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Crescent City - 19 June 2011

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Shortcut past the Tallest Trees

One of my favorite "secret" shortcuts shortens the mileage from Ashland to Caspar, but adds a few minutes to the ride ...because it's a gravel road through one of the largest, oldest stands of Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) along the Redwood Coast. Coming from Ashland, we exit highway 199 (One Windy Nine) just east of the settlement of Hiouchi, cross the Smith River, and turn right on Mill Creek Road. After passing a group of summer homes, we're in the State Park, and for the next twenty minutes we're winding along a narrow road that threads its way between some of the tallest living things on the planet.

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birds, and annual plants, these long-established Redwoods will have a hard time migrating to survive the changing climate. To this end, scientists are already establishing stands of these mighty trees northward along the Oregon coast, in expectation that the southern part of the Redwoods' range will become too hot and dry within this century.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a part of Redwood National Park, and this extended grove of big trees lives in a small, north-running stream called Mill Creek. For some unknown reason, the old-time timbermen spared this magnificent grove.


At the end of a long day, we rolled in Caspar, 907 miles later, having averaged 50.2 miles per gallon and 41 miles per hour on the trip.

<p>Mill Creek</p>

Mill Creek

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