Today was a day of amazement, beauty, and just a tinge or two of guilt. It was redwood day, the reason we came here in the first place. Crater Lake was for Judy, but this was for Nick–his reason for the trip. When asked months ago, what he wanted to see, redwoods came out without hesitation. Judy and I would have probably never come here except for his interest, but we are so grateful we did. To say that we were awestruck by these amazing trees is an understatement. They truly are beyond description–so tall, so straight, and living for so many hundreds and thousands of years. Today, I walked among trees, which grew out of the ground as seedlings when David sat on the throne of Israel, some three thousand years ago. There is a kind of sanctity in that!
Imagine, though, that trees that old and that large once covered the coastline of California and Oregon–thousands and thousands of acres of them. Amazing! Sadly, in just about a hundred years, we nearly wiped them out. These trees had existed on this coastline for thousands of years until our modern needs for lumber, jobs, and wealth nearly brought about their extinction. Thanks to conservationists from the early nineteenth century, we were able to preserve about 6% of the remaining redwoods. We cut down and destroyed 94% of these amazing forests. I didn't cut down a single tree and I was not even alive when most of the cutting took place, yet still I feel a some guilt, along with a great feeling of loss. People needed jobs to feed their families. The nation needed lumber to build buildings. We needed the trees and we used them. Yet, we almost lost so much history, beauty and wonder in doing so. It made me stop to think, what damage could we be doing without realizing it, that our great grandkids will say someday, "What in the world were they thinking?"
Well, enough preaching and ruminating. I have been trying all day to find a way to convey to you how wonderful and majestic these giants trees are, but I have utterly failed. Nothing in all the many pictures I took today does justice to these earthly wonders. They are just too amazing to be captured in a picture. As we walked among them today, we kept saying, "Can you believe this? I had no idea they were like this!"
I'll just show you the best we have, but ask you to note that in reality they are ten times greater than anything we captured. Nick was kind enough to pose in many of them, as was Judy so you could get a sense of perspective. Note also that even though my images present the trees leaning and distorted, in reality they are perfectly straight as they reach to the sky. In one image, Nick has figured out the year of his birth in relationship to the other historical events pointed out in the rings of the tree.
We arrived home just in time for a late dinner and a glorious sunset. Most of the fog had lifted, and though we have yet to get great shots of the rocks in the harbor, we certainly enjoyed the light show the clouds and sunshine gave us at the end of the day.