Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

forestHere’s something Southern California doesn’t have much of: forests! That’s why it was so exciting to be in San Jose and be able to visit the redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. I’ve seen them as a kid, but it’s always fun to revisit places once you’re older. One of the first things I noticed was how much cooler forests are. In SoCal, there’s barely any shade anywhere! But with the canopy of trees locking in the shade and moisture, the trail was a brisk and refreshing walk.

The trail I followed had a guided path with a destination every couple feet. These pointers were fallen down trees, some of the largest trees, or a hollow tree to take pictures in. The path was not very crowded but plenty of people were hiking, walking with their kids, or sitting down for a picnic. I loved how quiet the forest was. We could have been minutes from a city and I wouldn’t have known. No cell service, barely any sun, dirt path. It was peaceful and beautiful. The path winded around trees and passed railroad tracks and began to parallel a river. The river was mostly dried up, but plenty of water was streaming by. This is also new to me… since the California drought is oh-so-apparent in the desert of SoCal. Flowing water and moisture in the air? This is new to me!

I felt like I could really breathe here. I’m sure that’s why most people go, that and to wonder at the magnificently large trees. The clean air and damp shade felt great. I tried to maintain a kid-like wonder at all the green, dewdrops, and patches of clovers. The oldest trees in the forest are around 1,400-1,800 years old! If those trees could talk, I’m sure they’d have plenty of stories. Listening to the train howl echoing through the trees made for a really unique setting.

This place inspired a story about the ancient power of forests and a hint of celtic mythology. (Best if read with this in the background, in my opinion.)

Who has seen the Sequoia and Redwoods in person? Pretty cool, huh? Photos below taken with my phone, so they aren’t as clear as they could be. Plus I compressed them for the web, so they aren’t as high-def as the originals.

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