Sunday (May 30) My last 24 hours at Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park were bittersweet. I knew I would miss the beauty of the campground, but the Memorial Day Weekend campers had begun to descend upon the park and it was getting very busy.
I awoke to sunny skies on Friday and decided to suck up as much solar power as possible. I spent the early afternoon chasing sunlight with my solar panels. I have a 120W suitcase-style panel that weighs 25 lbs. I also have a 100W thin flexible panel that weighs 4 lbs. I made some coupler cables so I could connect both panels to one charge controller, giving me the most amperage possible.
The forests here are magnificent, but they don’t allow for much useful solar charging time. I was able to give my battery a decent charge by continuously watching the little pockets of sunshine move through my campsite and position the solar panels accordingly. This recharge was enough to keep my refrigerator running another day, so I knew I was in good shape.
On Saturday I packed up and drove 0.7 miles to Redwood Meadows RV Park, located on HWY199 in Hiouchi. (Don’t call it “hootchie”, just sayin’) This RV park initially looked a little run down, but once I settled in to my spot I started to like it a lot more. Based on the infrastructure, it looks like an older RV park. It has large grass areas between the rows of spaces and plenty of trees. I was located in the row closest to the highway (right behind the gas station/deli), yet the road noise was subtle. I think the building helped block the sound. There are also some tent spaces as well as yurts, tiny houses and canvas cabins. The grounds are well kempt. Verizon does not know about this little hamlet and the on-site wireless network is weak and often drops connection. No problem, it’s a good time to stay off the grid and enjoy the surroundings.
Sunday was another sunny day. I drove about 3 miles over to the Stout Grove trailhead across the Smith River from Hiouchi. I had heard about Stout Grove from a couple of places and decided to check it out for photos. The trees are described as “not the largest trees” but they were impressive enough. The walking loop is about 1/2 mile with several little side trails. The nearby access, ample parking, restrooms and easy hike make this a very popular spot. Lots of families with small children were able to amble about through the tall trees and fallen logs. I spent about two hours in this area and would really love to come back on a drizzly day. I did my best to find photo opportunities that didn’t have much sunlight, instead looking for the even light of full shade. I used my tripod exclusively; I like the way the tripod slows me down and take a little longer to compose my photos.
Today will be my last day in California. Tomorrow I’ll drive about 20 miles to Brookings, Oregon and begin the coastal version of the trip. My friends Claudia and Bruce are also camping at Brookings, so it will be fun to spend time with them at a beach campground
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