After riding the steam train to Roaring Camp, we took a walk on the wild side in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Here's a little tip ... if you want to ride the train, park inside the State Park, just a few steps from where they board the train. Otherwise, you have a long walk from the Roaring Camp parking lot.
I'm guessing this little hike over flat ground through these amazing ancient trees was about 3/4 of a mile. There are several old growth trees around, including this cross section. This tree was alive when the Chinese invented paper!!
As we walked along, a Ranger gave us info about things like the Redwoods producing tannic acid in order to kill everything else around it to allow them to grow tall. Fortunately for the bay leaf trees, they don't mind at all. There's also lots of poison oak, not on the trail but just outside the fences, so don't take any little jaunts. Stay on the trail.
They have no idea if this tree split in two or was two trees that grew together. There must have been a big fire at some point, because many are blackened in the middle. I can tell you this, they sure smell lovely!!
Here's an interesting little piece of redwood tree. It's an albino with white leaves, growing up from the base of the mother tree. If you cut down the mother tree, lots of little trees grow up around, making very cool circles of trees.
They've got their eye on this burl. Always leery some yahoo will come along with a chain saw and sell it to the highest bidder, the Forest Service keeps it under close inspection at all times.
Several of the trees have been burned out in the middle. Many have holes in the sides like this one that you can enter.
You may have to stoop down a little, but once inside, this room is huge!! It was actually used as a honeymoon room way back in the days of long skirts and excursions to the ocean.
Although there were only about eight of us inside, the Ranger said it held 86 elementary school kids. You can see over Richard's head what looks like a closed window, not burned. It was an open window at one time, as is a hole close to the top for a chimney. Once the State Park took over, it was no longer used as a hotel room and the tree grew over the holes, covering them completely.
There are many MANY more trails and sites to see around this park. Come spend some time and take a hike!! Smithwoods RV Park can take big rigs up to 40 foot long with reservations (full hookup 50 amp sites), just don't faint when you make that first left down the hill.
There were more activities during the last two days that I still need to catch up with. At this point however, I'm parked in Hanford in the heat for the Western Motorhome Association meeting and I need potluck material. I'm off to the store to see what I can come up with that doesn't require cooking. Tomorrow will be images of the train ride to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk!!