Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

They took all the trees
And put 'em in a tree museum 
And they charged the people 
A dollar and a half to seem 'em 
Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi

That song kept running through my head when we visited Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California.  The redwood trees were probably my number one sightseeing destination on our trip.  We drove up Highway 101 on our way back home so we could see them.  They were big.  We have Douglas Firs and cedars around here.  Both are big trees, but compared to the redwoods they now seem almost piddling.

The girls were really excited.  The first redwood we saw was the Chandelier Tree which was the only redwood tree that you can drive your car through that is still alive, or so the local gas station attendant told us.  The gas station was really funny.  The owner came out and pumped our gas for us and was very chatty.  Then a guy drives up in a pick-up.  He had long hair and an unbuttoned flannel shirt.  I guiltily admit I had a fairly unsavory first impression of him.  Floyd hollers for me to come over and take a look at his truck.  Apparently he had installed some sort of hydrogen generator in his truck to improve its fuel efficiency.  He wasn't a hick, but a hippy chemist doing experiments on his vehicle.

Anyway the girls were really excited about the redwoods and were yelling "Big trees, big trees" and running around like crazies.  After that Selena asked what else we were going to do.
I said, "See more big trees."
She said, "Can I climb them."
Me, "I don't think so."
Selena, "That sounds boring."

Fortunately we did find some old gigantic stumps for her to climb.  We drove through most of the Avenue of Giants.  It was impressive.  We stopped and walked around some.  I did a small jog.  I wish I had been able to go on a real run, but a lack of a shower for a couple of days made that idea seem like not such a good idea.  I think if I ran a race through those trees I could run really fast.  Their smell, and age, and massiveness just made me feel really energized.

We also saw the Dyerville Giant a fallen redwood that was the tallest tree in the world till it fell in 1991.  The root system on that tree was huge.  The trunk was gigantic.  Crazy.  I really would like to go back and spend a couple days camping there.

After the readwoods we headed up through Crescent City on our way home and saw a huge elk herd that apparently hangs out there.

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