Cool and greenThis is Fern Canyon, a narrow gorge carved by a creek that's still running. It's in Redwood National Park in northern California, about 50 miles south of the Oregon border.
It's a beautiful, cool walk through the canyon, and you start at this wild, windswept beach ... ... and follow the creek upstream, with the canyon getting narrower and lusher the further you walk. The water wasn't more than a few inches deep when we were there, but in winter the canyon is flooded. The water runs quite quickly over pebbles — it's a fabulous sound for us dry-land folk.
Trees try to get a foothold on the almost vertical sides, revel in the moisture, grow for a while and then fall in — hence the logs criss-crossing the canyon floor.
The canyon walls are covered in ferns, and even more water trickles down through them. Apparently some species growing here are over 300,000 years old. The untouched timelessness of the place appealed to the makers of Jurassic Park, who filmed some scenes here. It's easy to imagine disturbing some prehistoric beast as you round the next bend ...
:: We're off again at the end of the week. This time it's New Mexico, where the weather will be crisp and autumnal, with a bit of a nip in the air after dark. Can't wait!