To measure the height of a very tall object, like a tree, accurately, the way they used to before GPS or lasers, was relatively simple. According to early American ways (Eric Sloane), simply place a ruler into the ground standing up straight and wait until the length of its shadow in equal to its height. Note the exact time. Then, at that same time, simply measure the shadow of the object, or tree, of interest. It will be equal to its height. This assumes you have a flat surface and no objects in the way as you climb over rocks and jump across streams measuring shadows of trees. Let’s just say, these Redwood trees are HUGE!
The feeling you get when entering the forest is…. Awe. Unable to see the tops of the trees, you marvel at their girth, the sheer magnitude of their size and not one or two, but as far as you can see, the forest continues. You cannot move quickly, or noisily. You must stop, get out and walk quietly among them. Their age? Some of these trees predate year 1000 as seen in the exhibit at the information center. Some trees are greater than 100 feet tall.
This was our second trip to the Redwoods and this time we brought our Daughter and Son-in-law with our new Grandson. Lucas is only 2 months old so another trip will be necessary once he is older. But his father has never seen these. And he followed along with everyone else, the bottom of the jaw doesn’t follow the top of the mouth when gazing up the huge trunks.
We stopped for only two nights at the Giant Redwoods RV and Camp off in the town of Myers Flat, California. At the edge of town, you find the Avenue of the Giants. This parallels highway 101 and meanders through the redwood forest with pullouts, Visitor Center, and Founders Grove trail. It is not to be missed!
Founders Grove trail is a short, easy walk through the forest and around many different standing and fallen trees. Again, their size was overwhelming.
The campground, Giant Redwoods RV and Camp is at the end of the lane and fronted the Eel River. It was in a state of reclamation but offered a great central point to see the sights, access to the river and family friendly. The spaces were primarily dirt and pine needles with some grassy areas and gravel. They were working on expanding drain fields and trucks kicked up a lot of dust while we were there. But the river was a welcoming relief in the sun and people floated down on rafts, splashed in the cool water and our dogs loved chasing sticks. It is an easy walk to the small grocery and café in Myers Flat.
We enjoyed the short stay and agreed we needed another 3-4 days to see the sights. So we vowed to come again and take more time to try different trails. Next stop, the Southern Oregon Coast.