Touring through Redwood Country


We left early Thursday morning for a day of checking out the Redwood forest.  Sister Susan had mentioned a very nice drive on Hill road that takes you through the middle of the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  It turned out to be a two hour trip into a fantasy land.  Check out the size of these buggers!

 

Shawn told me to be sure and hug a tree, so Praxy and I both did just that.  Trying to take a picture of an entire single tree is simply futile.  Not only are they incredibly tall, but the stands are dense.  As you proceed slowly along the road, (it is narrow and a bit rough, some traffic) you cross a bridge.  Near the bridge is a stump from a fallen giant…

A peculiar boll.  These bolls frequently grow on the trees.  A gift shop had them for sale.  You can care for them and new sprouts will appear.  I used to have a redwood that some friends gave to me.  I planted in the yard at Illia, but the winter of 2003/2004 proved a bit too harsh and the tree died.  No way one could suvice the winters in Pomeroy.

 

Next we walked through Stout Grove.  This area was donated to the state in the 1920’s as a park to preserve the trees, which at that time were being ruthlessly exploited.  There is harvest going on, but the use seems sustainable, at least on the younger trees.  They grow quite fast if they have plenty of room and water.  A few facts…Height: 370 feet   Age: 2,000 years   Bark:  up to 12 inches thick.  Base:  Maximum of 22 feet.   Seeds are the size of the seed of a tomato, the cones are the size of a large olive.  Costal Redwoods have no known killing diseases and suffer little insect damage.  Even banana slugs will not eat the seeds or sprouts.

Having see these trees from the ground, I got a wild hair to see them from the air.  There is an aerial tramway to the top of a ridge offered by “Trees of Mystery” a private park along the road south of Crescent City.  The cost of the tram to the top of the mountain was $14.00pp, I thought that was reasonable enough.  We drove the 14 miles south and…

TOURIST TRAP ALERT!  Right?  Wrong!  In spite of the huge talking Paul Bunyon and Babe the blue ox, This stop is well worth it.  I enjoyed the giant bantering with the tourists, especially the kids.  Paul can wave, wink, turn his head, and move his mouth.  There are strategically placed microphones around the area and a man in the building entertains the people as they walk up.  I think I could do this job for a few hours a day.

They have a very nice and tasteful walk through the Redwoods on their property.  I learned several things that were lacking in the pamphlet from the state.

Some trees develop new “trees” out on existing limbs.  There were 12 such new growths sprouting from this tree.  There was also a tree that had grown in a peculiar semi circle and the owners had made a little wedding chapel out of it.  And then, the biggest tree I saw during the trip.

 

Lotsa firewood here!  Then on to the tramway for a ride.

Unfortunately, the day was foggy, and I mean all day.  The view from the top would have been fabulous.  But it was what it was.

 

We exchanged photo duties with other people frequently.  One nice lady got a good shot of us together on the tram.

Most of us have seen a display like this.  I’ve never seen a tree that dated to the Crusades, though.

It was getting later in the afternoon when we finished up the walking tour at Trees of Mystery.  I recommend this stop to any readers.  It’s a bit of hike and there is some elevation gain.  But the trail is smooth and easy to negotiate.  They also have a museum with the largest collection of Native American baskets that I’ve ever seen.  I could identify my mom’s old sewing basket as coming from the Tingluits, I’d thought that but never was sure.  They also had Seri and Tarahumara baskets, both of which are from Mexico and I recognized the workmanship. 

Next post, and last will be the trip home with a stop at Crater Lake.

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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