Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July in Northern California

July 4th afforded Alyssa and I the opportunity to venture south. Having heard from Aaron and Keri about the great bouldering next to the Humboldt county surf we made our way Thursday night to Golds Beach campground in Prairie Creek Redwoods National Forest. The campsite was of great demand and to our dismay but not our surprise the first come first serve campground was full-up with Oregonians, Wash-a-tonians and Californians. With a little luck we snuck my little truck into the single parking spot left and transferred our supplies to the cab laying 0ut our sleeping pads in the bed and spending the night in the truck, out of the sight of the pesky rangers.

Waking the next morning to the sound of the surf inspired us to venture about 5 miles north on highway 101 to the beach directly south of the Klamath River delta, Klamath Beach aka Lost Rocks. But before making the journey we decided to make the most of sleeping between the redwoods and have a look around. The theme song to Jurassic Park playing loudly in our heads we ventured to Fern Canyon, aptly named for the fern coated walls of the canyon. Soon after we left the park and being early enough out to the beach we were the first to hit some classic problems made famous by Joe Kinder and Chris Linder in Spray. The fog stayed on strong throughout the day but the rock miraculously stayed dry. We spent the majority of the day taking in the scenery napping on the beach and climbing some great problems.

That evening we ventured inland to the Kamp Klamath campsite where we were surprised to meet our new friends Brian and Maria. Both of whom were also from Minnesota and had attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Sharing a campfire we talked for a few hours as elk rustled in the woods not far away.

The next morning we headed for Arcata to spend some quality holiday time in style. Fortunate for us we found a hotel on the town square and spent the day at the local fair and the night watching fireworks. Arcata is an interesting town, as a seaside industry hub and settling ground for the die hard hippies of the sixties it makes for an interesting mix of art galleries and warehouses.

On Sunday we decided to briefly visit Moonstone Beach. Known as much for its surf as its bouldering we started our day with some great climbs and good views of the local swells. Unfortunately, Alyssa's cold had gone from bad to worse and we decided to call it quits and make the journey back home. On our way we pulled over to look at what was to be the icing on our cake The Promontory, a sport climbing spot just off of 101. We both decided it was a good reason to come back and continued the seven hour hike back to Portland.

The foggy weekend was one of the most gorgeous we have ever had. The scenery is beyond words and left us both wanting more.