When We Visited #Redwoods…

Young Redwood trees
Young Redwoods

I had heard about the giant Redwoods but always thought that they must be just another kind of trees till I saw them! I was stunned at the feelings they could evoke. The first thought that came to my mind and kept reverberating all the time: “Seeing is believing.”

The moment I entered Redwoods Park, a strange exhilaration overpowered me. To add to my excitement was another nature lover, my daughter who had flown from east coast to spend a few days with us and was elated to accompany us. We chose to stay at Emerald Cabins, which are nestled right in the center of redwoods and the distance to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is just 24.5 miles.

Cabins in the midst of sequoias
Emerald Cabins

While driving toward Trinidad on Freeway 101, we stopped at Garberville for a quick snack and discovered the first delight of the day! Though I had done enough research online to keep in mind what to see, I didn’t come across this “Grandfather tree,” said to be “world famous” as it is 1800 years old. Its height is 265 feet and diameter is 24 feet.

World famous Grandfather Tree
Grandfather Tree

I won’t be able to describe the delight of watching these trees…seeing is believing, I kept repeating as I walked through the Redwoods. They are not like any other trees, they touch your heart. Surprisingly, They do!

I was mesmerised by their beauty. They can entrance you beyond imagination! As I stood in the midst of those trees, deep in the woods, an entirely different world encompassed me and slowly I  seemed to merge into the environment. I felt time didn’t matter here!

While I stood and watched, trying to figure our my escalating emotions, my husband walked ahead and my research-minded daughter stood by each tree, spending umpteen moments, touching the soft bark, hugging the trunk, looking at the patterns as if she would like to talk to them. Then she would enter the fire damaged trunks though I cautioned there could be an animal inside. She even paid attention to every little flower growing in the vicinity.

Fire damaged tree
Fire damaged tree

Pictures or videos can never do any justice to what they look like and the vibes they emit. Their ironic beauty reveals how the vagaries of nature or fire could never wipe them out from the face of this earth. Some of them are thousands of years old. They can sprout even from stumps or fire damaged trunks.

The phones go out of service as you enter the park and we had to depend on the maps provided by the visitor’s center. Our map showed 31 trails, most of them were marked ‘easy’ or ‘moderate.’ We didn’t even look at the strenuous ones and chose ‘Big Tree Wayside’ and ‘Foothill Trail’ on the first day and felt encouraged to pick up another moderate one of 4.3 miles on the second day. The trails are well-maintained and thankfully we didn’t meet any animals.

Drive through tree
“Shrine” Drive through tree

We also drove through the Avenue of Giants at Humboldt, a picturesque drive, which is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It led us to a ‘drive through tree,’ a unique experience. Be prepared to shell our $8 to drive through this tree though we didn’t pay any kind of entry fee anywhere to enter the state parks.

Balroop Singh.

Do you know?

    • Redwood forests are millions of years old.
    • Fossils show that the relatives of today’s coast Redwoods thrived in the Jurassic Era 160 million years ago.
    • More than 95% of the world’s old-grown redwoods are in California.
    • Only 4% of the world’s old-growth redwoods exist today. 96% of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.
    • Redwoods get their common name from their bark, which is reddish brown in color.
    • They are self-resistant to fungal disease and insect infestation.
    • They can protect themselves from fire with their thick bark, which holds large quantities of water.
    • Giant sequoias can live to 3,000 years, with the oldest on record living more than 3,500 years.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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50 thoughts on “When We Visited #Redwoods…

  1. Hi Balroop – wonderful photos and storyline … I’ve always wanted to visit – and you’ve given me a real life experience here … they obviously impressed you all and I can quite understand … lovely – thank you = Hilary

  2. I have heard so much about these redwoods and also had a chance to watch a documentary on John Muir. I can recall one of the monochrome picture with him and a US President in front of a redwood. I presume it’s a UNESCO world Heritage site. Thanks for sharing your experience with us all.

    1. I appreciate your interest in nature and world heritage sites. Redwoods were at the brink of disappearance when some nature lovers established the ‘Save the Redwoods League’ in 1918 to protect these trees. Since then they have been taken care of by the state.

