We woke up early and took time to stand in awe of the massive Redwoods shrouded by fog early in the morning.
Today was to be a fun filled day packed with sightseeing and a romp in the Oregon Sand Dunes to top off the day. My dad had done research on what we should see while we were in the Redwoods. The first thing we would do today is a hike through Fern Canyon. It has been used several times in films involving dinosaurs because of it's prehistoric feel.
We packed up most of our things and left them inside our tents while we left on our little excursion.
Once we left the highway to head for Gold Beach, we hit an eight mile section of gravel to get down to the beach. I could tell right away that we were gonna need to do something different, cause Dad was only doing about ten miles an hour on the Wing.
"Dad, you get to ride my Tiger again. We need to pick up the pace."
Once I was on the Wing, speeds improved to 25-30 miles an hour. There's a lot of stuff that rattles like hell on that bike! I don't think it was meant to be ridden like that off road!
We got down to the beach and headed towards the ocean.
The salt was really heavy in the air. We walked on the beach for just a short time. I could have spent all day there.
Fern canyon was just a quick jaunt from the parking lot, so we were there in no time. It was incredible!
It was just a short hike through the canyon before we reached a fork in the trail. Straight took you back to our campsite. A 10 mile hike. Or left brought you up to the canyon rim and an easy hike back.
There were several stream crossing we encountered on the way in. Of course we had to get set up to document the Wing's crossing. It think it was one of my dad's first crossings. Good thing he was on my bike!
The Volkswagen kinda ruins the adventure status of the crossing, but it's still pretty cool.
Back at camp, we finished loading the bikes and got all the gear on. Earlier in the day we had been talking to the ranger at the entrance to the park asking her where the best place to see the big trees was. We came in from the South and it's not like we were seeing them all over the place. She must have thought we were crazy! Turns out the old growth grove was 500 yards from where we slept!
For any international readers that may not be familiar with what the Redwoods are, click HERE
. These trees are truly massive!! It is a completely different world walking through them.
This little tree we calculated to be almost 700 years old.
A banana slug! I'd never seen one. We moved him out of the trail because we almost stepped on him.
We stopped at the visitor center and grabbed a few souvenirs. Time to start heading North.
We had one more stop to make in the redwoods and it was just up the Newton B Drury Parkway. It was Big Tree.
Back on the road...
We now leave the Redwoods and California behind as we enter back into Oregon. It is a magical place that everyone should see. My map shows shows a ton of dirt roads through the national park. It would be awesome to do some exploring off the beaten path there someday.
The coast is beautiful! It's only the third time in my life I've seen the Pacific.
We stopped for gas at this gas station in Southern Oregon. All they had was gas and oil! Sure hope nobody was wanting a Gatorade!
I also took the time to call ahead and tell the rental shop we were gonna be late for our reservation. We were pushing to get just North of Coos Bay. This was another one of my things I had had planned. I was taking the fam out for an hour of fun in a Polaris RZR 4 on the Oregon Dunes. Everyone was really looking forward to it.
The shop I had rented from, was gonna be closed! His wife broke down and he needed to go get her. Shit! This is when I'm really glad I have a smart phone. I called some other places and found one that was available from 6-7 tonight. We could make it! Barely. I had to cut the conversation short my dad and brother were having with a BMW rider. He had quite the collection of bikes and was on his way to San Fran.
We got to Steve's ATV rentals and went through our orientation. Steve owns three rental shops and happened to be at this one today. He took interest in us and decided to take us out and show us around. He jumped in his RZR and off we went. Put the hammer down!!!!!!
I took my GoPro off the bike and brought it along. I'll give credit where credit is due. Trevor has fine video skills!
We were having a great time! Trevor and I were really impressed with the capabilities of this thing! After about 20 minutes of hauling ass around I let Trevor drive and I took some still shots.
I was just getting ready to open my mouth to get Trevor to stop and let Dad drive when it happened. Trevor was flying along the bottom of a dune and we hit a depression and SLAMMED into the face of the up side. Dad started screaming "OW...OW....OW...OW....OOOOW....OOOOOW....OWWWWW"
We knew something terrible had happened. We finally figured out it was his back. He got out and walked around for a minute and we could tell he was in excruciating pain. We got him back in the RZR. Front seat this time. We were coming up on our deadline to get back. I had to drive very slowly to keep dad as comfortable as possible.
We made it back and dad wasn't doing well. He tried to walk it off while Trevor BS'd with Steve. It turns out Steve is an ex pilot and flew for the same company Trevor works for.
We got him on his bike and he said he could ride. We went North to find a campground for the night. We got to the Tugman State Park after dark. Trevor and I rode through the campground to find a spot before we could register. I decided after looking at my dad's face that he needed a bed to sleep in for the night. I convinced him to do just that. I ran back and grabbed Trevor who was holding the spot we had picked.
The hotel we wanted was closed since it was past 9:00 now. We had to continue North to Winchester Bay and didn't have any luck there either. Next stop was Reedsport. We found a place that had three beds for $70. We got dad upstairs and in bed with some ice for his back. Trevor and I unloaded the bikes.
I don't think anyone slept well that night. Trevor and I felt flat out shitty. Dad was worse. Trevor and I started talking about the possibilities. Dad was 2162 miles from home and I knew damn well he wasn't gonna be able to ride for at least a week. At this point we had no confirmation his back wasn't broken. Tomorrow would be a trip to the hospital and we could go with a plan after we knew the severity of his injury.
The day was amazing! It would have gone down as the best day of vacation so far. Everybody was having fun and really enjoying themselves. Then, this happened. What would tomorrow bring?