It was very foggy this morning along the coast, a fact of life from now through the summer months. By the time we reached Redwood National Park, however, we were treated to a beautiful view of the ocean.
|We Watched a Few Surfers Here|
|We Also Found Quiet Beaches|
The redwood parks are an interesting collaboration between the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks. The three state parks came first and were established during the 1920s to preserve the most significant redwood groves. Redwood National Park was created in 1968 after it was determined that the land encircling the state parks must be protected to ensure the health and survival of the Coast Range redwood ecosystem. All of the redwood parks are now managed cooperatively.
We took a beautiful scenic drive through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and wandered through this amazing forest. It’s hard to believe, but the trees here were even larger than the ones we saw yesterday on the Avenue of the Giants. Today’s forest also seems to receive even more moisture, and the ground and lower limbs were covered with ferns and moss. I don’t recall ever seeing a forest that was so green. I was a bit hesitant to linger too long for fear that moss would begin to grow on me.
|Trees Dripping with Moss|
|Ferns in the Forest|
|A New Fern|
A highlight of the day was a hike to the Big Tree, whose dimensions are amazing. This tree is 304 feet tall and is estimated to be 1,500 years old. We also took an interesting interpretive hike to a part of the forest that is being restored by the National Park Service. Here, a former logging road has been removed, and nature’s original design is being uncovered. The ecosystems are recovering, and it is difficult to tell where the former road was located.
|The Big Tree|
|The Redwood Forest|
|A Forest Trail|
|Restoration of the Forest|
By the time we arrived back along the coast around 4:00 pm, the fog had already rolled in. Alas, we could see nothing from the vista points. Instead we amused ourselves by driving into the parking lot of the Trees of Mystery and staring at giant likenesses of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. The roadside attractions along the Redwood Highway have given us quite a chuckle.
|Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox|