In the Company of Giants

Do you remember the Ents from The Lord of the Rings books/movies? I don’t think Tolkien ever travelled to California but he might have still taken the Sequoia sempervirens as inspiration. Not that these redwoods need to move or talk to become more impressive. Their size alone is enough; they really are THAT big. (And we learned that their cousin, Sequoiadendron giganteum or giant sequoia, is even bigger in circumference. Hard to believe.) Walking through the redwoods is awesome in the true sense of the word. They also ruin all other forests for you forever after because they just look so tiny.

Of course where humans are involved, silly things are usually not far behind: there are at least three different drive-through trees, a mobile tree-home built from just one log and the “Trees of Mystery” gondola ride whose advertisements start all the way up in Oregon and probably end somewhere down in Tijuana. We succumbed to the pull of one of these attractions but really who wouldn’t take the opportunity to drive through a TREE?! All that’s missing is an ATM and some fries and you have the US in a nutshell.

In case you’re wondering, the tree is alive and well. The sides are fenced off because that’s where its roots are still growing.

While driving through Klamath a little further south, we took a little side-trip around the Coastal Drive and lucky we did because in the river that enters there, we saw a grey whale mama and her pup.

They kept swimming back and forth along the river’s edge in the same long, slow loop. It looked like they were feeding because they would float downriver blowing out lots of air (as you can see in the video) and then swim upriver completely under water. Apparently they’d been doing this for a couple of days already. According to local gossip they were avoiding orcas in the open ocean.

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