The Coast Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and among the oldest living things on earth but you have to see them to believe it. They’re found on a thin strip of land 450 miles long and 25 miles wide, along the Pacific Ocean, from southern Oregon to Central California. On the third day of our road trip we arrived at this magical part of the earth stopping by the Visitor Center in Crescent City before heading to nearby Jedediah Smith State Park.
We started our walk at Simpson Reed Grove entering almost reverently into the presence of the Giants. For no matter how many times I’ve seen the Redwoods, I’m awed just the same. Whatever ails you – in body, mind, or spirit – all melts away as you enter their domain.
We spent the night in Crescent City and continued our journey south the next day, taking the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
We stopped at Big Tree Wayside for a look at the 286 feet high, 23 feet wide Redwood, estimated to be 1,500 years old.
We continued to the Avenue of the Giants through the largest section of Redwoods in Humboldt County.
A handful of tiny communities and hamlets dot the scenic road including this one at Redcrest and we stopped to peruse the shop for souvenirs.
Next up was our final walk of the day at Founders Grove, dedicated to the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League, started in 1917 inspired by the trees in this grove. Founders Tree stands a whopping 346 feet tall and has a circumference of 40 feet.
We did our best to capture the full panorama of Founders Tree on my phone.
Founders Grove also includes the Dyerville Giant – 370 feet long and 52 feet in circumference – which toppled in 1991. It’s now one of many nursery logs providing water and nutrients for other trees and plants to grow.
According to the Founders Grove brochure, “The greatest accumulation of plant mass ever recorded on earth was a redwood stand in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This temperate rainforest has seven times the biomass (living and dead organic material) of that found in a tropical rainforest “
Wow. And yet of the original 2,000,000 acres, only 5% of original old-growth forest remains. Can you imagine if the entire Redwood forest had been left undisturbed from logging? Thankfully conservation efforts continue.
After a long day we stopped in Garberville for the night, where I had the best ribs I’ve ever had at Cecil’s New Orleans Bistro (get the Asian Cajun Ribs.) I also found a mural describing where we’d been and where we were going.
Indeed, the next day we took the winding road from Leggett to the coast where we found more wonder and beauty which I will save for a future post.
P.S. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it! Down the Oregon Coast.