Friday, June 8, 2012

Fern Canyon and Patrick's Point

     Our day in the Redwoods included beautiful Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek State Park which is enveloped by the National Park.   The first time I drove the road to this spot, several miles through redwoods today, there was little greenery to be seen.  In reaction to the creation of the Redwoods National Park, logging companies clear cut right up to the park borders.  In a few instances they miscalculated and cut within the park.    It was ugly.
    But 40 years later, while there are no large trees along the route,and there are stumps if you are looking closely, there is a forest again and it is looking like a park.   It will be a long time until it looks like it did before the logging, but the healing has begun.
     Fern Canyon is a narrow slice where the creek has cut through for ages.  Trees along the top, impacted by the wet climate and winds from the coast periodically fall into the canyon.  In time the canyon will become a valley, but not ln my lifetime.  Perpetually moist, water seeps from the canyon walls watering the many species of ferns.   The creek flows year round, but once the water level is down, park staff place portable plank "bridges."  Even then, it wasn't possible to traverse the canyon without getting our shoes wet.   So be it.   Small price to pay.   Chris had never been there so it was fun to see his reaction.  The canyon meets the beach at Gold Bluff, an area of limited gold mining in the early days.   Prospectors on the Trinity River did much better finding the treasure.

Walk into Fern Canyon

Five Fingered Ferns (an yes, I count more than 5 fingers
cascade down the steep canyon walls.
We visited Patrick's Point State Park where I lived\volunteered for a summer and part of another. The path down to Agate Beach has washed out. It was a popular spot for locals as well as campers. The beach is still accessible from the north, but as visited as it once was, even with the long climb up and back. 

Here is the view from the edge of Bruce's property looking south along Agate
Beach and Patrick's Point State Park.  Bruce, from the other north coast blog, was one of my professors when
I was in school at Humboldt State.

This is the view from the top of the cliff within Patrick's Point State Park
 looking down on
Agate Beach.  Bruces' house, where I parked the
motorhome is along the bluff to the right, about where it dips down in

   Within Patrick's Point State Park is Sumeg Village.   This is a re-created Yurok village.  Built by the local Yurok community, in cooperation with the park, it is used for ceremonial purposes.

And finally, here is a beach morning glory photographed at the county park at the north end of Agate Beach.

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