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Story of the West Coast Trip With Marvin

I picked up my friend Marvin from the Sacramento airport and we headed for the coast. First stop was Willits, CA. The sun came out so we stopped to take pictures of a barn “see panoramic image of the barn”. By the time we got to Willits, there was about an inch of snow on the ground. Though the plan was to drive to Klamath, CA in the morning, when we woke up our route to Klamath, Hwy 101, was closed due to the snow. We ended up having to drive to Santa Rosa, connect to Hwy 80, to Hwy 505 then to I5 towards Redding. From Redding we headed west on Hwy 299. I was surprised there wasn’t more snow on Hwy 299. It took us a total of 12 hours to get to Klamath.

The purpose of the Klamath stay was to visit Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We found it was closed due to snow. Apparently, this was the storm of the century for them. So, we set off to areas unknown. We ventured up a gravel road but didn’t get too far because of fallen trees. We walked around and I spotted a really interesting tree. Click – Got the shot. Back onto Hwy 101, we found some elk grazing around the Elk Meadow Cabins. A little further down we came to Davison Road. Thinking we might get a better view of the elk, we took it. Nope, not a single elk to be seen. We continued on down the road to the Elk Meadow Picnic area. Here we hiked the trail to Trillium Falls. The most difficult part was having to go under a fallen tree, which was a challenge to our flexibility, or lack thereof.

We stopped off at the Thomas H Kuchel Visitors Center. It was open, YEA. Talked to one of the rangers to find out what parks might be open. Jedediah Redwoods State Park was open, so off to Jedediah we went! A ranger recommended hiking Stout Grove. We found the trail and headed out. It was a mile or two and very beautiful. Got a couple of nice shots of the sunrays coming through the trees. The trail took us along the Smith River where there were multiple fallen trees. Some new but most had been down for quite a while. I could have walked the trail again, but it was getting late, so we headed back to Klamath.

The next morning, we set off for Bandon, OR. We got the best photography weather. Storms with periods of sun through the clouds. Awesome. My main purpose at Bandon was to practice taking long exposures of the waves flowing back into the ocean, using the white water as leading lines into the scene. I had a lot of fun. Feet definitely got wet. Unavoidable. Waves can be sneaky you know. I had just hit my shutter button as this wave was coming in. Didn’t look too bad. All of a sudden it grew to over a foot tall rushing towards me. I grabbed my camera and started running towards the beach. The wave over took me and ended up 20 feet in front of me. Yes, I did get a lot wetter. But what a blast. And I got the shot!

The following morning, we went out to the Coquille River Lighthouse. The sun came out for a short time revealing some blue sky but it didn’t last long. Looking down the beach, I saw someone playing fetch with their dog. It was windy and cold but they were having a great time. I took a picture of course. Walking back to the car, Marvin spotted an eagle perched precariously on the top of a tree. The wind was strong enough to cause it to lose its balance but the eagle was determined. Later that afternoon we returned to the beach and more wave dodging.

The next day we drove to Seaside stopping occasionally to take a few shots. Tillamook, of course, was our lunch stop. They make great ice cream you know. At Seaside, we went to the beach and caught the most beautiful sunset.

The next morning was the long trip home. 

Thank you, Marvin, for joining me and making the trip more memorable.

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