Thursday, June 19, 2014

Patriarch's Day

In the morning there were pancakes and oatmeal ready on the fire when we crawled out of our tent. The plan was to drive to the Jeremiah Smith National Forest where many stately trees grow tall.  On the way we stopped so Peter could get a fishing license. 
It was most appropriate that on Fathers' Day we visited such a collection of patriarchal trees.  Robert's three children climbed and balanced as though they were in a gigantic playground.  
We wandered from one tree to the next, ever more astounded.  At first we drove through miles of narrow, dusty roads.  We stopped when we could find enough room to pull off the road. The trees were so enormous that it was hard to show their size in photos.  


Coastal Redwoods are taller than Sequoias. They grow to between 300 and a record 350 ft in height,  the bark is thick and lies in long vertical ropes around the tree.

Sometimes a weakness in the bark causes an outgrowth, called a burl, which can have amusing shapes. One looked like the spirit of the tree was watching us.  
Some of the trees bear marks of lightning strikes, but many seem to survive.  They have relatively shallow root structures, so we saw several stumps, uprooted perhaps by a storm. 
We ate lunch in the Stout Grove which was a plot of 44 acres of some of the oldest trees.  It had been donated in the 1920s by Mrs. Stout who was the widow of a lumber baron.  Walking through the grove seemed to make everyone friendly. It was Fathers' Day, and many fathers were there with their families. We got one of them to take a photo of us.

On the way home we stopped by Smith River.  Peter tried out his new fishing rod while Gosha picked berries with the kids, and I napped.
Later, while beef stew simmered over the fire Peter read aloud a chapter from A Wrinkle in Time.


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