Posted by: kerryl29 | October 11, 2017

California Day 12: Damnation Creek Trail

Day 12 was my first full day in the Crescent City area.  I had done some scouting of the various redwood groves on Day 11 and found that the best rhododendron blooms were to be found along the Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.  The Damnation Creek Trail runs for the better part of a mile before intersecting with the Coastal Trail and then continues for the better part of another two miles all the way down to a shallow beach.  (For a somewhat hair-raising account of an experience I had long this trail two years earlier, check out this link.)

At this time, however, there were two complications.  A bridge near the end of the Damnation Creek Trail was out (according to a sign posted at the junction with the Coastal Trail), making it impossible to access the beach.  Additionally, the northern part of the Coastal Trail was inaccessible, due to a massive fallen redwood trunk, just a few hundred feet beyond the junction with the Damnation Creek Trail.  Still, I had access to plenty of stimulating material even given the limitations.

Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

It was overcast in the morning, with a bit of fog, when I hit the trail.  Even better, it was essentially windless–a virtual necessity for obtaining image sharpness given how dark it is in the forest.  (Consider my experience at the Founders Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park a couple of days earlier.)

Rhododendrons & Redwoods, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Rhododendrons & Redwoods, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

The soft, even light was perfect for photographing deep within this woodland area.

Ferns & Redwoods, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Ferns & Redwoods Black & White, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

After working the redwoods and rhododendrons for a while I decided to take advantage of the lack of wind by breaking out the macro lens and focus stacking a series of closeup images.

Fern Closeup, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Fern Closeup Black & White, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Redwood Trunk Abstract, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Redwood Trunk Abstract Black & White, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Oregon Geranium, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Forest Floor Black & White, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Wildflower, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Pacific Irises, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Ferns, Damnaton Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

I found another batch of rhododendron before long.

Rhododendrons and Redwoods, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Rhododendrons and Redwoods, Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

At this point I noticed that some of the fog was beginning to burn off and sunlight was now filtering through the canopy in spots.  This was a phenomenon I had hoped to see two years earlier but had been thwarted.  Not this time.

Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

With the fog burned off and sunlight becoming a significant factor, I left the grove and drove to the overlook of Crescent and Enderts Beaches, at the very northern end of Del Norte Redwoods State Park.  From this perch, I spent some time photographing waves and other beach-related elements as the afternoon wore on.

Breaking Waves Black & White, Crescent Beach, Del Norte County, California

Breaking Waves, Crescent Beach, Del Norte County, California

Breaking Waves Black & White, Crescent Beach, Del Norte County, California

Crescent Beach Black & White, Del Norte County, California

Crescent Beach Black & White, Del Norte County, California

Crescent Beach Black & White, Del Norte County, California

As evening approached, I made my way to Wilson Creek Beach, which I had discovered during my time in the area two years previous.  Now familiar with the spot, I made my way to the point where Wilson Creek empties into the Pacific.  Other than the impact of the marine layer there weren’t many clouds in the sky, but I still felt that I came away with some decent images.  A group of cooperative seagulls made for a dependable mid-ground element, regardless of my specific positioning.

Wilson Creek Beach at Sunset, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Wilson Creek Beach at Sunset, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Wilson Creek Beach at Sunset, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Wilson Creek Beach at Sunset, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

The color in the western sky faded rapidly and the day’s shoot came to an abrupt end.  I had one more full day–plus a second morning–awaiting me in coastal redwoods country and I was still looking for dense fog and, hopefully, more as-yet undiscovered displays of rhododendron to punctuate the conclusion of the trip…

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Responses

  1. This is indeed a special part of the world, and your images definitely do justice to the beauty to be found there. The focus stacked intimates are stellar…especially the pacific iris.

    • Thanks, Ellen!

  2. Hurray! You finally got your Rhododendrons & Redwoods! I’m happy for your great results.

    • Thanks, Gunta!

      BTW, re the rhododendron…the best is yet to come. 🙂

  3. Great . During the last few months of Travel, I too have come across few of most beautiful creations of Nature – A Pink Pigeon , A White Peacock and some other delightful species.Have a look –

    Exploring the Colours of Nature – A Photographical Insight

    http://the-passport-souls.travel.blog/2017/10/11/exploring-the-colours-of-nature-a-photographical-insight-2-min-read/

    • Thanks very much!

  4. Your Forest Floor B&W–inspiring!

  5. With the ghastly heat of summer and the ghastly flooding of Harvey finally over, it’s time to get back into my routines, and your posts are part of what I’ve been missing. I’m looking forward to going back and working my way through this series.

    I did have to smile at my reaction everytime I read “rhododendrons and redwoods.” The phrase reminds me of the renovation done by the well-known decorator, Dorothy Draper, at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Her theme was Romance and Rhododendrons: in the same ballpark, at least when it comes to alliteration.

    In this series, the ferns stood out for me, both in black and white and in color. The structure is so pleasing, and it always is an amazement to see them standing so tall.

    • Thanks very much for the comment. One of the things that makes the coastal redwood forests what they are is the incredibly lush undergrowth and nowhere it it anymore lush that along the Coastal Trail at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.

      Given the presence of rhododendrons in the WV highlands, Draper’s theme makes sense.

      I’d forgotten that your location put you right smack in the way of Hurricane Harvey–I hope you emerged from that storm unscathed.

  6. fantastic gallery

    • Thanks very much!

  7. […] groves was a virtual given, I’d seen very little of it.  There had been some spotty fog two mornings earlier, but I hadn’t seen anything particularly thick.  As luck would have it, the forecast for […]

  8. […] https://lightscapesphotography.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/california-day-12-damnation-creek-trail/ […]


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