We arrived at the Hiouchi Hamlet RV Resort and dropped the trailer in a full
hook up site.Since the Redwoods National and State Parks Visitors Center at
Hiouchi was not yet open for the season we drove down to the one in Crescent
City. The Ranger told us about local hikes. We decided to hike the Boy Scout
Trail a two-mile hike through the Giant Redwoods in the Jedidiah Smith State
Park to a small waterfall.
The next morning we left Hiouchi for a day trip into the park. It was a dreary
cloudy day, maybe in the 50’s. As we drove down coastal highway 101 AKA
Redwoods Highway it began to drizzle and we drove through some very thick coastal
fog. By the time we got to Elk Meadow the sky began to clear. It never turned
blue but became a less threatening shade of gray. We stopped at Elk Meadow to
view the wild Roosevelt Elk and then proceeded to the main Visitors Center in
Redwoods National and State Parks are a very large collection of parks, which are jointly run by the California Park Service and the National Park Service to preserve the Coastal Redwood forest.
We left Orick and drove north on highway 101 to the Newton B. Drury Scenic
Parkway, which is a relatively short scenic alternative to highway 101. Since
we hadn’t walked for the day we stopped in the Prairie Creek Visitor Center
and spoke to the volunteer who advised us about his favorite area hike, which
was only a short drive from the visitors center.
We started on the Prairie Creek Trail at one end of Zig Zag #2 and followed
along side the creek for 1.4 miles to Zig Zag #1.
Despite the cutbacks the half-mile to the West Ridge Trail is quite steep by the time we reached the top we were both sweating.
A convenient bench, facing towards a group of Redwoods, with a dedication that read “Forever” provided a place to put our packs, water and other paraphernalia while we shed our sweat -shirts.
The West Ridge Trail continues for many miles in both directions at that point
but we were only interested in the one and a half miles back to Zig Zag #2.
The trail was essentially flat with a slight up and down roll. At one point
we had to leave the trail for about 5 feet in order to climb over two trees
that had fallen and were blocking our path.
Periodically we came across more benches. When benches have dedications we try and read them. From time to time we stop or we read as we walk by occasionally we just ignore them. This time a dedication was so powerful I was compelled to take a picture.
Sometime after 1948 when the “fog of war” started lifting and the names began to pile up somebody dedicated this bench to loved ones. In May of 2003 somebody else came along and photographed the bench but it was not (diaynoo) enough. As a grandson, nephew and cousin of unknown victims this person understood the dedications and wanted to do more. Therefore I am posting this on the World Wide Web.
Shortly after stopping at the bench we reached the signs that pointed to Zig Zig #2 and walked down the .7 miles to our truck.
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