It's very Jurassic Park

I was here in Dora years ago and now, after visiting almost all of the Redwoods State and National Parks, I can say that the Humboldt Redwoods State Park remains my favorite.  

There’s quite a bit of Redwood Forest information to come, so go get a tasty beverage and get comfortable…go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Or, if you are a picture scroller, then by all means, proceed at will.

 

We spent two nights stealth camping at an unnamed Eel River access just off The Avenue of the Giants, a stones throw from The Founder’s Grove.  Sweet!

The Founder’s Grove is dedicated to the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League who purchased the first grove in 1921, with the sole purpose of preservation.  This grove is now Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  Since then, the League has contributed over 57 million dollars to protect 170,000 acres of redwood land.

What is an Old Growth Forest?

“The terms “Ancient Forest”, “Old Growth forest”, and “All-Aged Forest” have been used synonymously.  An Ancient-Forest describes a forest that has the following characteristics:

-Trees of all ages, Many layers of canopy, Large standing dead trees (snags), Large downed logs, Large fallen logs in streams, Trees with ages over 200 years.

 

“The Dyerville Giant (pictured below), which stood here perhaps for as long as 1600 years, was taller, larger, and older than any other tree around it. ” 

“It fell in March of 1991, and was measured at 370 feet tall.  That is 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls and is comparable to a 30 story building.  It is 17 ft in diameter and 52 feet in circumference and likely weighs over 1,000,000 pounds.”

“The events that caused the Giant to fall are common in the ancient redwood forests.  During the rainy season the soil became saturated with water.  Another large tree fell one week earlier, hitting a second tree causing it to lean.  A week later the leaning tree fell, striking the Dyerville Giant causing it to fall.

Unless fire consumes it, the Dyerville Giant will continue to lie here on the forest floor for many hundreds of years, fulfilling an important role in the healthy life of an ancient forest.  As the decay process gains a hold on the Giant, it will become the host, home, and food source to over 4000 kinds of plants and animals that will live on or in it.” 

Walking along a portion of the length of the fallen Dyerville Giant.

Elo at the root of the Dyerville Giant.  Redwood roots grow only a few feet into the soil, but they can grow laterally 100 feet or more.

The Rockefeller Forest.

After visiting the Redwoods in 1931 with the League mentioned above, John D Rockefeller was moved enough to donate two million dollars which was matched in order to purchase 10,000 acres of ancient redwood forest, which remains the largest contiguous old growth coastal redwood forest in the world.  Thank you J.D.!  Thank you very much, indeed.

I spent an entire morning in quiet, peaceful solitude walking in this forest. What a gift. Take a look.

Nurse logs

Nurse log

“The death of a tree is the birth of a log or a snag.  Dead trees are essential to the health of the forest and are the basis of astonishing productivity.  Fallen trees are a substantial reservoir of organic matter and water that other plants and trees depend on.

As a tree slowly decays, it becomes a nursery for plants.  It may take 400 years or longer to become incorporated into the forest floor.

It has been estimated there are 1700 species of plants and animals that depend on a tree during its lifespan.  There are over 600 living on a snag, burt over 4000 species living in or on a downed log.”  Pretty cool.

Sword Fern which can grow chest high and what with the big trees has one looking around for dinosaurs.

There’s a great visitor’s center and museum in the State Park. Below is an information board explaining why the forest feels like Jurassic Park along with a pretty cool cut of a tree.

Each ring marking different times in History. Zoom in if you can.

This section of tree is located at the visitor’s center and tells quite a tale.

So that concludes our time in the Redwoods.  From here we headed south and west over the mountains for one last taste of the Coast before turning inland to Yosemite, so stay tuned.

Until next time…

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Comments:

  • Gaelyn

    August 6, 2021

    Oh, how you make long for these ancient trees.

    reply...
    • Margie

      August 7, 2021

      So, they call to you as well. I’m not surprised.

      reply...
  • Marilyn

    August 7, 2021

    Love all your cool photos.

    reply...
  • Tena

    August 8, 2021

    Beautiful, educational, deeply touching. Thanks for sharing with us.

    reply...

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