coastline.
Just minutes from the parking area we were in a stunning fog enshrouded forest of towering Redwoods.
Roots were everywhere we walked. When you have trees this big they need lots of roots to get the water and nutrients up.
As you can see, the cool, shady foggy woods had us bundled up.
No comment needed.
Thank you, Aspen...
One of the ferns we have been seeing alot of in the Douglas Fir and Redwoods was the Leathery polypody (Polypodium scouleri). It is native to coastal western North America from British Columbia to Guadalupe Island off Baja California. Altough it can be terrestrial we saw it only growing on trees.
The sori of Polypodium scouleri which contain the spores.
One of my favorite pass times - fondling fronds.
I thought it was interesting how these baby ferns were growing only between the bark and the cambium layer.
Now we take the plunge!
Betsy the Fearless One marches on!
We had seen this plant in numerous places and I just could not figger out why it seemed familiar. Then I remembered our little Canada Mayflower from back home and realized I was seeing the the same plant, but a different species. Probably Maianthemum stellatum. This must be a stunner when it is in full bloom. But now it is getting a bit worn and soon will be dormant.
And here we are - the outflow of Damnation Creek and miles of wild, nearly inaccessible coastline.
We found many shells of these California Mussels. I decided to hang onto these and add them to our Travel Museum when we get home.
Betsy and I both were snappin' away trying to somehow capture what we were seeing. Impossible.
What a place. I do indeed love these wild beaches.
The white veining? Quartz intrusions perhaps.
I saw many of these barnacles. They had supple, rubbery bodies which you could feel and move about. They looked quite alien to me.
The seaweed was gorgeous. There were many kinds of differnt shapes and sizes.
One last look and then it was time to tackle the 1200 feet of elevation gain to get back to the top.
There were two bridges like this one. I thought the design was interesting.
Hopefully Wood Tech Larry can tell me all about this design.
Betsy told me she was tired of smiling in all the photos so here is the result.
Finally! Banana slugs.
I think these two were getting ready to or already having sex. Since I am not familiar with the ins and outs of Slug reproduction I was not sure what was going on.
We saw several fallen giants like this one. I can't imagine the sound and fury they must generate when they finally fall.
We are now back up on the top. The fog has cleared a little now.
One last shot as Betsy passes by this Ancient One.
Tomorrow we will head back up north to the Oregon Coast and see what we can see.
See you then ...