Along the border of Northern California and Southern Oregon lies the hideaway-drive-thru Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Literally you drive through it on Highway 199. It's beautiful even during the winter rain.
I'm so glad I added this to my trip. Originally I was going to drive down to the "Drive-thru Redwoods Park" but it was so far out of the way that I decided to nix that and found this park. It was perfect for my trip. I wanted to turn northeast at Crescent City, California and drive to I5 in Grants Pass, OR. This park fit the bill to a tee.
I drove south on Highway 101 to Crescent City then headed Northwest and met up with Highway 199 which went right through the Redwoods.
Here's a snippet of the park map. (linked above)
I encountered huge downed reddish trees, ferns, and moss-covered trees.
One of my next pitstops was going down Walker Road to a campground.
Let me just say that driving down this one lane gravel road that had been rained on for awhile was not fun. It was ladden with huge thick ruts, mud up past my ankles, open water and treacherous non-existent shoulders.
A couple of times I met an oncoming vehicle and thought...I'm going to pull over toward the side to avoid hitting this guy and I'm going to get stuck with this rental car. Then what? Hopefully somebody has a tow rope and can pull me out.
I also had another fear while driving this tore-up road. That I would tear off my oil pan while bottoming out going thru the ruts that lined the road. Those ruts seemed like they were made by a drunk row crop farmer plowing the field for planting.
I pretty much decided, once I found a place to turn around, that I was not going any further down this road...as cool as the scenery was. I wasn't in the mood to either get stuck or wreck my rental.
So...onward. Kind of a bummer though.
I meandered along the highway trying to drive, stare and navigate all at once while looking through the haze of rain and fog.
I loved this stump. From far away it looked like it was just covered with moss and ferns but up close (on the right) it had this cool looking plant? moss? fern?
Anyway, it was neat.
I'll leave you with this. The common "Caution: Mountain Lion" sign I saw all over the place.
There are mountain lions so be wary. I know I was. I was honestly more scared of those mountain lions than I ever am of the bear I could encounter in my own home state. Bears will leave you alone unless you come between them and their young, then you're in trouble.
But Mountain Lions are a different story. They would stalk you for dinner. Bears won't. At least not the black bears in my neck of the woods (Minnesota).