June 18th, 2016
Kiddos started to stir around 6:50am but they kept themselves occupied with laughter and silliness until 7:15 or so. Last night the kiddos were so excited to all be sleeping in the same room – “sleepover! sleepover!” and it seems the excitement carried the morning. For breakfast we dined on leftovers: chicken strips and fries from The Lighthouse and sandwiches from the Ferndale Meat Company. Lady Coach may have also provided cheetos to round out the kiddos’ nutritional needs. Packed up and out the door by 9am. Once again we hit northbound 101. Destination: a hike to Fern Canyon just outside of Orick, CA.
To get to the trail head you drive through about 5 miles of the most dense old growth redwood forest in California on a slick dirt road with tons of switchbacks and grade changes. Until what feels like you blinked and you pop out of the woods onto miles of pristine beach and the sound of breaking waves. The best start to a day for Team Hovis in some time. Lady Coach handled the creek crossings and dirt road like a champ. Little did we know, Fern Canyon would overshadow the drive.
The hike began lovely enough bordering a creek running down to the ocean and songbirds for a soundtrack. Then the real uniqueness of this hike started to shine. As we entered the canyon it became clear this would not be any other hike. The sheer walls of the canyon were covered with ferns. Deep greens, dark reds, and blues highlighted the sun’s rays diffused by the redwood canopy. Words really don’t do it justice. The clear creek running through the canyon is fed by waterfalls cascading and trickling down the canyon walls.
Gman could not contain his excitement, so we barely saw him for the next hour as he explored Fern Canyon on his own.
We waded through ankle deep water and climbed over ancient trees all while surrounded by lush canyon walls. Truly unforgettable. Coach’s mom would have taken better photos, but we tried to capture what the canyon was really like.
With the bar set high for the day, Team Hovis rejoined our old friend, Hwy 101. The last and possibly most hyped road side tourist attraction needed to be checked off our list before reaching our final destination of Crescent City. TREES OF MYSTERY was just up the road and Paul Bunyon beckoned us “come and pay your money”. This turned out to be literally true as the giant statue of Paul Bunyon in the parking lot has a microphone and speaker mounted inside and “Paul Bunyon” talks to guests as they pull up. Very campy. We paid our money and took the trail to the Trees of Mystery and gondola ride. Coach has been unable to say “trees of mystery” without summoning his best horror movie narrator voice. There were several interesting trees on the property and the Gondola ride was good ole fashioned novelty fun for the family with a stunning view of the forest and the ocean from the top. Also, who could forget the famous logger pictured below with E. Lady Coach got the giggles when she saw the sculpture.
We made the final 10 mile leg into Crescent City a hungry bunch. It seems you’re supposed to stop having fun and eat lunch before 2:30pm. We eventually ate at the first place Lady Coach thought acceptable on the outskirts of town – The Apple Peddler Diner – Imagine Denny’s without the sadness. After we finished lunch the group was super excited to head to The cabin. We got settled in and while Lady Coach headed into town to buy groceries Coach and the kiddos went swimming, read, and played some Uno. More pics to come but to say we’re more than excited is an understatement. This house is in a great location and we already feel at home. More pics to come but here is a peek at the river right off the back porch.