Daughters Frolic in the Coastal Redwoods


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Daughters Frolic in the Coastal Redwoods

fun in the coastal redwoods

We had a wonderful time in the trees among the California Coastal Redwoods of Redwoods National Park. We stayed in Elk Prairie Campground, and the all day hike we went on was near this area, which the state preserved from loggers in 1918, when there was only 4% of the old growth forest left. The national park came in 1968 and surrounds and includes this state land but is mostly second growth forest.

The evening before, we had gone to one of the best ranger programs I’ve ever been to, by the ranger you can see in the second photo below. The talk was about banana slugs and snails, so our younger daughter was searching for them during the whole time, looking down at the ground, instead of up at these giants.

We liked the coastal redwoods better than the sequoias. The sequoias are wider by about a foot but the redwoods are much taller. Redwoods are more fire resistant, where sequoias require fire for their seeds to sprout. The redwoods feel more friendly and grow more communally, reinforcing each other in their root system. Because of this you can get closer to them than the sequoias, and you are allowed to climb them without jeopardizing them. Many you can crawl into or step inside, and the fallen trees are fun to play on as well. It is also incredible to see other trees growing on top of downed giants.

On our hike was the tallest tree in the world, but they no longer mark it, because they are concerned about vandalism. So we kept voting for contenders of the prize as we hiked. The oldest tree in this forest is 2522 years old (!) but the tallest one is only 300 years old, standing at 379.6 feet tall. These trees get their height in the first 100 years. The odds of a seed getting to sprout is only 1% – the cones are tiny and the seeds are minuscule– so they also regenerate from their burls. Since these trees require about 500 gallons of water a day, which they mostly collect from the daily fog off the Pacific ocean, this is the only place on the planet these beauties grow.

We heard stories of logging days when a single cross section of a tree would make a whole ballroom floor, or a whole church was built out of the lumber from one tree. Because old growth lumber is worth about $500,000 per average tree, this national park was the most expensive to buy land for since it had to be purchased from the logging company at the value of the lumber.

We had an amazing day exploring this forest, and had lots of fun as you can see in the copious photos below. It was great to be together, and it was wonderful to see that one’s grown children still know how to play!

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

9 Comments

  1. Danny 4 years ago

    Dear Polly…these are absolutely the most marvelous photos of the Redwoods…How Magnificent they are….and how wonderfully photographed. I feel as if I have been there with you, a minute insect, under those giants that surely do reach heaven! And delightful seeing your girls having such appreciative fun there. What did you do with the snail and the slug that you photo’d? They are also very beautiful!…Are they both a danger to the Redwoods?
    Danny

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      We left them there, of course. They are friend, not foe, and are decomposers that make it all possible!

  2. James 4 years ago

    What pure joy is on the girls faces, and no wonder.

  3. Deborah 4 years ago

    Your camera does tremendous justice to these amazing trees. It must have felt good to frolic among them…..Tiny ants to be sure. You girls are having a great time together doing what’s important.

  4. Eric Thacher 4 years ago

    Thanks Polly & company. Great pictures.

  5. Heidi Smith 4 years ago

    Amazing photos! (I expected nothing less) Memories the three of you will cherish for a lifetime, for sure! I’ve always wanted to go see these giant trees.. :)

    • Virginia 4 years ago

      Heidi, come to California and I would love to go back with you!

  6. Virginie 4 years ago

    Polly, your photos are wonderful !!! You gave us the impress that we will be with you ! Well done !

  7. Janet Dunlap 4 years ago

    Polly,

    I have absolutely enjoyed all of your vacation blogs but this one is my favorite, so far! Beautiful redwoods and ferns, not to mention the critters that you’ve photographed. The girls seem to be truly loving this experience-one that they will remember forever. Thanks for sharing!

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