|Jedediah Smith, 1835|
But he wasn't the first. Many Native American groups have historical ties to the Redwood area, with some still living in the park area today. Archaeological evidence shows that Native Americans were in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago. An 1852 census showed the Yurok tribe with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500 in the area.
So what's the big deal about Redwood trees? Well, they're huge. I mean, really really huge. They can have branches up to five feet thick in diameter and can grow up to 378 feet tall. They grow along the Northern California coast where they thrive in the moist, humid climate, helped along by the daily ocean fog that adds moisture to the soil. They are so huge that their roots can't supply moisture up to the very tip tops of the trees - but their needles can pull in moisture from the air, which is only possible with the deep daily fog of California's northern coast.
|Big Tree, Tiny Person|
(And yes, a redwood can be planted anywhere - even in your own backyard! But without the humid air and daily fog they won't grow to the monstrous size that makes redwoods so famous).
John Steinbeck wrote about the redwoods in Travels with Charley "The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time." After looking through many photos of redwoods I agree - a picture doesn't do it justice, you really just have to see them for yourself.
|Stout Grove Socks|
Happy Knitting . . . . Scout