Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 Grand Adventure, Days 17-18: Redwoods National Park and Whale Watching

You can find links to any other 2016 Grand Adventure posts at the "home page."

Day 17: We woke up in the Redwoods campground surprisingly refreshed after a night at a spot right next to the bathrooms. We stopped at the Visitor's Center to ask about the best hike with children if we only had a few hours and could only do one. They were very helpful and directed us to one right outside the building. We hiked a loop back to the parking lot that included bits of the Prairie Creek Trail, the Cathedral Trees Trail, and the Foothills Trail.

The whole hike was delightful. There wasn't much elevation change. The twists and turns of the path meant we often felt completely alone in the wilderness despite a few other hikers along the way.

Redwoods was one of the parks that most felt otherworldly to us; we kept teasing the children that Yoda's house was nestled in the trees somewhere nearby.

They try let the trees rot where they fall, but sometimes have to make concessions, like people-sized tunnels cut out of enormous trees that fall on the path.

It may be hard to see in the picture below, but Kansas Dad and the kids are far ahead of me! They look so small next to those trees and you still can't see the tops.

After our hike, we piled back into the van for another drive. (Of course!) We headed north into Oregon which not only has one of the most beautiful coastlines I have ever seen, but park after park along the coast for visiting the coast and eating picnic lunches!

We arrived at our campground at an Oregon State Park (boy, those state parks in Oregon are nice!) almost in time for dinner but really needed a laundromat. So we drove past the park, started our laundry, ate at a nearby restaurant while it got all nice and clean, and then drove back to the campground. Kansas Dad and First Son set up camp while the little ones showered. A late night to bed, but we were all excited for the next day.

Total driving for day 17 - 225 miles.

Day 18: We drove to Depoe Bay for whale watching! We decided it would be worth it to take the kids out a bit in a boat onto the ocean even if we didn't see whales, but we were lucky. First, the children were delighted by the sea lions on the buoys.

They were batting for a sunning spot and we laughed to watch the newcomers get thrown back into the water.

First Daughter got a picture of a gray whale; if you look really closely, you may see a small dark spot rising out of the water. That's her! We also saw her calf and followed them for a while. The children were enthralled by the whales, the waves, the sea lions, all of it!

Smiling despite being back on land!
We left Depoe Bay and kept following the coast up to Seaquest State Park. Luckily we were able to see Mount St. Helen's from the road because the next day, when we had hoped to visit, it was all clouded over. I loved driving along the Oregon coast and would happily return there just to sit by the water for hours on end.

Total driving for day 18 - 239 miles.


  1. What an amazing trip! I live about an hour from Depot Bay and the Oregon Coast is beautiful!

  2. Oops!!! I spelled Depoe Bay wrong!!!! LOL

  3. I know! We just moved back here after 12 years in Washington. There's a song called 'Coming Home' that features the University of Oregon. It's a really good song with words like, 'I left my heart in Oregon.' It's on YouTube. We were driving home from Crater Lake (awesome) belting out this song. :)


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