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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Memories of redwoods

“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

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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.

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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. 

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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

30 comments:

  1. Have you checked out Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park for a day trip? It's on Rt 191 when you came in.

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  2. I would ditto that, Judy. Drive east on 199 to Hiochi and Jedediah Smith before you decide. It is magnificent with beautiful trails no Emma however.

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    1. I agree with Sue .....left us in awe and speechless

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful area to explore, we hope to get that way this fall.

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  4. I would agree with the Jedediah Smith Park. The drive on Howland Hill Road is spectacular and not commercialized.

    Jim and Linda

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  5. I like seeing the trees, but like the Steller's Jay even more!

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  6. I was just thinking how you and your friend made your trip back in those days before cell phones, Google maps and motorhomes. I'll bet the girls will be impressed by the Redwoods.

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  7. The redwoods can't be fully appreciated through photos. One must see them up close and personal to truly appreciate their beauty.

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  8. I did things like that when I was in my 20's also, and glad I did. I think you never know what will make a long term impression on a kid, but you have to try. I figure the reason I'm living this long (and longer, hopefully) is to leave part of me with my grandkids, and hope they will sit around someday, years from now, reminiscing about me and my quirks.

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  9. We have fond memories of the redwoods with our young sons, I think they will be magical for your grand kids! Enjoy! And by the way, the ferns are still taller than you! :)

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  10. I don't think they will be disappointed. The trees are just so overwhelmingly wonderful. Magic really. They'll remember this forever.

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  11. On my first trip to California with a friend from Texas in the 80's, she asked me what I wanted to see. The redwoods were my number one, but is was not possible because we were going to LA!

    When we actually lived in CA we had secon or third growth redwoods on the very bottom of our mountain property. Many roads I drove also had second growth trees towering above since the area had been logged in the past. Our house was sided with redwood from the property.

    I love the big trees. I treasure the really old growth even more.

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  12. Nature always impresses me and although I have never seen those big trees in person, your pictures impress me for sure!!

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  13. Did the trees remember you? I'd assume the trees have a long (tall) memory! ;c)

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  14. The "redwoods" are a wonder of their own, not unlike "the desert", or "the seashore", or "the mountains". Sufficient time must be taken to acclimate to the height of the surrounding area when walking through the redwood forests. It's not just another bunch of trees that grow in close proximity to one another; it's an experience all of its own. HOWEVER, this takes a while to sink in, and sufficient quiet time is probably mandatory for the full effect to soak into active young minds!

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  15. Dennis and I did Avenue of the Giants...and yes,they are absolutely amazing!! I would love to get back out there someday...

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  16. I love your goal with your grand girls. How lucky they are to have you to pass on such a love of nature to them. The redwoods are so awe inspiring in their size and wonder. It always seems like a cathedral to me when I'm beneath them. Love that picture of those sweet young things dwarfed by the mighty trees.

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  17. Trees of Mystery? Nah. Drury Parkway and Prairie Creek St Pk -- YES! It doesn't get much better than that, unless you're fortunate enough to be camping at Prairie Creek, which Jimmy and I did one year. Your girls will be in seventh heaven!

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  18. This post is a a great reminder that we really need to get there.

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  19. Magnificent trees indeed! I'm sure the girls will make lasting memories Judy. They are most fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and fun grandma.

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  20. The Trees of Mystery was not worth the effort. However, in the building to the left of the giant Paul Bunyan and Babe, is one of the best collections of Native American basketry I have seen outside of a museum. The baskets were worth stopping for.

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  21. I think they mark us all. I have see Muir Woods and some of the redwoods along the the California coast, including the one that is a gift shop. They definitely are magnificent and awe inspiring.

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  22. Funny ... we saw some redwoods here in CO yesterday, but ours were petrified ... impressive nonetheless.

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  23. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park just South of you in California is another beautiful and relatively lightly visited park.

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  24. Redwoods, elk and Grandkids. Oh my.

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  25. Trips down memory lane are some of the best.

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  26. Crikey ....... how beautiful are they?????

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  27. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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