Sunday, March 11, 2012

California Redwoods

I grew up in the Central Valley of northern California, the bread basket of the state and if accounting for international trade, many countries as well.  During long drives to LA I'd stare outside the car window and watch the neat rows of the orchards or fields zoom past me.  I found agricultural landscape to be quite beautiful and mesmerizing.

Portola Redwoods State Park

My favorite part of California though are the redwood forests.  It's not enough to see one tree, it was seeing the entire forest and smelling the forest that captivated me.  The redwoods give off a fresh and clean scent.  Too bad we haven't gotten to a point where we can pass scents through the internet.  Aside from their scent, they are famous for being the tallest growing trees.  Its cousin, the sequoias, don't grow as tall but they grow to be very wide.  Redwoods need a moist foggy environment to grow and what's fascinating is how it grows in a dry state like California.  When we were hiking in John Muir Woods National Park, one minute we were in a damp redwood forest and as we ascended, we exited the redwood forest where we look ahead and see the yellow hills and look back and see the lush redwood forest.    

John Muir Woods National Park is famous for its redwood forests however it can get quite crowded there, to a point where you are too distracted by the conversations of the fellow hikers ahead and behind you...  (It's especially hard to enjoy the forest when others are complaining about how hard the hike is the whole time.)  Don't limit yourself to Muir Woods!  You can also find redwoods in the Santa Cruz area, near Palo Alto and of course, further north.  Here is a map from Save the Redwoods League on where to find redwoods:

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