People come to the Redwoods for all sorts of reasons. The fishing, the trees, the hiking, the winding roads, the untamed beaches, some even come for the rain. That covers about 90 percent of the tourists and out-of-towners. For the rest, our little stretch of the north coast is just a milepost on the road. Gunning for Medford or San Francisco, they often drive straight through without stopping. Even the people who are just passing through get to soak up the awesome vibrations of the Redwoods — on 199 there are old-growth groves of Redwoods in Jed Smith State Park and Redwood National Park, on 101 drivers cut through (mostly unknowingly) what’s left of the old Malarkey Forest — but still, the locals in Del Norte County wish people would stop and enjoy more of the massive trees and Smith River. Most do not, tsk, tsk.
Every once in a while, however, an email comes through from a couple or family who want nothing more than to break the drive with a stay on the river. And even though it’s just for a night, I not only welcome them to the bnb, I appreciate the decision to interrupt the race to their destination with an evening on the Smith.
This was the case with Tim from Seattle, who, with his three kids overnighted at the bnb and soaked up what they could. There was skipping stones on the river, TV and, of course, plenty of YouTube (the kids were 11, 14, and 16 so go figure).
They assured me the brevity of their stay was enhanced by the awesomeness of listening to Sheep Pen Creek through the room’s open windows at night and breathing pure air of the forest. No problem I replied, hoping they’d found a little time to connect as a family (at least more so then if they’d driven through the night to SF) and that next time they’d stick around for the longer-playing version of the music that exists among the tall trees and along the banks of the Smith.