“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Before making a move from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington this past December, I took a road trip up to hunt for apartments. On the trek back down we drove out to the coast of Oregon (in one of the most brutal rainstorms I’ve experiences) and then made our way down the historic Highway 101. While on the way down we passed a road sign advertising The Avenue Of The Giants. With a never ending thirst for adventure, I quickly swerved off the main highway to take the exit. This decision paid off big and I highly advise it if ever given the chance.
I had seen redwoods before in different areas in California and Oregon, but nothing like the what I saw here. I did a little research and put together some highlights, but as always I highly suggest you see it for yourself, no words or pictures can capture the beauty or spirit of seeing these sites first hand.
The Avenue of the Giants is a two lane road that follows U.S. Highway 101 for a 31 mile stretch in Northern California. Starting near Phillipsville,CA, heading north and ending near Stafford, CA, the Avenue runs through a big part of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The Avenue was part of Highway 101 until the rerouting of the highway was completed in 1960. It mostly follows the south fork of the Eel river which is Californias third largest river.
The Avenue gives your at a good look at a portion of the over 51,000 acres of redwoods and holds 60% of the worlds tallest trees. The california redwoods have been here for over 240 million years, with some trees still alive today dating close to 2,000 years old. The trees can get as big as 24 feet (7 meters) in diameter and near The Avenue there is a tree big enough to drive a car through it.
The Avenue of the Giants is home to The Immortal Tree, a 950 year old redwood that stands nearly 250 feet (76m) but was once much taller. The tree has survived floods, fires, lighting, and logging but still grows today. A lightning strike once blew 45 feet (14m) off of the top of it and there is still part of an axe sticking from its trunk, left from when loggers gave up trying to chop it down.
There is also the Eternal Tree House, a 2500 year old tree stump, where a 20 ft cavern was burnt out centuries ago. The stump was used as a shelter by native americans and later by hunters in travelers looking to escape the rain storms on their way through the area. Sometime in the 1900s an expert wood carver took it upon himself to renovate the stump and make it more into a livable house of which they now offer free tours.
The Avenue of the Giants is a breathtaking place to visit and If ever you find yourself within a hundred miles of it, I would advise you to make the journey to go experience it for yourself. Trust me, you will not want to leave.