I was so excited to get into Redwood country. I haven’t seen the trees since I was young, but I still remember the sense of amazement I felt when I saw them for the first time. Nic hadn’t ever seen Redwoods, and I was excited for him to see them because I knew he would love them.
We boarded Max since he’s not allowed on any hikes in the Crescent City area, and while we were dropping him off, an employee told us to drive along Howland Hill Road as this was the best place in the area to experience the trees.
As we drove through the canopy of unbelievably large trees, Nic mentioned that he felt like he was in ET. It reminded me of the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios. It all felt too surreal to be real.
Even though it was pouring rain, we decided to hike 2.8 miles into the forest to visit the Boy Scout Tree and Fern Falls. We were completely drenched within a half mile, but this was our first real hike of the trip and we were excited to be walking through the middle of the forest. The further we went, the bigger the trees became. Fallen trees had bases that were over twice our height. We had to look straight up to the sky in order to see the tops of the trees. Giant pine trees twice the size of the ones back home were dwarfed by the mighty Redwoods.
After a couple of miles we made it to Boy Scout Tree, which is 20 feet wide. Even when you’re standing right in front of it, it’s hard to register that it’s actually a real life tree because it’s so huge. We spent a few minutes at the tree since we were the only ones there, marveling at its great size, but the incessant downpour became too much and we left the tree to head to the end of the trail at Fern Falls.
The falls were pretty, but we didn’t stay long. The water in our clothes had started weighing heavily on our backs and shoulders and we knew we had 2.8 more miles to get back to the car. Even though the rain slowed significantly on the walk back, it was not nearly as enjoyable as the first half of the hike. We were both soaking wet and tired. We made it to the car and changed into dry, comfy clothes (a perk of driving around in your living area) and finished the amazingly beautiful Howland Hill Road loop.
The next day when we picked Max up from the boarder, the owner was talking to us about our hike and the area. He mentioned that he grew up near the Redwoods and had hiked all the trails and seen all the trees and that they weren’t really special to him anymore.
It made me wonder, if someone can get so used to something as amazing as the Redwoods, what things are in my own backyard that I take for granted? What places do I need to “rediscover” and try to see through new eyes? Isn’t it interesting how we get so used to our surroundings that we don’t appreciate the places and things others travel cross country to see and experience?
I’m excited to spend the next few weeks continuing our journey along the coast, but my newfound insight also made me excited to travel back home and rediscover all that Colorado has to offer.