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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Crescent City Time

Cows and Calves gathered near the Red Schoolhouse
You never know if you're going to see elk on the drive to Crescent City. The huge deer are either there or they are not; today, they were just about everywhere we looked. The first place we ran into them was at the Red Schoolhouse, at the Elk Country Campground. Contrary to its name, you never know if it will have elk at the ready. Today there were elk all over, keeping all the humans happy.
Barbara elk watching by the Red Schoolhouse (right)
This Cow wasn't as secreted as she imagined
Lots of lunching going on
Crossing Hwy 101 and stalling traffic for a bit
When the herd disappeared on the far side of Highway 101, we drove on north, fairly certain we saw  all the elk we were going to see for the day.

Many miles north of the Red Schoolhouse, there is a little meadow where there used to be a wonderful little restaurant & a hotel. Often it had elk in the great meadows, grazing or resting. Today? Narry hide nor hair of elk. So I drove on, telling Barbara, "I want to get a picture of the elk statue at the little campground next door". I drove the few hundred feet to the statue up the road a bit to find...
Three elk, one bronze, two kinda furry
I thought it was cool seeing the phoney elk upstaged by the real deal, and then we both noticed there was a big ole' herd filling the road, again, causing a jam up on highway 101.
Calf Kindergarden
"Nap time? Aw, Maw..."
Obedient little darlings!
Barbara and I hung around watching the elk - and the tourists. There were a few people who seemed intent on getting their children as close to the wild elk as possible for "let's see if the elk will let junior pet them' photos. Thank heavens, everyone survived, and when the last foreign tourist got out of the way, we were on our way north again.

I never miss a chance to drive through the Avenue of the Giants. The trees never change, but the surrounding country side does as the little shops that dot the roadway have disappeared or become somewhat rundown over the last couple of decades. Some of my favorites remain, and others, like the little store-in-a-tree closed down long ago, but remains in spirit at least.
Shop-in-a-redwood my nieces & I visited in the late 70s
Steadfast Redwoods along the Avenue of the Giants
Leaving the Avenue of the Giants, the next usual stop off is Prairie Creek Redwoods. I love that park, and often stop at the Visitor Center as we did today. I got a cute little artist's notebook that I hope I fill with at least a few pictures in the coming week. But before we got to the Visitor Center, we found yet another clash of elk, a half dozen bulls in the giant Prairie Creek Redwoods meadow. A couple of the bulls were nested off in the distance, so nestled that only the tops of their antlers were visible.
Gang of Bull Elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods meadow
Lovely Chocolate Bull
Bull, nonplussed by fascinated humans a few hundred feet away.

That was it for the elk today! We stopped briefly at the GIGANTIC statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Paul was yakking up a storm with tourists. The stop was just for a peek at the Indian museum, and then we were off to the Crescent City Beach Motel which I love to think of as one of my favorite 'home away from home' spots. I'm done in for today, so it's feet up & eyelids down time for me.

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