“When I get home, I’m taking this dirty laundry out of my bag!” declares Evan.
It’s 3:45 a.m. and we’re getting a few last minute things together before we head to the airport for our return flight. My brother, already wide awake and excited to go home, is lamenting the fact that he has to carry the family’s dirty laundry in his suitcase, while the rest of us take turns getting ready.
We’ve had a fun vacation. The past few days were spent enjoying the huge redwoods. We camped near the coast on the fourth of July, and although it was a little cold, we watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from one of the huge rocks along the shore. The campground had a trail that weaved in and out of the different camping locations and back to the coast. It was a little confusing as I went for a morning run.
The whole group remained in high spirits, even though we did a lot of hiking through the forests. I guess climbing on fallen trees, whacking the side brush with stick spears, and darting in and out of trees with holes would keep anyone occupied for a while. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunities to act like a ninja, spy or Jedi Knight for the video camera. And who doesn’t want to climb a 10-foot tree stump or crawl though the trunk of a giant redwood?
Part of our hiking took us through Fern Canyon. We evaded the meandering stream (Evan using lots of fallen trees; the rest of us used the bridges) as we gazed up at the sides of the canyon covered in green ferns. It was a beautiful place filled with many cool looking rocks.
Throughout our sightseeing, we even saw two black bears. The first was an adorable bear cub on the side of the road as we drove by, and from our campsite, we observed the second climb an apple tree to get his breakfast. Those bear lockers really are necessary after all!
We survived all six nights of camping without getting poison ivy or stung by a yellow jacket. The Steller’s jays almost stole our food from the picnic table at the last campsite, but Evan took charge of chasing them away.
Between driving down many windy roads, standing in beautiful valleys, hiking and gazing at impressive mountains, looking up at the biggest trees in the world, camping in chilly places, and visiting cold beaches in the summer, this will be a very memorable trip. But as fun as being a tourist on the west coast is, I’m ready to get back to the very familiar east coast and knowing where I am.