Friday, August 10, 2012

From the coast of Northern California

We've been on the Pacific Coast of Northern California for close to two days.  In some ways the scenery is a continuation of what we saw in Oregon, and in other ways it is remarkably different.  We are in Crescent City. 

For one, it is cooler here .... and foggy at times.  By Noon the "marine layer" usually burns off.  Such was the case this morning when we drove through the Stout Grove within the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  All my life I have wanted to see the Redwood Forest and we were not disappointed.  These  coast redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and they are magnificent and grand.  Some have lived for up to 2,000 years.  I felt awestruck standing in front of these giants.  They are so tall that it is virtually impossible to take a photograph that include all of one tree. 

So I decided to take three photos of a typical redwood.
Obviously, this is the top.

And this is the middle section.

And this is the base.

Last Christmases at Scott and Sandy's home in Cary, IL,  I read a book of theirs called The Wild Trees written by Richard Preston.   Preston tells a spellbinding story about a small group of brave tree climbers who find the tallest trees in the world in the wilds of Northern California and climb to the very tops using only ropes.  In the tree tops they find areas filled with unknown plant life and sufficient space to spend the night camped below the stars. I highly recommend this excellent true story about a lost world above California that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful and unexplored. 

As we rounded a bend in the narrow road in Stout Grove we saw this guy climbing the face of a section of Redwood.  It gives you an idea of the immensity of these trees.
Sandy jokes about having long arms.  Not nearly long enough to span this tree.

Sandy got this shot of morning fog in the forest. This near constant source of moisture is vital to the life of the Coast Redwoods. 
Additional views of the Coast Redwoods in Stout Grove.

We also were able to spend some time walking the beaches.  The lighthouse at the harbor at Crescent City.
And a close up of the lighthouse. 

Incoming tide
 Seals in the harbor

This seal found a warm spot for a nap.  All over the harbor are signs warning against feeding seals.  They tend to congregate where humans feed them and have been known to ruin piers, according to the signs.
This guy was willing to pose for free.  They ignore the signs.  In fact they poop all over them. 


And finally a photo taken a few days ago of a small waterfall along the Rogue River.
Tomorrow we head southwest and inland. 

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been impressed by the redwoods as well. Even the ferns along the trails are gigantic.