There’s something humbling about being in the presence of creatures old enough to remember the Dark Ages, especially when they grow taller than the Statue of Liberty and thicker than a city bus.
We’ve seen these majestic redwood trees all along the California coast. In fact, it’s hard to miss them. But it’s in Northern California, with its moderate climate and blankets of fog to help hydrate all those hundreds of feet of height, where they grow tallest. So it’s there where we decided to settle in for a couple of days to explore the preserved groves of Redwood National Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Our first trip took us fifty miles or so along California State Road 254. Also known as the “Avenue of the Giants,” we expected plenty of redwoods. But we also found other surprises, like wonderful tunnels made from moss-covered branches.
Entire fields covered with clover.
And, of course, miles and miles of enormous and ancient trees.
We expected more of the same when we ventured further north to Redwood National Park. So when the weather turned from sunshine to drizzle and dense fog, we contemplated not even going. That would have been a huge mistake.
The fog changed the entire mood of the forest. Instead of exploring another bright and lively grove we found one transformed into something darker, quieter and a bit creepy.
Even the spiders played their part, decorating the woods with giant webs as if preparing for Halloween. I don’t know if we simply missed them in Humboldt, where we didn’t notice any, or if they were made more visible by a fresh sheen of mist, but now we saw them everywhere.
Two days, two completely different experiences, one great and awesome form of life.