“The redwoods once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always… from them comes silence and awe. The most irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect.” John Steinbeck
The first time I visited the great redwoods of California was in the summer of 1970; only two years after the creation by Congress of Redwood National Park. I was a sweet young thing in those days, and had embarked on a month’s tenting trip out west along with my best friend through high school and college, Joan. What a time we had. We had both just finished our first year of teaching school after graduation, and I talked her into going on this grand adventure. Not many girls in their early twenties had the audacity to do such a thing in those days. We each had just a bit over $300, and we were able to see many of the natural wonders to be found in this country.
After Yellowstone Nat’l Park, the redwoods were the second thing that I remembered most from that trip. I was in awe of their majesty. We camped amongst them, and got lost on a hiking trail that made us wonder if we would ever find our way out. Everything was so huge. Even the ferns seemed taller than I was. These big trees left a mark in my memory that I have never forgotten.
So today, I went on a brief trip down memory lane. Robyn and the grandgirls will be visiting in a month, and I want them to see the redwoods. My plan was to scope out a day trip that we all will take while they are here. I had originally thought that we would just drive down to the touristy “Trees of Mystery” park south of Crescent City, CA. I may have changed my mind.
Not much further south is Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and the drive along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is wonderful. There are lots of pull offs to stop at and just bask in the wonder of these beautiful trees. There’s also the Big Tree wayside where I got the above pics. It’s impossible for me to get a whole tree in one photo, so just squish those two together in your mind to get an idea of the size.
With my old farts pass, I can also get us to this picnic area amongst some younger redwoods. The view the opposite way is of a meadow where there are often elk grazing.
And up above are the Steller’s jays hoping for a handout. (not going to happen) I’m thinking I like this better than a concession stand. I’m not sure how much this will impress a five and a seven year old, but there’s just that tiny chance that this experience among the big trees will leave a mark on those young girls. It is my hope to pass on a seed of respect and wonder for all that is wild.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy