Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Stout Grove

4/30/16 (Saturday) in Klamath, CA (Golden Bear RV Resort-PPA)

If you think we had problems finding the Yurok Loop Trail, you should have been with us when we drove to Stout Grove. We had 2 roads to choose between: SR 199 and Howland Hills Road. The first was a longer route but on a better road, the second was supposed to be scenic but on an unpaved gravel road. We voted for the safer route. Our map showed that SR 199 would take us close to Stout Grove, but it wasn’t detailed enough to guarantee we could get there via another short route. When we passed that spot, naturally there were no signs. We stopped at the Hiouchi Information Center for help. Closed. We stopped at the nearby blink of a city, Hiouchi, for a restroom break. There we decided to take SR 199 further until it met South Fork Rd, since our pamphlet did say that road went to Stout Grove. We traveled to where we thought those roads met, but felt we were not going to find it and turned back. On the way, after passing the Information Center, we turned into the Jedediah Smith Campground, since it looked like there might be a trail from there to Stout Grove. When it didn’t look promising, we went to the entrance gatehouse. There they helpfully gave us a map and explanations. Yes, there was a trail from the campground, but its bridge was out, so we needed to return to the spot where we’d turned around and continue on. Sure enough, JUST beyond that turn around spot was signage for Stout Grove. THEN we got onto Howland Hills Road. There was hardly any gravel to speak of that it was filled with deep potholes. Sheesh!! After a mile or so of this John asked if I was sure I wanted to continue. I felt that we’d gone so far, it would be a shame not to go this extra bit. Then we saw a sign for a half mile trail to Stout Grove. We parked there and took that River Trail. It was nice, along the Smith River, but rather steep and rocky. Then we came upon a good stand of ancient Redwoods and wondered if we’d reached Stout Grove. We went further and found a sign! The grove was lovely, but I’m not so sure it was worth all that effort. That’s what you get for always going to places you’ve never been before. The first image is of a nice little bridge near the end of our River Trail.

The Redwood on the left was actually growing out of the ground at this angle. All the rest seem to love growing very straight and tall. This grove had more really large, old trees close together than the others, I’d say.

stout 4

That was fun, even with our trek back along the River Trail, but our day wasn’t over!

We drove on to Brookings, OR, about 20 more miles away, to scout likely places to fuel Miss Journey and to buy our groceries at a Fred Meyer store. Oregon has no sales tax, you know, so it’s really a better place to buy anything than tax intensive California. Great luck!! The Fred Meyer had a very accessible fuel station. This was the largest Fred Meyer we’d seen, with a second floor of toys and apparel. We left with quite the basketful of food.

On our way, not too far out south of town, we stopped at the Oregon Welcome Center to enjoy our picnic lunch and pick up some brochures.

That was a big day, so we really took it easy after getting all our groceries put away. We plan to continue that rest on Sunday and Monday, before traveling Tuesday.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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