50 years may be a lot to us, but it’s a mere blip to some redwood trees, the oldest of which live 2,000 years. (Most live 500-700 years.)
Regardless, the Golden birthday is nothing to sneeze at, particularly in regard to the Avenue of the Giants Parkway, the 32-mile-long road that stretches from Garberville to Scotia, a bit inland from the Northern California coast, that is home to some of the oldest-growth redwoods in the world.
Originally a stagecoach road, the Avenue of the Giants was officially dedicated by CA Governor Edmund G. Brown on August 27, 1960. It seemed that the new, high-speed Highway 101 allowed the Redwood route to become, in Brown’s words, “a serene drive where kids and families can cross the road at will, where traffic moves at a far slower pace.”
Luckily for us!
I had always wanted to take this drive, which my family did last summer. It was amazing to be in a tunnel of truly majestic redwoods.
We also visited one of the three world-famous drive-through coast redwoods, which I’d seen on postcards most of my life.
We drove through the Leggett Chandelier Tree.
We also got to walk through it.
The whole area is rich with wonderful and strange tourist stops, like the One Log House and Hobbiton, USA, both in Phillipsville, and various redwood-themed amusements and artisan shops along Highway 101.
I highly recommend driving the Avenue of the Giants and Highway 101, perhaps in conjunction with a trip to San Francisco, or the northern CA or southern OR coast.
The Save the Redwoods League offers 50 ways to explore the Avenue of the Giants, including a downloadable audio tour.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman