We've all heard about the redwoods--those abnormally tall trees whose remnants inhabit a corridor along the remote northern California coast and near Yosemite. (You may recall George Lucas chose to film among the redwoods for the flight scene with Ewoks in 'Return of the Jedi'.) Like many people, I had not seen redwood trees for real. At least, not until last week.
Driving along the 'Avenue of the Giants,' heading north from Garberville, CA to Eureka, is like stepping off our planet and onto another one. A perfectly quiet, peaceful one. No wonder the hippies were drawn here. The trees are a trip. They're that surreal.
|a dirt road leading off into the redwood forest|
Yet for as crazy-big as the trees looked from within our silver Tundra, the view was nothing compared to what happened when we parked and got out. I let go of my ego; I had to. People are to an adult redwood what a sugar ant is to an NBA basketball star: small and insignificant, a little life form just passing by.
|my husband (6' tall) under a fallen tree|
Redwoods are spiritual, a lesson in endurance. If I'm lucky, I'll get a century of time on the planet; redwood trees get some 2000 years. They see us come and go; they weather what they must. What is one storm to a redwood; what is the loss of one branch or one small bit of bark?
Naturally, Stealth was with us. After spending a considerable amount of time reflecting, he plopped down on a burl and let his wisdom fly: "Zee redwoods, zey clearly don't sweat zee small stuff."
A wee bit about redwoods (sequoias). When mature, they average 275-375 feet in height. They aren't the tallest trees in the world (Australia has those) but they are the tallest in north America. The coastal redwoods average 2000 years old or more. Sadly, about 95% of the redwoods are gone, cut down for their wood. If it weren't for our state and national parks, there probably wouldn't be any tall redwoods left at all.