Friday, August 4, 2017
Amazing that you can travel 100 miles west of Medford and find daily highs of 67 degrees and low of 50 at night. Perfect! I headed down the long, curvy road out of Siskiyou National Forest. There are some great cottages along this road that I would love to photograph, but there is nowhere to pull over and get out. I turned south on 101, which runs the entire coast of Oregon. Seeing a sign for Crissey Field State Park, I pulled in. There is a very nice welcome center with helpful staff. I picked up too many brochures. So much to see and do, it is overwhelming. Should I drive up the coast to Washington? Oh yea, then there’s Washington!
What I do want to do is follow the mighty Columbia River. Rated the #1 fishing river in British Columbia, Kelly and I saw it at it’s source and fished it just before it leaves Canada, and we are signed up to fish it again with Rod, our guide out of Castlegar.
I walked along the Winchuck River until it crosses the beach and runs into the Pacific Ocean. Huge trees were washed up all over the beach. All, or most of these had been cut, and these were the remaining bases of the trees. Who knows how long they have been here. Logging is still big here, but it is not the industry it once was. Medium-sized waves crashed the shore through the fog. I looked for salmon or steelhead or Dolly Varden coming out of the sea and up the river, but didn’t see any. It was low tide, so maybe as the tides change.
Heading back south on 101, I turned east on 199. Immediately there were big redwoods along the busy highway. The sign for Redwoods National Forest is easily missed and I did. It was busy in the small visitor’s center, so I just walked around, looking at their material. A very nice gentleman was patiently and enthusiastically suggesting places to go and things to see, educating the visitors. He had a voice and manner just like Dr. Woefel, one of our great teachers at Ohio State. He came around telling us the movie was about to start. After buying a map, a nice lady showed me some places to go.
I decided to drive a gravel road through the forest on the other side of the incredible Smith River. It was dusty, very dusty, and lots of people were driving this tiny road that winds its way between majestic redwoods. Dust covers everything. I can only imagine riding a horse through here in the late 1800’s. I took pictures with the truck in front of some of the trees to lend some perspective to the size of these trees. Kids were climbing into the crotches of trees and inside some of the cavities. People stopped to swim in a small stream.
At the other end I came out in Crescent City, California, a busy little town with 101 going right through it. By the time I got back to camp it was 3:30 and I was tired. I went over and talked with Cody a bit. He said he was hot and went for a swim in the stream by the camp. He said lots of fish surrounded him and were nibbling on his feet. “There were some big ones too”, he said.