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 > Smith RIver Trip report

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dpgerson

Pacifica, CA.

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Posted: 04/05/09 12:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got back from my short trip to the Smith River area of NW California last week. This is one of the prettiest and most unspoiled area of wilderness I've ever seen. The Smith is the last undamned (intentional misspelling) river in Northern Calif. I'm told. Calling it prisitine is an understatement.

I took 2 days to get to the Panther FLat campground. Spent the first night on the streets of Garberville, CA. No harrassment from the authorities and I parked right on the main street. Next morning I rolled through the town of Gasquet and on to the campground about a mile to the north on 199. Besides the host, I had the place all to myself.

The campground is right on the Smith. The water is an amazing blue-green and clear as a bell. I could always see right to the bottom.

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I went on several short hikes. Stop by the visitors center in Gasquet if you're interested and ask for the list. One nice one I took was on the South Kelsey trail. The trail was originally built to link Crescent City and Yreka and goes through a lot of beautiful country in the mountains. Here's a link to a story about the trail:
south kelsey trail story by Tom Steinstra

Ran across this huge madrone tree:
[image]


Some views from the trail. it varys from being several hundred feet about the South fork of the Smith to being right beside it:

[image]

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Nothing like a campfire and two warm dogs on a cold night.

[image]

I spent several hours next to the campfire reading Macbeth. Pretty spooky doing that by firelight in a deserted campground. It was to get ready for seeing the play performed in Ashland at the tail end of my trip. Wow what a difference seeing a play performed makes!

On the run down I5 to home I took this shot of the magnificent Mt. Shasta:

[image]


Great trip. As I was leaving the last day I saw a camper with a tent trailer like extension had pulled in overnight. Was it any of you? I really can't say enough about this area. I imagine it's pretty crowded in the summer, so I'd stick to the Fall and Spring, or even winter if you're allergic to the crowds and noise like I am. But there sure would be some great swimming in the summer.

* This post was edited 04/05/09 12:27pm by dpgerson *


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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 04/05/09 01:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing your photos. I explored this area a couple of summers ago and there were quite a few people around but it was not really crowded. I drove the Old Gasquet Toll Road and didn't see anyone, then camped at a dispersed site along Patrick Creek.


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 04/05/09 05:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds and looks like a great area -- and a great trip.


Cal


capterik

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Posted: 04/05/09 05:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just beggin to be fished, nice pics!


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travelinglane

NH

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Posted: 04/05/09 04:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing. Can't get over the color and clarity of the water!
Isn't Ashland great? I lived there for 2 1/2 years and really liked it. The Playhouse is wonderful.

eubank

bosque farms, nm

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Posted: 04/05/09 03:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And it looks like your two companions really enjoyed themselves, too! What more could one possibly want?!
[emoticon]
Lynn


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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 04/06/09 07:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dan,
It looks like a nice locale. I was thinking it was a little early in the season for that far north, but apparently not.
Thanks for the pics and story.
I hope we can TC again down the road.
regards, as always, jefe and jeanie


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Raften

Northern Calfornia

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Posted: 04/06/09 03:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really wanted to meet up with you there but life got in the way. Maby next year. I fished that water alot years ago and might again, the Steelhead are big. Our dogs would have had a great time together.


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 04/06/09 02:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those are some really superb puppies you've got there!

Nice scenics; looking forward to more trip reports from you!

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
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btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 04/06/09 10:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photos, beautiful area. I love how Collies always seem to be smiling. Those are some handsome dogs you have.

dpgerson wrote:


I spent several hours next to the campfire reading Macbeth. Pretty spooky doing that by firelight in a deserted campground.


I know what you mean there. Not so much reading MacBeth but late night at the campfire by yourself in a deserted campground. Last fall I was coming north from Gallup, New Mexico and was on some backroads heading into Arizona, and some guys I know from the Navajo Nation suggested I stayed in an undeveloped campground that I never would have found on my own.....at about midnight. Arriving at night makes you wonder about what is around you. But it was a really dark night and I was a little nervous about camping there not knowing the rules, and lots of interesting animal noises in the woods. A stray dog visited me looking for handouts. Fires tend to light up what's near but really give you night blindness as well. I did learn later (here on rv.net) that non-tribe members have to have permission to camp in places like these...but I awoke to really nice views on a lake, and watched a bunch of Native American families fishing the shoreline.

Thanks for the report....

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