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{rhododendron and lady bird johnson}

By Friday, July 8, 2011 , , , , ,

forrest snail

As many times as we've trekked up to Arcata we'd only been up towards Redwood National Park a handful of times. So when the 4th of July holiday rolled around we drove north. Plus we figured of the places to travel during the holiday this would be one of the lesser crowded ones - we're all about avoiding the crowds. And special bonus - getting to see my folks.

The alarm went off at 6am - doesn't everyone get up in the wee morning hours when they're on vacation? Out the door by 6:15, we took 101 north past the lagoons and the elk into Prairie Creek State Park. We watched the mile markers to locate Rhododendron Trail. Lukas had hopes the rhododendrons were still blooming and the trees would be bathed in eerie fog.

the photographer
We kept our eyes peeled, but here the fog was higher and the rhododendrons were past their peak. Still hiking through the lush green forrest was a treat. While Lukas captured the forrest on a grander scale I looked for the little bits I could get with my little camera. Like the reddish-brown snails that littered the path {more than one went by way of accidental boot stomp}.

the photographer
I started learning about the manual focus on my camera. In MF mode, turning the focus ring causes the image preview to zoom in so that you can really see that you're getting all the details. It's a cool advantage of live view {but given that my camera lacks a view-finder it is always 'live view'}.

purple flower
orange flower
On the way home we stopped at Lady Bird Johnson Grove. Here the gentle one mile loop through the tall trees lends itself to the causal stroll. There were more people here than our first stop of the day. But the walk was beautiful. Up here the fog was still among the trees and we found a few blooming rhododendrons.

rhododendron in the fog

fiddle head
The walk through the trees took us about as long as the first hike. We fell into our normal hike/photograph rhythm - 5 yards, stop for 10min to take pictures and then repeat.

me and the photographer
The morning turning into mid day and we headed back south down the 101. With four miles of walking under our belt for the day already we rested a bit, then joined my dad to explore the woods a little bit closer to home...

Other little bits of my life...