Thursday, September 15, 2011

California Redwoods Part 1: A Whale of a Good Time

"Trees go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!" - John Muir

After our wild time outside of Bandon, we continued south to pop in for a visit with my uncle outside of Gold Beach. What was supposed to be a few hours of chatting turned into an afternoon of swimming and lounging next to his pool followed by an exquisite barbeque dinner of freshly caught Rouge River Salmon.

Too full and relaxed to continue, we spent the night here. The next morning we managed to tear ourselves away and continue our journey down the Oregon Coast towards Redwood National Park in Northern California.

Whaleshead Beach near Brookings, Oregon

We made a brief stop in Crescent City, just south of the Oregon/California border to admire Battery Point Lighthouse. Only accessible at low tide, our timing was off, but we still captured a few images from shore.

Seagull with Battery Point Lighthouse in the background.

Our next stop was the Tour Thru Tree in Klamath. Obviously, the RV was too large to drive through, but we thought we might stop and get a few pictures of other cars doing what we could not. I popped into the gift shop to inquire about walking up to the tree and also ask about some other unique photo opportunities accessible by RV. I was given instructions on an easy drive with easily accessible hiking trails when I decided to ask about what else was a can't-miss.

Have you seen our whale yet?


She proceeded to show me a newspaper article from that day's paper detailing the story of the California Gray Whale that had swum up the Klamath River a couple months earlier and decided not to leave. In fact, it was continuing to put on a show right under the Highway 101 Klamath River Bridge.

I hurried to the RV and gave my husband, Jon, the information about walking up to the travel thru tree. It was going to cost us a $1 each to just go up and gander, but he was willing to go do it.

"What else did you find out?" he asked as he unbuckled his seatbelt.

"Well, apparently there is a whale stranded in the river just up the road."

Before the words had finished coming out of my mouth, his seatbelt was refastened and the engine was started.

"Let's go!!!" he replied and off we went.

Bear statue on the south end of the Klamath River Bridge

Quite a crowd had gathered to take in the whale and her performance in the river. In fact, police were on hand for crowd control. I was very nervous walking on the narrow bridge, especially with my youngest daughter, Odessa, as traffic was continuing to zoom by. We took up our positions on the bridge and watched in wonder as the whale swam and spouted below us.

Walking on the Klamath River Bridge
Whale swimming in the Klamath River

Eventually my nervousness about Odessa staying still on the bridge got the best of me and we returned to the RV while Jon and my oldest daughter, Sage, stayed behind to continue taking pictures. Just after Odessa and I left, we missed a black bear who has swum across the river towards the whale. Unfortunately, the zoom on the camera lens was just not powerful enough for my husband to capture the image. At least it wasn't clear enough to distinguish the black dot as a bear's head.

Can you see the bear?
Sadly, just a few hours after our visit, the whale died. We were clad we got to see her, but saddened that she didn't find her way back out to sea. Click here for the entire story on the Klamath River Whale.

Whales and bears were not the only animals we got to meet on this trip. Odessa got to meet an Ewok, which I will tell you about soon. Stay tuned!

Plan Your Own Visit:

Klamath Tour Thru Tree

Battery Point Lighthouse

Redwood National and State Parks

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

1 comment:

  1. WOW! I clicked over to see Redwoods (Adele has been asking me daily what it is like to be in the clouds and see huge trees like that) So unexpected to instead see a whale!
    Thank you for taking me along on your adventures.