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Pleasant Surprises at Portola Redwoods State Park

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Whenever we decide to go hiking, we always do research to find out a bit about the park first. Just little things such as location, how long it will take us to get there, accessibility, and, of course, what the weather will be like. In doing so, we will often come across interesting facts such as trees of some notoriety, but our number one criterion is the variety of trails because it does no good to go to a park if there are no trails suitable for me to hike. For these reasons, Portola Redwoods State Park fit our criteria.

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Avenue of the Giants

A Scenic Drive through the Avenue of the Giants

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My husband and I are constantly seeking new experiences to enjoy together, so we decided to take a long weekend to explore Eureka, in northern California. Even though we were in the midst of a weeks-long deluge with dams straining against their impediments, we were not to be deterred. We were even more determined when we learned that Eureka has a huge number of Victorian homes, which happen to be another one of our fascinations. When we mentioned to one of our friends that we were going to be exploring the redwoods and the Victorians in the Eureka area, she told us that we couldn’t miss the Avenue of the Giants or the Carson Mansion.

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Twisted redwood bark. Photo by Patricia VanEyll

Redwoods in the Rain: Exploring Henry Cowell State Park

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There are those who have been grousing about how much rain we have gotten the last few months, but after witnessing the verdant grass languish under the Golden State sun last summer, I am grateful for it. Because of my affinity for rain, the promise of another rain shower after weeks of nearly constant rain didn’t dissuade my husband and me from continuing with our plans to visit Henry Cowell State Park.

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Butano State Park. Photo by Patricia VanEyll

A First Encounter with Redwood Grandeur

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Our first redwood outing was to Butano State Park, which is a 4,600-acre park located in Pescadero. We chose this park due to its proximity to Hwy. 1 so that after our hike, we could drive up the coast to Pacifica to have dinner, thereby making a full day of our adventure.

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