A walk in the woods: redwoods

Big Tree: height 320', diameter 21.6', circumfrence 68', 1500 years

“Big Tree”: height 320′, diameter 21.6′, circumference 68′, 1500 years

Alie loves to “take a walk in the woods.”  She likes to get away from crowds on a quiet cool path.  On our second day in Redwoods National and State Parks, we took an unusually long walk together (unusually long for her RA).  We walked the one and a half mile Lady Bird Johnson Trail through redwood, Douglas fir, and tanoak.  Alie said we would just go a little way, but we were lured in further and further until we completed the circuit.  It was too early to see rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom, but there were many trillium.

Having a picnic by the side of the road.

Having a picnic by the side of the road.

It is easy to confuse redwoods and sequoia trees. Both are magnificent.  Walking among those trees is one of my greatest pleasures, and I don’t really care which one is which.  We saw both sequoias and redwoods on our 2012 trip.

They are related.  But sequoias live on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains along an area about 250 miles long and 4000 to 8000 feet high.  The redwoods are in a 450-mile belt along the California coast.

The largest known living thing in the world is a giant sequoia, called General Sherman.  Living in Sequoia National Park, it is estimated to be about 52,500 cubic feet in volume and about 2000 years old, middle-aged for a sequoia.

A walk in the woods.

A walk in the woods.

The tallest discovered living thing in the world is in the Redwoods National and State Parks in northern California.  Discovered in 2006, they have named it Hyperion.  It is 379.7 feet tall.

Two oddities:  The bark of a redwood is dark brown; the bark of a sequoia is bright reddish-brown; and while both have cones and seeds, the redwoods are one of the few conifers that can sprout from stumps, roots and burls.


Photographed from a distance, the trees seem smaller than when you stand beside one.

Why  do they call it National and State Parks?  Heavy logging beginning in the 1850s took all but less than four percent of the redwoods.  Some of the earliest efforts to save the redwoods were made locally by the Boone and Crockett Club.  Three state parks were created in the 1920s.  Then, in 1964 the National Park Service and California State Parks agreed to cooperatively manage their adjoining redwood forests. The remaining redwood forest areas do not always touch.  In 2015, Congress authorized $6.25 million to expand the park by 200 acres and eventually connect two of the major old-growth (never harvested) forests.

We walked the Lady Bird Johnson Trail the second day.  On our first day, we had a picnic lunch by the road.  Later that day, Alie sent me off on my own to hike the slightly longer and bit more strenuous Trillium Falls Trail.  Facebook friends may DSCN3342recall that at the falls, I met three young ladies from Humboldt State University taking pictures for a photography class.  Their model gave me permission, and eventually she will be in a painting of a wood sprite.  Alie wonders how she can send me off alone in the woods and have me come back with photos of a pretty girl.

In 2012, we saw the Roosevelt Elk, the largest subspecies of the North American elk in a meadow. We saw no elk this time.  But unlike 2012, this time we had time for “walks in the woods.”


Click on photos to enlarge.

P.S.  I looked up Hyperion which in Greek means “The Tall One.”  In Greek mythology, Hyperion was one of 12 Titans that overthrew their father Uranus only in turn to be overthrown by the Olympians.


About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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One Response to A walk in the woods: redwoods

  1. Pit says:

    They have a Ldybird Johnson Trail there?! My favourite lady! I really admire the work she did.
    Have a wonderful week,

    Liked by 1 person

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