Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Big Trees

I took a trip to the coastal area of Northern California with two friends to see Redwood giants.  Johannes and I arrived at the San Francisco Airport on a Saturday, briefly awaited Marcus who was coming in on a different airline, jumped into a white Dodge Charger, and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge for an adventure.  The bulk of our ten-day trip involved exploration of the virescent landscapes between Crescent City and Eurekaa region, I might add, that was once the stuff of my boyhood dreams.  I hate cliché phrases, but the photos we’ve seen of the redwoods do not capture the awe they inspire when you're actually standing in their presence.

We didn’t  waste much time on our first full day looking for the famed Grove of Titans, a location that redwood enthusiasts have tried to keep a secret through deception and misleading information.  I won’t reveal the spot out of respect for Johannes's source who graciously sent us vital information about the Grove and other tips as well.  However, I must admit that while I understand the desire to protect these august creatures from rapacious tourists, I think this secrecy is a bit silly and elitist.  When you come across these quiescent towers, you're instantly struck not only by the wall of wood and your diminution but the expanse of time.  The grove consists of five titans: the Lost Monarch, the Screaming Titan, El Viello Del Norte, the Fused Titan, and what became our favorite, Del Norte.

We'd end up seeing plenty of other titans and almost-titans in places like Tall Trees Grove and Rockefeller Grove at the Upper Bull Creek Flat.  The redwoods, I should add, formed only a part of our overall experience, but they were clearly the main attraction and are principal reason for the trip.  We also took trails along the coastline, visited Calveras Big Tree State Park about 400 miles to the southeast, and, on the penultimate day of our trip, walked through Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.  I hope to write about our adventures in Northern California at great length when time permits.  I've only skimmed the surface.  It's a tale not only of unsurpassed beauty and serenity, but one of scandal and mischief as well.  :)