7:00 pm

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After our regular morning routine we packed our day packs and followed the map that the receptionist handed to us in order to reach the walking trails in the redwoods forest.
The beginning of the path led us along the main street and over to where the biking and walking trail meets up. This trail from what we were told was supposed to lead us directly to the redwoods. In the end we had reached the cultural geothermal spa and realized that we had gone too far. I slipped in to the administration building and asked for better directions to the walking trails. The lady at the front desk was super nice, gave us a proper map of the streets and showed us the path that we needed to take in order to get there. Unfortunately we had ended up walking a half hour further than we needed to, so our original half hour walk to the forest turned into an hour and a half walk. Happy that the rain had at least held out for us we turned around and followed the roads back in the proper direction instead of following the trail which took you on an extra long windy route.
We arrived at the info center for noon which put us right at the start for all of the walking tracks. Before setting out on one of them we decided instead to sit at the picnic table and have our lunch while looking over the map and deciding which track we wanted to do.
We ended up choosing the Quarry Lookout Trail which stretched on for 4.9 km. Originally we were going to choose a bit of a longer trail but since we had already added a few extra kilometres to our day we stuck with a shorter trail and saved the longer trail for the next day.
All of the trails began in the same spot leading you through a tall stand of red wood trees, that towered over the path. The temperature within the trees dropped a few degrees and with the rain starting it cooled off quite quickly. The path led us over to a boardwalk past a couple massive trees with plaques and over a stream. Unlike a normal stream this one was stagnant and crystal clear. The palm and fern leaves scattered on top of one another underneath the water, showing the depth of the water. Unfortunately the photo doesn't do it justice, but the stream is actually several meters deep. The water is so clear and filled with sulphur that anything under the water possesses a blue colour instead of its true colour.
After the stream the path separated and each coloured arrow pointed you down the trail you had chosen. Our trail veered to the left following a row of large redwoods and up a hill and eventually off onto a smaller side trail. As always we had chosen the trail with the most amount of uphill climbing there was to offer, hence the name Quarry LOOKOUT Trail. We climbed little by little, eventually reaching the top of the quarry over to the edge where it overlooked the basin of which was once filled with rock. As we stood there I pointed out the trail that followed the base of the quarry joking saying that we probably get to walk along the basin further along the trail and heading back down that hill that we had just climbed. In the end we did follow that exact trail, but it was interesting to watch the forest change several times as we continued on. Starting out with the large towering redwoods it transformed to ferns and palms and then again eventually to a type of skinny maple trees with a type of aspen. Within four kilometres it was almost like we had travelled through time seeing the succession of the forest in all of its developing phases.
At the other end of the basin we reached the entrance to a massively long tunnel of redwoods and palms that lead in the direction of the car park. The coloured arrows lead us down the corridor and eventually turned off before we reached the end, again looping us through a side trail, bringing us back into the towering redwoods. We exited the trail on the opposite side of the car park from where we had started, following alongside the treetop adventures that linked the trees above.
We sat down on the picnic tables again as a 5 minute rest to drink water and make the decision of hiking another trail or retiring back to the hostel. In the end we chose one more trail, although this time our trail was a little shorter with only 2 km in length.
The red marked trail started out in the same place again as all of the other trails although it took the shortest loop around the tall redwoods leading us off to the left following a basic square pattern around the visitors center, but still far enough into the woods to be away from the busyness of the central traffic. The red marked trail brought us back to the same long tunnel as our other trail had but instead of taking a side trail it led us all the way back straight to the car park.
When we emerged from the trail we didn't stop at the visitor center and instead continued directly back to the hostel, this time around taking the short cut through the dog walking section. After a long day of walking our 14 km we retired back to the hostel.

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