Today we explore the 30+ mile scenic drive which is an alternate country road that parallels and intersects the 101. Surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the Avenue of the Giants has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world. (avenueofthegiants.net)
The Eel River meanders through the Avenue of the Giants.
We stop and walk the 2.5 mile Drury Chaney Trail through a carpet of redwood sorrels and ferns. At any moment I expect a dinosaur to appear.
In the picture below the redwood logs appear to be floating on a sea of sorrel.
Notice the reflection of the tops of the trees in the creek.
Even the benches are carved from fallen redwood logs.
Sculptures such as the one below, are left behind after a tree burns. They are called “snags”.
This snag reminds me of Darth Vader.
In sunlight, the red sorrel fold up.
Standing beneath these tall giants makes one feel so small!
The picture below has a lot of history to tell.
Where I am standing, to take this picture from, used to be the town of Dyerville, established in 1890. Homesteaders farmed, raised cattle and logged. Products were hauled to the Humboldt Bay region via riverboat and later by rail, making this stagecoach stop a real crossroads town. (plaque at site)
Looking at the Eel River below, it’s hard to believe that it ever could have been a shipping port let alone be completely destroyed in the flood of 1955. The train trestle is the only remaining piece of Dyerville left today.
Settlers in the late 1800s experienced periods of flooding so they were careful not to build close to the river bank. But 30 years of dry weather encouraged construction nearer the river’s edge. By the 1930s major flooding was happening periodically again, and by 1955, the town was finally swept away. Whatever was left of Dyerville was buried in the construction of Highway 101 in 1957. (plaque at site)
Then along came the record-breaking flood of 1964 where the waters crested 33 feet above street level.
So, what I am standing on is a small day overlook of green-scape built up 30 feet with fill and landslide debris from the 1964 flood. Wow!
According to the California State Parks Auto Tour Brochure, courtesy of the family of Thomas & Nancy Newman, “Early one morning in the half-light, a park visitor reportedly saw a large creature amble across the road.” Here is a picture of the woods where this Big Foot sighting took place.
And finally, even redwood trees get stressed. (Probably from one too many Sasquatch sightings!)
So, how can you tell a redwood tree is stressed? You will notice knotty knobs growing from the trunk. These are the result of a stress caused by an injury, disease, or even a fungus.