One of my favorite Humboldt County spots is Grizzly Creek Campground located on the Van Duzen River. Slated for closure in the cost-cutting budget crises of California, it was saved by a group of dedicated citizens and some financial donations. It is a gem worth treasuring.
In the September issue of "Emerald Magazine," a story written by Victoria Voss praised the quiet redwood forest along Hwy. 36 as providing "a sense of seclusion... making it an ideal spot for afternoon river yoga." While I don't practice yoga, the article got me to thinking about the sense of peace and relaxation I feel when I visit Grizzly Creek. It made me wonder if anyone else had every felt the same.
I am a Christian who looks at the natural world around me and sees the majestic artistry of a Creator. When I spend time along the meandering river in Grizzly Creek State Park, I can hear jays scolding one another in the redwood trees around me and smell the scents of blackberries growing along the banks. It brings me to a mindset of worship and gratitude that I am able to experience God's created world in such a way. Others may visit this swimming hole and experience something else entirely.
As I stated in an earlier article about one of my favorite state parks,
Grizzly Creek State Park was established in 1921 by Owen R. Cheatham, then the owner of Georgia-Pacific Corporation, a logging company. The Van Duzen River flows through the park and is met by Grizzly Creek near the 30-site campground. Single family camping and group camping are available, as are over 4 miles of hiking trails, an environmental camp, swimming, fishing, and kayaking opportunities. A visitor center is also on site that contains exhibits on the history and flora and fauna of the area. The visitor center also includes a bookstore/souvenir shop. This is an especially child-friendly state park. The beach is sandy in many spots and the water shallow in areas and the visitor center is ideal for educating youngsters about nature.
Whether you travel the nearly 20 miles east on Hwy. 36 from its junction with Hwy. 101 to do yoga, spend time in prayer or just enjoy swimming and camping, make sure you visit Grizzly Creek State Park if you never have. Perhaps it will become a spiritual oasis for you. If you have been to this northern California gem of a forest, you will need no urging to visit it once again.