The Trees of Mystery...
Oct 25, 2006
|Another beautiful day, the temperature is about 65, blue skies & a slight breeze. Wow, we are enjoying these unusually long summer days!
Today we are going to tour the Trees of Mystery located along scenic Redwood Highway US -101, 40 miles south of the Oregon border.
Marked by huge statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox it is quite the sight as you round the bend in the road! There were very few folks there, so we had the place to ourselves, again. Took a few pictures of Paul & Babe & one from the other side of the building so you can really judge his size. Which is BIG!!
A forest trail winds its way past Paul, up into a giant, hollow, redwood log, and then back to the actual mystery trees.
Exploring these unusual redwoods, adapting in fantastic ways in order to be among the "Oldest Living Things on the Planet", we enjoyed seeing the World's Largest Family Tree, the Wildflower Garden, the Upside-Down Tree, the Elephant Tree, the Candelabra Tree, the wonderful Brotherhood Tree, The Lightning Tree, a pretty little water-wheel, etc.
The Kingdom of Trees trail is dedicated to the majesty & awe that being within a Coastal Redwood forest brings you. Extraordinary specimens of Coastal Redwoods, Sitka Spruce & Douglas Fir are highlighted along the trail with informational displays & audio presentations.
This area is home to one of the most majestic trees of all , the Cathedral Tree, a cluster of nine redwoods growing out of a single root in a tight semicircle. Music plays over hidden loudspeakers while Nelson Eddy croons Joyce Kilmer's poem, "Trees."
"Sink down. Oh traveler, on your knees. God stands before you in these trees."
Signs inform appropriately awestruck visitors that countless weddings have been performed at this most beautiful of redwood spots.
And the Baby Cathedral, where you can book your great, great, great grandchild's wedding, as they are taking bookings for 600 years from now!! Ha ha...
We are reminded that these are the trees you have seen in Ripley's Believe It or Not...
Of course, when you see one redwood, you haven't actually seen them all. Some look sinewy, like the ropy-blue wrists of an old man. Some trunks are a tan-pink color, some gray. Some have 20-foot-tall caves called "goosepens" that have rotted into the wood or been burned out by fires.
You have to see the redwoods to appreciate their extreme stats. These goliaths grow from seeds weighing 1/7,500 of an ounce, and one tree can produce as many as 5 million seeds—a profligate waste from my unscientific point of view, because most redwoods grow from shoots that form around the base of an already established tree. There are several shots of informational signs that I found to be most interesting.
And get this: Redwoods also sprout other trees. The redwood's needlelike leaves pile up on its larger branches and rot into first-rate soil—a second forest floor. One California bay tree in Redwood National Park grows out of a redwood's knothole some 320 feet from the ground. That is, it starts 320 feet from the ground.
A must ride is the Sky Trail to get a bird's-eye view of the redwoods on the only six passenger forest gondola on the continent . We actually had our little gondola all to ourselves which was great! After a 7-9 minute ride, we disembarked for breathtaking mountain, forest & ocean vistas from the summit observation deck, at Ted's Ridge. Caught this pretty little blue bird posing!
Last on our walk is The Trail of Tall Tales , devoted to the folklore of Paul Bunyan & his unique adventures, told through audio taped "tall tales" and redwood Chainsaw carvings. Inspired by the oversized myth of Paul Bunyan, these sculptures introduce you to Paul's stories, friends & life...fun...talented folks do this stuff.
Two hours later we headed on back to the rig. We stopped for a break along the coast so Onyx can walk on the beach & another in the Del Norte area of Hwy 101. Another terrific day. Wish you could share each & every adventure with us!