I grew up within hitchhiking distance of the Redwoods. I have spent a lot of time hanging out in these very old forests, and one of my favorite locations is Stout Grove near Crescent City, California. We had to wait around Brookings, Oregon for an appointment to get the car fixed, so we decided to make the quick, 20 minute drive to Stout Grove.
Stout Grove is part of the Jedidiah Smith State Park, and it provides a wealth of trails you can hike in order to get the full Redwoods experience. The challenge for us would be finding somewhere open enough to fly the drone. Pretty quickly we found a small open meadow which gave us access to a handful of large redwood trees. Perfect.
We managed to find two openings large enough to allow the drone to take off. These meant some good video footage, but both flights ended in very loud and heart-pounding crashes into the big ferns. There were just too many branches surrounding the Redwoods to make for a safe flight, and we decided to stop. We were happy with the footage we had, and we had pushed our skills forward in the challenging environment.
Even with the drone work done, we kept hiking, exploring the creeks and redwood groves. One very cool portion of the trail was this tunnel created by a series of dead redwoods, where the roots of living redwood and fir trees thrived off the remains. Here is GoPro shot of the short hike through the tunnel:
We ended up hanging out in the roots of that tunnel for over 30 minutes, soaking in the energy of the place. We made sure not to sit too close to any of the cavernous holes in the roots, as we didn’t want to get abducted by the dark elves that live within. After enjoying the grove we continued on, putting on more miles as we moved across the park.
Redwood hikes are always fairly easy, as the trees, the moisture, and the lush environment go a long ways to put you at ease. These sorts of dense forests are definitely not a place we’ll be doing a lot of drone flying, although maybe we’ll come back in the future after our drone-flying skills are a little more polished and we’ll put our skills to the test. For now, we’ve got some good drone footage and photos, and we enjoyed the grounding energy that is the Redwoods.