Yesterday we went to Prairie Creek State Park to go check out Fern Canyon (I prefer to call it Fern Gully). You can either drive to the beach and walk about 3 minutes to get there or you can hike in 5 miles and 5 miles out. I wanted to do the long hike, so that's what we did (Zac wasn't really too pumped about this). He started to feel illish about a mile in, so he turned around and I kept on going. He ended up driving to the parking lot by the beach and we met there - perfect timing too.
The hike was a good one. Lots of redwoods and weird fungus happening. I saw some fresh (real fresh) bear scat at one point when the trail got all thick and overgrown, so I became mildly paranoid for a while. No bear encounters though (damn!). That orange fungus was pretty awesome. It was huge! I noticed a tree about 70 meters off the trail that had probably 200 orange mushrooms on it. I don't advocate spur trails so I didn't go check it out...but there was a downed tree, so I think if i really wanted to, I could have gotten to said fungus infested tree without crushing any veg. Either way, I'm liking the bright orange fungus. Anyone know what it is? The one below looks like a whole lot like a baby owl, eh? Guess it's just a bunch of mold growing on a mushroom. Not a baby owl.
Check out this tree...it's a Redwood that must have had it's top come off in a storm or something and grew back all umbrella-like. Never seen one like that before, pretty neat! The one below that is a pretty good size Redwood that looks like it got hit and split in a wind storm. It's actually still alive. I don't think you can see it in this picture, but there is a few feet of new growth up on the top. Hearty fellows, they're pretty badass.
The reason I wanted to do the hike in was because Fern Canyon can be really popular, and you can see it just by driving to it and walking a couple minutes. So, it draws in some obnoxious people who don't really appreciate the natural world. I really think there should be applications to visit National/State Parks, etc. Ahem, anyway. Fern Gully Canyon is definitely worth it. Apparently they filmed parts of Jurassic Park II there. However, no dinos were observed. Cool spot!
The creek emptied out onto the beach. That's where we saw the geese mentioned in the last blog entry. There were some rocks on the beach, as demonstrated below. So yeah yeah, even though it's a popular hike, it's still worth it. And there actually weren't thaaattt many people there yesterday. But I really like solitude in the out of doors, so more than 2 people is a lot for me. You should do it (the 5 mile hike in) if you're in the area, do it!