The Last of the Giants

31 March 2012 in Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling


After five and a half months in a tiny, ill-frequented campground in Northern California we’re back on the road. After a couple of semi-hectic days of packing we hitched up the trailer and pulled out. This being our third major move in less than a year we’ve pretty much become skilled professionals when it comes to the art of packing. Each time we’ve improved our methods and efficiency. While our initial departure last August was a hodgepodge mess haphazardly thrown together under a self-imposed deadline the latest venture was thoughtfully planned and curated over several weeks. With research and data gathered from past experiments we strategized and developed an ideal order that would provide plenty of room for the cats, allow us to easily occupy and vacate the trailer at each stop, and offered access to the necessities we would need along the way.

I have to say we did a hell of a job. While it’s not perfect we have to accept the limitations of our storage and transportation vessels and the necessary abundance of items needed in order to live. Even the bare essentials require space. And I am proud of our simplified lives. We have found through this trip that many of the things we previously believed we could not live without proofed worthless and completely unnecessary. Our new simplified lives require less care and burden. Everything has a use—and in most cases two or three—and those which serve no practical purpose reserve no space.

Redwoods, Avenue of the GiantsBut enough of that stuff onto the adventure! Our first stop was to be Avenue of the Giants – a portion of old growth that is both famously concentrated as well as outrageously tall. We’re talking over 30 stories! The Dyerville Giant, which had previously held the record for world’s tallest living thing was measured in at somewhere between 360 and 370 feet (the lack of accuracy is due to the difficulty of accurately measuring a tree of this stature). The Dyerville Giant unfortunately fell shortly after being recognized and honored. Now you can stand humbly next to it’s upturned roots and walk along side measuring it’s once record breaking height.

We pulled in not knowing what to expect, but figured on staying at one of three private RV parks we had found online. Thankfully after passing two we pulled into a State Park we didn’t know was there and promptly shelled our dues back into protecting this amazing area. While rain was in the forecast it held off until the evening leaving us free to explore the wonders of this stretch.

Just traversing the road running through the park you are encroached upon by the towering height and mind bending girth of several ancient giants which butt right up against the highway. Should they be left to their own devices I’m sure they would eventually crack and erupt the asphalt spreading wider and wider.

We had limited time here so the trails we chose were just the highlights. I’m sure this park is full of hidden treasures, but we had to hand out rain checks because we were in check with the rain. So we sought out Founders Grove and paid homage to the aforementioned Dyerville Giant and the Founders Tree. Then we attempted to journey out to the Dyerville Overlook, but failed finding the journey much longer than the ambiguous map had portrayed. Finally we headed back to attempt to reach Big Tree, a giant we had visited two years back, but we were thwarted by a seasonal bridge which was out of season. And so we settled for Tall Tree and a stroll along the river.

Back at the campground the trailer was already dark. Much darker than the area outside of our trailer. With few windows and those which we have being small there’s not a lot of light that shines in. And this being a campsite void of electrical hookups we were forced to quickly assimilate to life in the dark again. With only a few small candles, a battery devouring lantern, and a couple of head lamps we made and ate our dinner which consisted of seitan wraps and a box of Zataran’s.

Ah, life on the road. Challenges like these might sound awful to some, but we are in love with the ingenuity of overcoming new tasks with limited resources. It makes life interesting and keeps our minds active and stimulated. While we don’t wish to self-impose these adversities at every juncture, to face them occasionally is to shed comfort and complacency for knowledge that should push come to shove we shall prevail.

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31 March 2012 Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

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