Reaching for the Sky: California’s Redwoods… The National Park Series

A magnificent redwood on California’s North Coast reaches for the sky.

Ronald Reagan once commented about the Redwoods, “There is nothing beautiful about them. They are just a little taller than other trees.” He was serious. Why save a tree that has been around since 500 AD, stands 305 feet tall, and has a circumference of 61 feet when it can be used to build decks that will last for 30 years?

A view of the Redwoods canopy.

My wife Peggy provides perspective on the size of a giant redwood tree.

Reagan’s statement about the Redwoods is totally beyond my comprehension. Fortunately, thanks to groups like the Save the Redwoods League, we can still visit the rugged coast of Northern California and see these magnificent trees reaching for the sky.

Peggy and I were there last week along with our son Tony and his family. We scrambled to keep up with the grandkids as they rushed down the trails at the Big Tree Wayside. A yellow banana slug, school mascot to UC Santa Cruz, caught their attention and gave us a rest. Hollowed out trees served as perfect caves that demanded exploration. Other redwoods were obviously made for climbing.

The four-year old Connor demonstrates his tree climbing ability as he works his way up a redwood in pursuit of his dad Tony.

The two-year old Christopher is caught up by his mom Cammie for a photo-op while exploring a hollowed out redwood cave.

We were camping at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, which is one of several areas set aside as state and National Parks by California and the US Government to protect the forest giants. The area is famous for it’s Elk herds as well as the Redwoods and the scenic California North Coast.

At two and four, Chris and Connor may be a little young to remember the experience. But they will have photos. More importantly, they will be able to come back. Hopefully their children and grandchildren will as well.

The Peripatetic Bone hides out in the clover at Redwoods National Park.

Peggy shows just how large the clover in the Redwoods can grow.

A final view of the 1500 year old rightfully named ‘Big Tree’ in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.