Sunday, 4 March 2012

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

My family recently moved to Calaveras County and we visited them on our recent trip back to California.  My awesomer half and I drove up to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park with my Dad, sister, and her new baby.  We all walked around the giant sequoia redwood trees and were amazed by their beauty.  The park is on highway 4 near the town of Arnold and is home to a Sierran Mixed Conifer Forest.  The park includes ponderosa pine, white fir, incense cedar, sugar pine, Jeffrey pine, and of course, giant sequoia.

After our walk we found a log cabin visitor's center with a roaring fire in the middle.  We can't say enough good things about the park docents; these folks are friendly, helpful and welcoming to all visitors.  Really they are ambassadors of the forest.  We shared travel stories around the fire with warm cups of hot chocolate and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  If you ever get up to California's Gold Country, (i.e. you go skiing in Bear Valley) please spend some time in the redwood forest here.

See the green moss growing on this tree?  To give you an idea of scale, my head only came up to the bottom of the moss on the trunk.  Biggest.  Trees.  Ever.

I think this is a Jeffrey Pine.  Note the tell-tale bark plates and long, glaucous needles.

There is something soothing about being in a forest full of pines and redwoods.

Actually, the forest can be downright trippy at times.  Far out, man!