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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Filtering by Tag: forest

William M. Tugman State Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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We pulled into William M. Tugman State Park in Oregon  pretty late in the day.  It was drizzling, and we hunkered down inside our cozy camper to share an Instant Pot meal of beef stroganoff and later, my daughter's first game of cribbage.  The next morning before we left, I spent a half hour with two ravens, who I asked to fly from tree to tree right over this little opening through the branches.  And they did - six times in all.  I have no idea why they humored me, but I was delighted.  I think they are such curious creatures that they enjoy interacting with humans.  It certainly seems to me that they enjoy being photographed.

Redwood National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Redwood National Park is so diverse.  We began our day there at the Kuchel Visitor's Center, which overlooks the coast.  From there we drove to Elk Meadow, where, believe it or not, we saw some elk (from afar).  We kept driving up through the park, looking for some RV-friendly parking but there was little to be found.  We pulled over on the side of the road at a trailhead to make lunch, and decided to make it easy on ourselves and just walk the trail that was right there.

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At the beginning of the trail was a huge redwood that had been hollowed out by fire.  It was massive (and clearly it was ok to step inside).  

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It was high noon, perhaps not the best for photos but sometimes I don't get to pick the time for our hikes when we are on a family trip.  It was, however, the prettiest hike of our entire 7-week trip, in my opinion.  The towering redwoods were easily visible because there is not a lot of tall underbrush.  The forest feels pretty open, really, though there are masses of ferns, sorrel and the like crowding the path.  There are huge fallen nurse logs, with lots of life sprouting from the rotting wood. I just thought it was gorgeous.

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I wish we had more time at Redwood National Park.  There is so much we did not get to see, though if we went back I'd like to take the truck instead of the RV because I think we were limited by our vehicle size.  There were just so few places to park, in contrast to so many of the parks we had just been to where there are lots of designated RV areas.  

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But all in all I am so glad we got to visit, even for a short time, because now I know a little more for planning our next trip there.  And grandpa really enjoyed our walk through the redwoods, if you can't tell.

Patrick's Point State Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Our first night camping along the California Coast was spent at Patrick's Point State Park.  It's a beautiful, misty forest with paths through the woods to the ocean cliffs.  We set up camp and headed out to see where the trail went, and found a rocky spot where we saw some seals.  On our way back through the Jurassic-looking foliage, we spotted this bunny on the trail.  

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The next morning I got up early to take photos.  It was cool, but not cold, and it was so refreshing after spending weeks in the hot and dry southwest.  Patrick's Point was like a dream.

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Kings Canyon National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Though they are administered together and are geographically close, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks have some very different areas.  Kings Canyon is also the home to some giant sequoias (more on that later) but it is more than just that.  We drove the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to its terminus down in the canyon.  It's a windy road that hugs cliff edges and offers superb views of the beautiful South Fork of the Kings River below.

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Near the end of the road, we hiked around Zumwalt Meadow.  It's a pretty green gem, and the trail takes you through rocks and over boardwalks, at times skirting the river.  We were vigilant looking for rattlesnakes, but we are happy to report no sightings.

Our campground was back up the road, walking distance from the Visitor's Center and Grant Grove.  Unlike Sequoia National Park, there are no busses to ferry you around in Kings Canyon.  

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We really enjoyed the paved interpretive trail around Grant's Grove, which includes not only the immense Grant Tree, but also an old cabin, signage about the history of logging in the area, and a giant fallen redwood that you can walk through upright.  I figured that would be my daughter's favorite part of the trail, and I was right.  But I was not expecting to delight in it so much myself.  It just seems so crazy to be walking through a huge tree that's laying on its side.

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You can get a little closer to the trees here on the trail than you could at Sequoia.  Several are hollowed out from fire and this one was just right for a little fox to scramble through.