Friday, June 21, 2019

Day 20 - Mill Creek to Elk Prairie

Distance - 29 miles
Dear California, we may have got off on the wrong foot yesterday. Please accept our apologies - you are beautiful!

We roll out of camp and up the first hill with relative ease this morning. Yes, the hill we already climbed yesterday - well half of it anyways! We fly downhill and in a few short miles we're at the Trees of Mystery! It's a tourist trap / trail walk through the redwoods. Back in Oregon we saw the sign that said 119 miles to the mystery trees, then 112, and then we took lots of detours off hwy 101 because we couldn't handle the countdown - and now we're here! We stop to take photos with Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe.
We don't stay long, there's a guy on a loud speaker who greets people as they walk in and hassles people as they take photos. I think it's supposed to be Paul Bunyan talking, but it's a little creepy!
From there we head through Klamath where we find a cute little diner next to some emus. If you're in the area, stop by the Lot Cabin Diner and get the sausage breakfast burrito, it's fantastic!
The highway riding in this area feels a lot like home.
From here it's out to a scenic parkway through the redwoods. The start of the national park is quite an uphill grind, but there's little traffic and it's very beautiful. The trees just keep getting bigger! Part way up we pass a rather cruel message painted on the road that says 'It doesn't get easier', but then another sign appears that says 'You just get better.' Thanks for the motivation, whoever you are!
As we get closer to camp we begin to slowly wind downhill. It's a perfect grade to coast and stare at the fascinating trees! There's only a few surprising bumps that catch us as we stare up. We don't know how to define big - the trees are all HUGE! And this isn't even the Avenue of the Giants.
We arrive at Elk Prairie Campground and are immediately greeted by Roosevelt Elk grazing peacefully in the fields. It's amazing how peaceful they are surrounded by tourists. We set up the tent and nap in the sunshine, wander the campsite, take lots of photos of Elk butts (they were not in a cooperative mood), and play some card games. We are back in happy camper mode!
The days here are warm but when the sun goes down we can see our breath! Brr!

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