All throughout Humboldt State Park there are groves that were bought and protected by different groups. It is a testament to how much of a difference a small group can make if properly motivated. The signage on the groves is not the greatest, so I definitely recommend stopping at the visitors center and getting a map, and each one requires a walk into the woods to get to. The first one we looked at was sponsored by the Women’s Federation League. These are very magical places and walking through them was a very spiritual experience for me. This particular grove is a Day Use area in season, but the gate was closed in November. No problem, we simply parked the truck (being careful not to block the entrance) and walked through. The pavement was in excellent condition and we had the entire place to ourselves. At the end there is a beautiful hearth which was designed by on of the few female architects in the 1950’s. The hearth has four fireplaces with the most beautiful inscriptions in the stone above. There is also a very nice picnic area and seating by the river. The walk was very pleasant and totally accessible to anyone.
Also along the Avenue of the Giants there are some places to stop where large trees have fallen. The size of these fallen trees is so huge it is hard to believe which is why all the pictures have a person inside to give you some scale.
On another day we went to Founders Grove which was absolutely amazing. It is a half-mile stroll along a flat wide path and there are the most amazing trees there. They have gone to great trouble in this grove to let nature take its course and some of the best parts are the huge trees that have fallen. They also have the absolutely best pamphlet (50 cent donation requested or return after use) that I personally have ever seen that gives information about what you are seeing. If you visit here and do nothing else, see Founders Grove. It was really amazing.
In addition to the groves there are a few places sprinkled throughout where for a few dollars you can see a tree tourist attraction. These sites are old and pretty cheesy but for a few dollars we just had to try them out. The first advertised itself as “the famous drive through tree” and although this isn’t the same drive through tree you see in all the pictures it was still pretty cool. The truck could make it through so we parked outside and walked in, but luckily I caught a car driving through so I could get some pictures. This attraction also had a couple of redwood tree playhouses, which Lee and I went into. One even had a tight set of stairs and a second floor, which was very fun. Again super cheesy, but for $6 total we had fun with it.
We also stopped at the Immortal Tree which was free to view and next to an amazing wood shop called Burl N Drift. I liked the tree because it shows clearly how the tree survived the woodsman’s axe, fire, and the 1964 flood. Many of the trees have fire damage but continue to live and in 1964 there was a huge flood in this area and you can see water marks on many of the trees. The flood waters were at least 20 feet high in some areas, which is amazing when you look at the Eel River now, which because of the drought is barely a trickle. Anyways, I loved the gift shop, really unique redwood products made right there (which I wanted but the budget didn’t allow for) and I got a great T-Shirt for only $13.95. They also had some leftover pieces of wood for a few dollars and I picked a great one for $2.
And along the route there are breaks in the trees with some places you can see the surrounding hills. It’s been a great couple of days and more to come. Are you tired of tree pictures yet 🙂 Oh and after numerous tries I found a really good recipe for flank steak (often on sale for $2.99 a pound) which I have listed below.
Coffee-Rubbed Flank Steak
- 1-1/4 lb flank steak
- 1 TBL finely ground coffee
- 1 TBL light brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1-1/2 tsp dried ginger
- 1-1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients (except state) in a small bowl and blend well
- Rub coffee and spice mixture onto one side shaking off excess when complete, turn over and repeat
- Preheat gas grill to high, oil grill grates
- Cook for 3-1/2 minutes then turn over and cook for another 3-1/2 minutes
- Let steak REST for 5 full minutes before slicing
- Cut in thin strips at a diagonal
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