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June 19, 2019

Mountains to the Sea – Road Trip 2019

“Rolling River, tell me what do you see?  On your long, long journey from the mountains to the sea … Rolling River take me with you when you go!” ~Kingston Trio

Substitute “Rollin’ Rufus” for “Rolling River” and you’ll know where we are off to next, with an ear-worm. 

We dropped down the mountains toward Sacramento to pick up US99 north with a lunch stop at The Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, Monastery and Winery.

Although we have attended a service at the Monastery, we’re not here for another religious experience … we’re here for the wine!  Insider tip – go on a Saturday as the Trappist Monks are allowed to break their vow-of-silence as they man the tasting room … they make it up then! great fun.

We expected to stay in Red Bluff or Redding and enjoy a bottle of wine as we relaxed for the night.  But it was 103F and still early, so we pressed on following the devastation of last years Camp Fire.  The devastation is remains quite complete, with no services.  Once over the coastal crest the temperatures dropped, the trees returned and there are quite a few FS Campgrounds along the Trinity River.

Our first views of the Pacific Ocean is a fog shrouded sea stack,very appropriate in the NoCal redwoods.

We arrived at Prairie Creek Redwoods State  Park about 2pm with a large herd of elk on the prairie.  By the time we were settled and the scooter unloaded the herd had moved on.  This state park is located within the Redwoods National Park and honors the NPS Geezer Pass.  Sweet! – half price camping!

While the Avenue of the Giants receives so much well deserved attention – and traffic – I was surprised how accessible the trail heads were along the Dury Scenic Parkway.  With the scooter we seldom ever have trouble parking, but the parkway has many pullouts and trailhead parking opportunities.  Many of the pullouts were sufficient for large RVs and their toad. The only restrooms (pit) are at Big Tree.

The Revelation Trail is a short 1/4 mi loop near the VC, but follow Prairie Creek from the campground to add another mile.  Such a nice walk we did it again after we packed up to leave.

This is believed to be the biggest redwood in the state park, I certainly expect it is the most photographed.  And the only stop along the parkway where we had others on the trails with us.

Our Toad is a 12 year old Yamaha scooter.  It rides on the rear of Rufus and carries the 2 of us.   Although not freeway capable, it works for us.  We hit all the trailheads along the parkway, most are fairly short walks of a mile or less.

As wine drinkers we had to save the Corkscrew Tree for our last walk.  The Corkscrew Tree is 3 redwoods are wound around each other hundreds of feet into the sky.

We’re about 2 weeks behind On the Road Abode, Jodee has a great blog with more info and photos than I have here.  There’s more info there, an of course always do your won research – it’s your trip.

There are a few sites at Elk Prairie that could accommodate big rigs, most are better suited to little guys or tent camping.

From here we'll continue north along the Oregon coast into Washington to visit with family.
A great trip thus far with No Bad Days!


  1. Ni bad days is good and more wonderful days for you as well. Love your Toad not too practical for us though the way we live. Travel safe.

    1. The scooter works pretty good for most of our needs. Thanks George! We’re enjoying our travel days

  2. It does get hot inland. The trees are big....

    1. CA has the tallest (redwood), greatest volume (sequoia) and oldest (bristlecone) trees in the world. All worth a trip.

  3. It is amazing how drastically different the temps inland are to the coast. Lucky that you caught those beautiful elk before they moved on. Love those huge racks. The redwoods were on our original route for this spring heading towards the Cascades. Once we realized that the snow would be too deep to hike in early June, we moved to plan B. We did the redwoods on a motorcycle trip years ago. It sure is the way to see those beauties.

    1. I agree a motorcycle (or our scooter) involve all the senses while experiences the redwoods. Really enjoyed the chill of the fog, the smell of the forests. Ant the ease of parking ....

  4. I sure hope the pavement on US99 has improved over the years. Listening to stories from a Trappist Monk sounds entertaining. And so does a walk in the Redwoods, a different kind of entertaining. I've camped at that park but don't remember the Corkscrew tree.

    1. As I write this reply I am having a glass of wine from the Monks. From the campground the Corkscrew is just past and across the road from Big Tree. We enjoyed the campground and would be happy to stay there again.


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