|Mouse in the Redwoods|
|THE sketch from my first trip|
We took off on the 4th of September winding along the curvy road to the coast off I-5 at Grants Pass, OR. That's a lovely road, although some people think it's horrendous with its curves which have you slowing to 20mph on occasion, and road cuts with Beware Falling Rocks signs. The views are terrific, though, as you wind through river canyons, a great long tunnel, and finally into the towering redwoods just before you start inhaling salty air of nearby beaches.
|Blacktail deer beneath the Redwoods|
|A banana slug, six inches long.|
I'm not going to go into lots of details about this sketching trip, although I will tap lightly on the high points. I stopped for a long walk in the redwoods, lots of photos and some sketches, including one of a remarkable 6" long banana slug which I discovered in one of the memorial redwood groves.
|A lovely scene at DeMartin Beach|
|My sketch of the lovely scene|
|Check out the steps, marked with arrows. This stump is 5' tall.|
Mill Creek is a lovely campground down in the creek bottoms in what was once a magnificent redwood forest. It's a redwood forest again, but still growing back after long-ago logging. My campsite was next to a redwood stump about 8' across and 5' high. The loggers had chipped STEPS into it for a place to stand while they sawed. It sorta dwarfed Mouse, and made me a little uneasy. At least the forest here is protected now, and will, someday, be a lovely old-growth forest again.
|Sponges and kelp in the tidepools|
|These are seals ~ seal lions were farther away|
These rocks also had a congregation of sea lions honking hymns ("AROONK! AROONK! AARK! AROONK!") out on a small rocky island below the bluff, and a colony of basking silver seals which kept demurely silent, squawking only when, while in deep sleep on a low rock, a dowsing wave of the rising tide swamped them. Then they'd let out a startled, disgusted "Araaaacghkkkkk!" (I had trouble spelling that, as you can see!).
|The bottom end of the climb|
|182 steep steps & path down|
|A crab in a tidepool|
|Windy Clam Beach|
The next day was spent beachcombing on a long sandy beach (Clam Beach, a windy spot!) before driving up to Prairie Creek Campground to camp in the redwoods again and visit with herds of elk. Prairie Creek is in a big "elk meadow" and you're almost guaranteed to see elk there. Spotting a lot of cars out along the road (shades of Yellowstone Park!), I drove Mouse out to park beside the road,
|My sketch from the top of Mouse|
|The view from the top of Mouse|
Since I didn't stay in one place for more than a day on this trip, I did quite a bit of driving, which, along with long hikes along the beaches and lots of clambering around on slick wet boulders, made me pretty tired at the end of each day.
|Lots of cool things to sketch|
|A sedum fallen from the cliff|
The photos and journal would help me add details to the drawings and get the colors right as I finished sketches later.
I'm home now, and working on the sketchbook, loving every minute of it.
I've discovered if I set aside a daily dedicated block of time to work on the journal, it's more likely to get finished in a timely manner. I'll post again when I'm further along (or finished) so you can see the results of My First Sketching Roadtrip in my little Toyota Mini-motorhome, Mouse.