Sunday, July 30, 2017

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Having decided that a Portland visit wasn't in the books for us, we chose to head closer to the coast for some cooler temperatures and slowly make our way back home. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest state park covering more than 18,000 acres and ranging from sea level to more than 2,000 feet of elevation. The biggest attraction being the awe-inspiring ancient coast redwoods, some measuring over 300 feet tall and 50 feet in circumference. It is estimated their age range is between 1,000 - 2,500 years old!

The first thing I should mention if anyone would like to stay here is to make a reservation. Being a weekday there were 5 available spots to camp but you have to put your name on a list and then you have to wait till 5pm till they are officially available. This inconvenience wasn't too much of an issue as we took the opportunity to discover some of this vast and beautiful park.

After some lunch and a few hour's exploration, we set up our site for the evening.
The temperatures were perfect for sleeping but Brooke wasn't feeling well so she got to spend the night downstairs with mom (Catherine is under there somewhere too!)
It was very refreshing to have an open schedule with this trip so we decided to spend one more day at the park to enjoy a more detailed tour of the redwoods. I woke up early to add my name to the list for another night and was able to enjoy one of the many beautiful paths.

How would you like to watch a show at this theatre?
The park offered several trails and paths but with two kids in tow, we chose the Redwood Trail which was the easiest but at the same time was beautiful and informative. If you're up for learning some interesting and amazing facts about some of the longest living organisms in the world - please read on!
The durability of coast redwoods is truly remarkable as they can survive almost all that nature can throw at them including fire! This tree is called The Chimney Tree because it has survived many fires over the years.
It is theorized that several successive fires over the years ignited the tree's heartwood creating a perfect chimney causing it to be entirely hollow from base to top. Here is a picture looking straight up.
There are many examples of these giants that had fallen over the years which provided a great place for Brooke to climb.
This grand old tree is called the Father of the Forest and is estimated to be over 1,800 years old with a height of over 250 feet and a circumference of almost 67 feet at the base.

Next up is the Mother of the Forest which was once 329 feet tall but the top broke off in a storm reducing it's height to a measly 293 feet.
 This great redwood fell in 1983 exposing it's massive root structure.
With our day of exploration complete is was time to cook our dinner and head to sleep.
These redwood trees stole the show over showing shots of our Vanagon but here is a short clip of our drive through the forest after packing up to leave.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park definitely ranks up there as one of our favourites that we would love to visit again (with reservations). Although it was sad leaving, we were excited to stop at our next episode of adventure.

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