We left Eureka and headed north to Klamath CA…where you can find tons of Coast Redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens)…and a giant Paul Bunyan with Babe. Welcome to one of our fave roadside attractions, Trees of Mystery. Megan is standing next to the anatomically correct Blue Ox to give you some sense of scale. BTW, Paul Bunyan is 49 feet tall.
As you enter, you’re enticed to press all sort of buttons to listen to stories, ehem…lectures, about Paul Bunyan.
This fallen redwood is pretty cool. Just to the right of the sign, you can see three new redwood trees growing up from this fallen tree over the trail. Basically, the tree fell over which caused it stress. This triggered the burls in the bark to start growing a new tree. Presto…the tree survives.
The Cathedral Tree is another example how tenacious the redwood can be. There once was a redwood that fell over. New growth sprouted from the root base and burls. A bunch of these new trees grew together in a circle, a total of 9 above, and the parent tree (the one that fell in the middle) has since rotted away. They estimate that these 9 tree that make up the Cathedral are about 800 years old.
There’s even an aerial lift that will take you from the bottom of the trail up to the top of the hill. Even on a rainy day, it makes for some great views.
There are a lot of chain-sawed sculptures all over the place. Here’s 3 of about 20 that were depicting the story of Paul Bunyan. Each of these guys are made from a solid piece of redwood (ahhh…back when it was cool to cut down big trees?).
Kenyon Kaiser chainsawed this sculpture called the Pooped Logger. Nice spot to stretch out the legs.
So is has this been a problem in the past?
Before hitting the Trees of Mystery, early morning we stopped by the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. We heard it’s pretty cool, and was not disappointed. It’s hard to decide who has the bigger stand of Coast Redwoods…this place or the Ave of the Giants. Take a peak above. Can you spot Matti in the red jacket?
By car, Ave of Giants has it. But by foot, Ladybird Johnson Grove takes the cake. Our trip ended, and Megan won our ‘who could find gnarliest Redwood tree’ contest.
— Far Out Flora