Specifically, one can join the 32-mile long Avenue of the Giants which parallels 101 and passes through the Humboldt State Redwood Park. Subsequently we drove through the Prairie Creek State Park and National Redwood Park.
There are three types of redwood trees. One variety grows in China. The Giant Sequoias grow along the edge of the California Mountains and the Coast or Coastal Redwoods grow along California’s shores.
The Bristlecone Pine is the oldest living thing on earth. A giant sequoia comes in second at a mere thirty-two hundred years old. But sequoias can claim the title of the biggest living things on earth because they have the biggest volume.
Except for an occasional few, the sequoias grow with a fair amount of distance between them in order to get more light. The coastal redwoods have thin needles at top but thicker needles as they go down in order to take better advantage of the light, and they grow thickly in groves.
It is a wonderful experience just to drive through these trees. We did stop a few times. We walked along the “Revelation Trail” near the state park visitors’ center and visited the “Big Tree” and “Corkscrew Tree” which for some reason I kept calling “the twisted tree.”
We spent the night in Eureka where we saw the mansions of those who had made their fortunes in lumber. The huge Victorian Carson Manision is now the Ingomar Club. Carson hired an architect from San Francisco to build the Pink Lady, a smaller Victorian across the street, for his daughter. It now houses the offices of an architect. Eureka is showing the effects of the decline of the lumber industry. We are told it now is only twenty-percent of its former size.
We headed inland towards Grant’s Pass and Central Point to have dinner with Alie and Michelle’s cousin Lorraine and her husband Keith. Knowing it would take a longer time, we took a short cut on a dirt road through the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. For the most part, it is only one lane with wider spots to pass a car coming from the other direction. We did not stop to take any of the trails. We were thankful for the big sunroof in our Jeep. We just drove slowly and looked up.