  3. How wonderful it must have been to visit these majestic ancients. I so understand your feelings
    Balroop. The strength, the wisdom they seem to give out and do. Living more than 3000 years, what
    follies and wonders have they seen. To stay in a place like that is one of my dreams.

    miriam

    1. May your dream get fulfilled Miriam…nature lovers derive their inspiration and positivity from such surroundings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love and hugs dear friend.

  4. What a trip, Balroop. The trees are indeed beautiful and majestic looking at your photos, and they must be even more so for your own eyes 😍 That Shrine Drive looks very cool and worth the $8 😁

    1. As I have said earlier Mabel, photos can never do justice to the beauty and majesty of these trees…so many of them, all around! They evoke emotions beyond description. 🙂

  5. These visits to the Redwoods you’re sharing are what we did years ago, Balroop, which brings back wonderful memories. This area is just a few hours north of where we live, too. Our recent Redwood experience that you read about was at a new place we hadn’t been before, a bit further up 101, then onto 128 – another fabulous place that your family would love, I’m sure. It seems that we’ve both traveled on the Redwood path this summer, and what a glorious path to walk along. 💗🌲

    1. Mother Nature has so much to offer! We returned with the same feelings…you can never say, enough of the wonders around us. 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday Lauren, the breeze is soothing today, with no smoke around us.

  6. I so wanted to get there this summer, Balroop, and just couldn’t because of the fires. I know that it’s impossible to capture some sights in words or pictures. You just have to “be” there. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Amazing. And so sad that most of these amazing forests are gone now. Thanks for sharing your trip there. 🙂

    1. We must thank those sane souls who were alarmed by the vanishing redwoods and established the ‘Save the Redwoods League’ in 1918 to protect these trees. Now they are a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

  7. I can not tell you Balroop just how much I enjoyed your post this early morning here.. I have seen a couple of lone Redwoods and even hugged one in various Mansion Grounds . There stands one in Chatsworth House Garden grounds which I have touched.. The energy off of them is profound.. But to stand in a whole wood full of them, I can fully appreciate the awe and the feelings these magnificent Elders of our world evoked within you..
    Many thanks for sharing your experience Balroop.. I loved the picture of the car, showing you just how big they can grow to..
    Much love and stay blessed my friend..
    Sue ❤

  8. I am glad you have touched one of these trees Sue, the vibes they emit are awesome…I could feel them. Driving through that giant tree was exciting but it wore off when we saw the other side, which very clearly seems to have been widened. We realised that it is just the means of making money as the drive through trees are privately managed.
    Thank you for coming over today to share your reflections dear friend. Stay blessed.

  9. Great post, Balroop. We have a vacation home in Eureka, so I know the area well, even though I usually hike a little to the south, along the Avenue of the Giants. I’ve painted them (I gave up on photos long ago) on my largest canvas, but it’s really just a reminder. Like you said, there’s nothing like being there with them.

    Whenever I get super-annoyed about how expensive it is to live in California, I remind myself that we’re the only ones who have redwoods. 🙂

    1. Wow! I love your logic Cathleen! Not only are we near to redwoods, we have the best of weather, the Golden gate bridge and the open skies!
      The Giant of Avenues is a serene drive, I am sure the hikes are similar. When are you sharing your paintings?

      1. Well, I paint my book covers, so you’ve seen those. I haven’t shown my landscapes in quite some time–it was too time-consuming to do the gallery submissions once I started writing. My covers are my most recent work anyway. 🙂

  10. It must have been an awesome experience. I love when your daughter spent umpteen time to talk to and touch the trees. We were there when my daughter was four years old. We took tons of photos. It’s sad about the logging. Redwood is highly condensed wood as your research shows that the Grandfather tree is 1800 years old. We happened to stop by a lumber yard to get a piece of wood for a project. The same dimension of wood, the redwood costs $120, and the lower grade wood cost anywhere from $12 to $50. Since the grade was not critical, we bought a lower grade piece of wood. Thank you for sharing. ❤

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