With the ability to make my birthday into an extended weekend adventure, I booked a tiny house with a giant deck overlooking a valley of redwoods for four nights and started searching for friendly hikes to fill our days.
After booking our lodging (only ten minutes from the train station), I discovered that the railroad had an all weekend Tommy the Train children’s event: every hour train rides and a bunch of children’s activities. It sounded like a nightmare for Tucker and for me. Luckily, they run the redwood forest steam train every single day. It’s almost always sold out, but the beginning of the week it’s less likely be so. So I locked us in for a 10:30am Monday train ride after we checked out of our place to end the adventure on a relaxing note.
I have learned throughout my life that plans are often thwarted. Better to make preparations and see where the day takes you; few or no soli plans--just be prepared for wherever the road leads. So rather than schedule every hike and every minute of our getaway, the train was the only place we had to be at a certain time. I decided against any of the trails that needed advance reservations and permits, and still had a decent list to choose from once we got there.
We hit the first trail before we even checked into our basecamp rental. We got into Scotts Valley, adjacent to Felton where our tiny house was, and went directly to the Lodato Loop trailhead. I had waited a long time to be amongst the trees and I wasn’t going to wait single second longer than I had to.
The trail started wide, and immediately we were beneath towering redwoods and their neighbors.