First Time in the Redwood Groves

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.

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The hearth

The hearth

Loved the fireplaces

Loved the fireplaces

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Even the water fountain had an inscription

Even the water fountain had an inscription

This burl on a tree reminded me of a jaguar face

This burl on a tree reminded me of a jaguar face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

This tree was as large as a cave

This tree was as large as a cave

I am near the back and at 5'4" can still stand upright

I am near the back and at 5’4″ can still stand upright

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.

Stats for the Founders tree

Stats for the Founders tree

No way to get a complete shot of this . Hopefully it gives you an idea though

No way to get a complete shot of Founders Tree . Hopefully it gives you an idea though

Lee loves the walk in trees and there are several of these

Lee loves the walk in trees and there are several of these

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It's amazing that these can have such large holes in them and still be alive

It’s amazing that these can have such large holes in them and still be alive

Beautiful walk through the path

Beautiful walk through the path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees are so tall they have three different climates and the needles at the top are different than the bottom because the air is much dryer

The trees are so tall they have three different climates and the needles at the top are different from the bottom because the air is much drier.  There are plants an animal that spend their entire life in the canopy in particular the Marbeled Murrelet bird which flies to the ocean during the day and nests in the trees at night.  The only downside is because they are protected no drones are allowed anywhere in the Redwood Forest by state law.  Lee was really bummed when he discovered this was a drone free area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the trees fall over 4000 species can live on or near a downed log. that is why they let them fall and then decay naturally

When the trees fall over 4000 species can live on or near a downed log. that is why they let them fall and then decay naturally.  the younger trees nearby are  dormant until a big tree falls and then they get their chance to grow in the sun.  The process is called plant succession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Dyerville Giant which fell in 1991. It was 362 feet tall, weighed about a million pounds, and is comparable to a 30 story building

This is the Dyerville Giant which fell in 1991. It was 362 feet tall, weighed about a million pounds, and is comparable to a 30 story building

I tried to take a picture from the end, see if you can see Lee way down at the other end. when this fell the noise could be heard a mile away and it fell because one tree knocked another which knocked it over.

I tried to take a picture from the end, see if you can see Lee way down at the other end. when this fell the noise could be heard a mile away and it fell because one tree knocked another which knocked it over.

Some of the pictures have burl sprouts growing on them. A seed can germinat in one of these sprouts and if the tree falls can use the mature root system of th tree for nutrients and stability

Some of the pictures have burl sprouts growing on them. A seed can germinate in one of these sprouts and if the tree falls can use the mature root system of th tree for nutrients and stability

Sometimes a burl forms at the base and so many sprouts occur that a "fairy ring" is created

Sometimes a burl forms at the base and so many sprouts occur that a “fairy ring” is created

 

 

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.

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The tree was kept in place by numerous iron cables

The tree was kept in place by numerous iron cables

The view up from inside

The view up from inside

 

Another view

Another view

I thought this burl looked like a reclining angel

I thought this burl looked like a reclining angel

 

Really cute tree houses

Really cute tree houses

This one has two stories inside

This one has two stories inside

Lee climbing up

Lee climbing up

My face in the window

My face in the window

 

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.

The stats on the Immortal Tree

The stats on the Immortal Tree

Lee in front twith the Axe showing where the tried to cut it and could not and the fish shows the water line in 1964

Lee in front with the Axe showing where the tried to cut it and could not and the fish shows the water line in 1964

Beautiful Burl sculpture outside the shop

Beautiful Burl sculpture outside the shop

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

 

These bowls were amazing but out of my price range

These bowls were amazing but out of my price range

My very cool piece of wood

My very cool piece of wood

 

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.

The Eel River

The Eel River

This is also the Eel river and all this dirt is usually water

This is also the Eel river and all this dirt is usually water

Recipes

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
  1. Combine all ingredients (except state) in a small bowl and blend well
  2. Rub coffee and spice mixture onto one side shaking off excess when complete, turn over and repeat
  3. Preheat gas grill to high, oil grill grates
  4. Cook for 3-1/2 minutes then turn over and cook for another 3-1/2 minutes
  5. Let steak REST for 5 full minutes before slicing
  6. Cut in thin strips at a diagonal

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6 thoughts on “First Time in the Redwood Groves

  1. I got to see the Redwoods in 1953,according to the photo albums, I was 5 years old. I would love to make this trip so I could get the experience you are seeing. Thank you so much for sharing. These photo are really amazing.

  2. Pingback: Second Year – By the Numbers – Camper Chronicles

  3. Pingback: First Time Making a Travel Quilt – Camper Chronicles

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