A Walk Amongst Lighthouses & Giants – Crescent City, CA
As part of our adventures here in the banana belt we decided to take a quick day-trip south of the border to see the sights in Crescent City. I was in two minds about this trip, not because I didn’t think it would be great, but because we were crossing into CA which means the beginning of CA-crazy dog restrictions. Having just spent 3 months on the inviting OR coast where I can take my dog everywhere and on every trail, it crushed me to hear that none of the three State Parks in Crescent City allow dogs on any of their trails. NONE! You can drive your car through the woods, bike & hike and even take your horse (!) there, but there’s not a single darn paw-friendly trail in the entire place. Seriously? Bah, humbug!
But there was light at the end of the island, so to speak. Battery Point Lighthouse is only open week-ends this time of year, but I called ahead and was able to snag a private tour at low tide mid-week. Score! So, with that juicy little treat to spur us on we left Polly at home and headed into the kingdom of California.
Battery Point Lighthouse
Battery Point Lighthouse is one of the older lights on the West Coast. She sprung into life in 1856 spurred by the gold rush, as many things were out here. Erected on a tiny islet right off the coast she was built for a mere $15,000 and can only be reached at low tide. Her pretty little Cape Cod Style house and cute tower-top light are now county-owned, but she still beams out to sea and (probably the coolest part of the lot) she still has lighthouse keepers! They are volunteers who live IN the historic lighthouse and give tours throughout the summer. What a sweet job, eh? Sadly no pets allowed otherwise Paul and I would be all over that job like cats on nepeta cataria (Google it, baby). The interior of the building is still in period style and the lens tower requires a tight squeeze through a little hatch (fun stuff). Our private tour was excellent and well worth the $3 to go. A must see, folks!
P.S. Dogs are allowed on the pebble beach by the parking lot, but are not allowed on the lighthouse island.
The Northern Redwoods
They are fine, old giants. Some of them reach 2,000 years old and 360 feet in height. Their delicate roots thrive in the moist, coastal climate between southern Oregon & San Francisco where they form lines of dense forests. They are the coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens), towering red beings, heavy in forest scent. Going into these places is like entering another world…silent, meditative and awe-inspiring. The trees envelop you, filtering out the light and drawing you into their lonely presence. Oh, what a place! Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park covers the northern-most of the CA redwoods and is probably the least developed giving visitors the chance to see old-growth forest without too many people. We took the most popular driving tour through the park, stopping for a short hike at Stout Grove (home of the Ewoks no less). A fine trip, but we sure wish Polly could have been with us.
P.S. Dogs are allowed on park roads, but not on any of the trails. They may not be left unattended in cars.
That wraps up our stay on the Coast. It’s been a wonderful summer, but we’ve seen our last sunset and we’re ready for the mountains. Fall colors, here we come…