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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 29, 2013

Last day in CA and a good dose of redwoods

I took off for Big Basin State Park probably around noon-ish I think.  It turns out it's not very far from Santa Cruz - something like 14 or 16 miles, but it seemed further because a majority of the time you are increasingly winding roads and finally heading up into the hills.  By the time I got within 5 miles or so of the park, it was amazing the difference in the vegetation.  I had been viewing palm trees and ocean for 5 days or so, and suddenly was driving through great high hills absolutely covered in big evergreen trees.  And as I started on the road that would lead me to the park, I stopped and took a couple of pictures because it was just sort of stunning the difference between my driving on Sunday.

See how densely covered that distant hill is and this park is so lush and green.
 And redwoods are growing right along the road and basically in the yards of the people living along here.  It's strange - these are obviously not the homes of wealthy people - made me think, in fact, of some of the homes in the hollers of West Virginia, and yet they have all this magnificence at their doorsteps.

Heading deeper into the woods here...

I got to the Big Basin State Park and talked with a very young and pleasant girl in the visitors' center who had moved here from New York about 18 months ago.  She showed me a map with some of the trails and it was so cold I decided I would get my jacket out of the car before I started out.  Don't remember why I opened the trunk but I did and there was no suitcase in it - nor was there one in the backseat of the car!!  Horrors!!!  I really did just about lose it at that point, but after taking deep breaths and putting my jacket on to warm up a little, decided that I was here to see redwoods and I would at least do the one short trail which would take me past their two "famous" trees.  I did but I know I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't made my discovery until after the hike!  But I took a lot of pictures and was coherent enough to realize that these trees are truly wondrous.  Not only are they huge, but the whole area seems to have such a feeling of non-awareness of the trivial - it's like the trees are living a life we can know nothing about - they grow so close together, their tops intermingle so far up there, forming a canopy over everything, as do their roots for that matter, that I got the impression that somehow they were aware of each other.  They were together somehow.  Very mysterious and very wonderful.  Anyway, a puny point and shoot camera certainly can't capture the size of the trees so I uploaded a video at this You Tube link.  And here are the photos I took for what they are worth.  I even took a cheesy, delayed timer, shot of me standing by one for an impression of size. :)

The fallen trees were just about as impressive as the standing ones!

The literature I had said redwoods are just about impervious to everything - termites, fungus, winds, and even fire.  And there are many standing, living trees that prove the fire claim - you can see where they've been burned black but are still going strong.
Just a pretty stream...

Loved the base of this one

I took this close up shot because of that stick of wood that has found its way in behind the bark of the big tree.
 Another interesting base...
And little ol' me

 Unbelievable but it's alive.
A fallen giant - the ends aren't visible here but I got in as much as I could.
 Thought this sign was interesting.  Big Basin is coastal redwoods,

 Note that the mother is taller and bigger around the bottom


Chinch said...

Wow! Now I want to go back and see those redwoods. Don't know that the ones we saw were considered costal plus it's nice being in a park with paths and trails. Glad you stayed to see them and trust you got your suitcase successfully -- I've heard that when you leave something behind it means you want to return but I think one item would do the trick. :)

Christopher said...

Wowza - those are BIG! Does look like a spectacular place to roam around.
You never said -- what happened about your suitcase? (Obviously, you're back home now, so I assume that meant you just left it at a hotel?)
Glad you had such a pleasant trip, full of timeless ocean and redwoods!

January said...

I love all the pictures! So glad you decided to go for your hike anyway :)

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