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.

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