posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prairie Creek

Luckily no bear or mountain lions attack last night at Jedediah Smith State Park so I was able to quietly leave, following beautiful Highway 99 to Crescent City, a twisty road and yet another display of huge redwoods. I often had to stop to take pictures or videos and on one of the first stops I heard my name called, and it was Andrew and Suzanne, the Canadian couple whom also stayed at the camp but arrived quite late and didn't use the hiker biker site. As it often happens on these route we cycled together until Crescent City where they took some time to get new tyres.
After that not many cyclists crossed today, I met an Alaskan girl traveling by car instead; she was driving from Alaska to Mexico over a month and to my shock and horror said she often stopped to swim in the ocean! Used to Alaskan temperatures she found the water pretty warm and inviting!
Crossing through Klamath it was interesting to be welcome by signposts from the Yurok  tribe who has a reserve in the area. Unfortunately their traditional way of life has been thwarted long time ago and it seemed to me that most of them enjoyed being hypnotised by the slots machine in the local service area. Otherwise they seemed the most friendly of people with big large smiles painted on their faces. I veered off highway 101 and followed a side road leading to Praire Creek National Park, my goal for the day.
The guy in Klamath Market said that apparently the largest tree in the wold was there but its whereabouts are not revealed to preserve it from mass tourism. Newton Drury Scenic Parkway was simply stunning. After the initial climb I was treated by a long, winding descent and the largest forest of mighty trees I had ever seen.
John Steinbeck expressed what I felt in front of such majestic beauty: "the redwoods once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always...from them comes silence and awe. The most irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect".
Arrived at Prairie Creek, James was by his bike ready to look for the hiker biker camp!
It wasn't too long before the Canadians couple arrived and after my tent was set up Kevin too. Later we were joined by Jack, travelling to work all the way from Montana with his inseparable banjo strapped around his shoulders. He was on government food stamps and the job he had come to do was weeding 'grass' for some friends, of course for medical purposes! Around the campsite fire we all chatted and Jack was full of interesting stories and asked if anybody else had met lots of new born Christians on the road as he somehow kept bumping into people who had suddenly found Jesus! The last one being a trekking woman screaming to him that she would take her backpack all the way to Jerusalem! Jack was from a city near New York, whose economy he said, had a recent boost when they accepted to receive all the trash from New York City! Staying on the trash business he told us  there were these boats taking trash from Hawaii to Seattle and San Francisco for dumping. They made the reverse journey all empty and one of his future plans was to take such a boat hoping he could get a stinking cheap cruise to the islands!
Signpost of the day must go to 'having a two years old is like using a blender without a lid'!