Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Trees of Mystery

I have to admit that I was skeptical. After settling into camp we'd decided to load into the truck (3 adults, Tasha and the 2 dogs) and explore. We drove along the coast and ended up at a tourist place called "Trees of Mystery". The name and reference to "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" made me imagine cheesy activities with lots of bright colors and noise. They advertised that dogs were welcome everywhere and they had a sky ride so we decided to go. When we arrived there was a giant "talking" Paul Bunyan, that certainly met my first expectations.

Once we moved inside the grounds I was pleased and amazed. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and living on the edge of the wilderness I'm used to big trees. I'm embarrassed to admit that when I first arrived at the redwoods I was unimpressed. Yep, the trees were big but I've seen mighty big trees before. Slowly it began overtake me. I've seen wide diameter trees, but not like this. The trees reach up and up and up. The space between the trees and the sunlight filtering down creates a feeling you don't get in the wet, Western Washington forests; not even in the old growth. Walking around the Trees of Mystery made me see more. There were "Cathedral Trees", where trees grow in a semi-circle from the stump of a fallen tree and "Candelabra trees, where many trunks grow off a horizontal trunk. It was more then just the trees though. Everything seemed bigger. Evergreen huckleberries that were taller then me and seemed to grow more like vine maples. I kept going on and on about the trillium. None of it was flowering, that's not what held my attention. The plants were easily twice as big as any I'd ever seen before.

I thought the name of the place was rather gimmicky at first. Without a doubt there was a tourist side to the park, but there was also a sense of awe and respect for the natural world. I am glad we went there at the beginning of our stay, because it did wake me to the mysteries of the redwood forest. What moved me the most wasn't the size of the trees and plants. It was the tenacity of life the redwoods have. Later in our camping trip, Tasha and I were looking at a snag and she asked me if it was dead. I told her, that if I was anywhere else I'd say "yes", but here I just didn't know. Sure enough, just near our campsite I found a snag, that sprouted a new trunk. Certainly, I saw many healthy, tall and straight redwoods. It is the memory of the gnarled and broken redwoods that continue to reach for the sky that I carry in my heart. People read self-help books and go to motivational speakers, but all I need to do is close my eyes and remember the redwoods.

Renae, Tasha, Chris and Abby the dog


Blogger kirayoshi said...

I always like your pictures and especially those of trees and leaves. Seeing leaves in detail is something beautiful.

8:34 AM  

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