Redwoods was probably was on my favorite places we have taken the kids so far, other than the insanely long and twisty drive there.
horrible dinner stop at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere and crazy hot.
We didn't have to camp and could stay in a hotel that was 5 min from the park entrance, which was quite convenient. Plus, Ruby puked in the bed the first night, so it was quite a relief to have clean sheets to put on and a place to do laundry in the morning.
We did Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek.
There was never a shortage of tree bridges to walk on.
or trees to look at.
We even found an unexpected lunch/swim spot. Kids had a blast jumping off the little bridge into the river, even though we had no towels or bathing suits.
Best place we found was Fern Canyon.
Plus, this sign was everywhere, which everyone found quite entertaining.
Fern Canyon is one of those places that makes the entire trip worth it.
And we were actually prepared with water shoes for everyone so, we were able to hike much further into the canyon than most of the tourists and had the place to ourselves.
Then right outside The Fern Canyon Trail was the beach, which made for an amazing lunch spot.
I remember visiting the giant Paul Bunyan Statue when I was younger, so I was beyond excited when I realized we were going to be driving right by it.
We then headed up to Medford, OR...This turned out to be the kids favorite night of the trip. We ate at Big Bear Diner, which was in itself a huge event for the kids. We never take them to sit down restaurants. Then a nice couple paid our bill, which the kids thought was the about the nicest the thing in the world. After that we had the entire outdoor pool to ourselves and since the water wasn't actually nasty, I swam too. Then they had their own hotel room (connected to ours).
Since we were semi close to Crater Lake, we figured we should stop, since we didn't know if we'd be back this way.
It was FREEZING when we first pulled in.
Luckily it warmed up as we made the trek down to the lake.
Water was freezing. Kids had intentions of swimming, but no one could be convinced to go any deeper than their knees.
Miles has been buying these animal field guides at all the national park visitor centers, so anytime we come across some sort of animal on the trail he pulls them out and identifies them for us. In this picture we are looking at a lizard.
Then we made the trek up to Bellingham through horrendous Portland traffic and all our kids vowed they never want to see Portland again. :)
Bellingham was my kids #1 thing the entire summer.
Even if we made them hike 5 miles after hiking the previous 3 days. :)
Just a reminder, this is not a National Park. This is just Bellingham. it is obvious everytime I go back why I have trouble seeing the beauty that is here in Utah.
Ruby whined the ENTIRE way up and down. Most she has ever whined. We ended up abandoning our other children at the top and take Ruby back down to the car since she wouldn't stop screaming and crying and people were trying to enjoy this incredible view.
Luckily the other kids were fairly content to be hiking with some of their favorite people.
One of my Bellingham requests was to get out on Lake Whatcom.
Just as paul and I were about to jump in the water to double knee board the boat died. So, we got to row back instead.
The rest of the time was just non stop cousins.
This trip was good for all our souls. I miss these people and this place. it felt good to be back and get to soak it all in for little bit.