As we returned from our trip to Grants Pass for suspension upgrades, we stopped at the Willits KOA for a few days. We chose Willits so we could spend a day in the redwoods and a day on the coast.
The drive from Grants Pass was beautiful, as we drove down highway 199, following the Middle Fork of the Smith River to the coast.
Before you reach Crescent City, you pass through some beautiful redwood forests in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The trees grow very close to the road, but never argue with a redwood. 🙂
Once we made it to the coast, we found a great place to pull over and enjoy a lunch on the beach. As you can see, we had the place to ourselves.
Willits is a small town of about 5,000, but it has a large KOA, which is geared towards families with small children. However, they also have a nice trail through the large property, which we took a stroll on each evening.
The first day we drove to the Fort Bragg and Mendocino coast. It was a welcome relief from the heat wave inland.
We stopped at the dog friendly Glass Beach because it sounded interesting. It started as a garbage dump many years ago and over time, the bottles dumped here broke apart and the waves tumbled the fragments into something really beautiful. It is hard to believe such a beautiful place was used as a trash dump until 1959! (but now I’m kind of glad they did 🙂
We also visited the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. It’s a beautiful setting and there was a wedding happening while we were there.
Nice place for a honeymoon.
We then headed to Mendocino for a late lunch at the dog friendly GoodLife Cafe and Bakery, a good place to eat. We walked off a few calories afterwards, strolling through the town and out on the headlands.
The next day, we stayed inland and drove to Richardson Grove State Park. We noticed what appeared to be a very old road to the left of the highway, so we just had to take a look.
It looks pretty bad, but this was highway 101 until 1982! There were so many slides that they eventually by-passed the curve. How would you like to meet a logging truck as you drove around this bend?
But what a view of the Eel River!
Richardson Grove is one of the smaller redwood state parks, but it has some interesting trees and the eel river runs right through the middle of it.
This amazing tree looks like it has a tree growing from the side of it’s trunk. They say a branch broke but didn’t die, so it kept growing. That branch is now larger than most others trees. That’s what I love about redwoods. They can take a beating from fires, weather, and even man, and somehow they persevere and turn that adversity into strength and beauty.
It was a very hot day, so we enjoyed soaking our feet in the river.
At this point we were not ready to end the RV trip, so instead of going home, we kept heading south the Moss Landing, along the Monterey coast. We’ll look forward to sharing that RV trip in our next post.
Al & Deb