California. Hugging The Giants

Last time we left off with our van waiting for service. We got up early, enjoyed the sunrise, dropped off our Ford and went to a nearby eatery called Superfly for a breakfast. When we returned for our car, it turned out that the mechanic hadn’t heard any noise from the car and therefore hadn’t repaired anything. I guess he thought we were paranoid.

We still had so much to see, so we decided to continue our trip and not force the repair on the poor fellow. By much to see I mean the Big Trees! We were entering California and getting in the range of Coastal Redwood – the tallest trees in the world. How tall is tall? Well, if you were to use the Redwood as Christmas trees, you’d have to have a house 50 stories high. Do you remember having to run 100 m at school? How long did it take you? 10-20 seconds? You have to go a bit further than that, because the highest tree is 115 m tall. It’s hard to tell the difference of all the big trees around you on a hilly terrain, though.

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To preserve the tallest ones their location is kept a secret, but that’s OK, because you can still hike among the trees that make your neck sore from looking up in awe. To see the trees from close up we hiked the Boy Scout Tree Trail in Jedediah Smith NP – a relatively easy 6 km hike ending with a small waterfall – really small if compared with the trees. Then headed on to Redwood NP to see the twisted Corkscrew tree and the Big Tree, that somebody in the early 1900’s thought of cutting down and making the stump into a dance floor.

Further down South – the Avenue of Giants – a narrow road through the few remaining forests. About 95% of the Redwood has been logged in the last 150 years and it has taken the richest in the country to preserve the rest. Rockefeller donated 2 million in the 1920’s after having a picnic in the area, to help buy the forests that are kept as national pearls today. We are happy that he did, because the forests are truly inspiring, relaxing and unique.

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For us, summer has arrived within days!

The avenue ends with a bit more commercial attraction – drive through a tree and see a one log house. An interesting experience for sure. We later found, that the authentic drive-thru-tree is 20 km further down the road. The locals truly know how to succeed in the Redwood business with drive though trees and roadsides full of tree stumps and roots. We got some seeds and a small Redwood to take home with us, so in 400 years we can have our own tree to drive through in Estonia!

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