Tuesday, July 29, 2014

California Redwoods ~ Avenue of the Giants

Today we are travelling over roads that we had travelled over before but so many years ago that all I remember is being impressed by the size of the big California redwood trees.  It was definitely years before I would have the camera in my hand at all times to help keep the memories alive!

California Redwood trees
Without plans of what we were going to see other than a lot of California redwood trees, we got on the road to see what lies ahead.  It wasn’t long and we came upon the sign “Avenue of the Giants”, running parallel with Hwy 101 and it sounded like the right route to take.

Avenue of the Giants
The Avenue of the Giants is a 50km (31mi) stretch of road that meanders through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  The quiet road, shaded by the towering redwoods, takes us on a beautiful scenic drive that can take as long as you’d like, if you’re enjoying all the trails within the park, as well.  Summer season would not be this quiet as there are zillions of tourists come to enjoy this at that time.

California redwood trees
This road was originally built for wagons and stagecoaches in 1880.  Following that, so many trees were logged off to fill the demand of housing during the Gold Rush days of California that there was concern for a total loss of the redwoods. In 1920 the trail became the Redwood Highway and a movement had begun to save the California redwood trees.  

Lone cyclist on Avenue of the Giants
There was a time when this redwood tree grew around the world but they are now only native to the 450 mile stretch from central California to southern Oregon, thanks to those who participated in that movement which began during the early days of the twentieth century to save them.

Monstrous California redwoods 
There are several locations called Auto Tour Stops that have interpretive panels with points of interest noted and trails to be able to see more by walking into the grove.  Many are named after special people who have worked to save the California redwoods from becoming something of the past. 

Very large trees in California
The room to park at some of the Auto Tour Stops was not always enough for both of our big RV units so we made only one stop where there was room.  It isn’t easy to realize the actual size of some of these trees but they can grow as high as 320’  and 24’ across and live as long as 2000 years.

There is a total of 51,222 acres of redwood groves so needless to say we did not see them all but what we saw was great and with all the photos I took, I sure won’t forget this visit.


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