Beautiful Big Trees, Part I
Two weekends ago the Big Guy and I decided to take a drive to go see some California Redwoods. We both love seeing these trees and it had been a long while since we’d taken the time for such a trip. So we got a rental car, checked our atlas, and hit the road to Calaveras County.
Since it’s barely March, we expected that we might find some snow when we got to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Luckily, we had a break in the winter weather and the roads were clear — at least as far as we were going.
We visited the park on a Friday, so I’m not sure what the place looks like on the weekends, but (besides ourselves) we encountered a mere handful of hearty folks prepared to wade through the snow. Naturally, the carefully marked trails were mostly buried, but we managed to find enough footprints to guide us along the trail without even using a map. I was ready for the snow — I had my comfy handknit wool socks, wool cap, and wool sweater to keep me cozy.
We followed the North Grove Trail. As I said, we were without a map and so just followed the tracks in the snow and watched for the numbered signs which indicated specific points of interest. The quiet solitude of the snow-filled forest, where we stood surrounded by some of the largest (and oldest) trees in the world, could only be described as awe inspiring. The grey clouds would periodically part, letting the sun shine on the snow-laden trees. As we stopped to examine the roots of this fallen tree, we had snow falling down upon us not from the sky, but from the tree branches above our heads.
We spent so much time gazing up at the tops of the giant redwoods that our necks were soon hurting. But it was impossible not to look — and once my eyes found the treetops, I could barely manage to tear them away.
Next time I’ll share more photos from this outing — and there’s lots more to share! I’ll leave you for now with a sign we spotted just up the road from the state park that seems to send a completely unintended message: