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Calif SR 254

The two RV Gypsies drove
The Avenue of the Giants
June 12, 2015

The Sinkyone people lived in the area of Humboldt Redwoods State Park's southern region for thousands of years before European contact. The boundaries of Sinkyone lands extended east to the main stem of the Eel River and the river's South Fork, south beyond today's town of Leggett, and west to the ocean. The name Sinkyone was assigned by 20th century ethnographers to classify separate political groups who spoke the same dialect of the Athabaskan language family.

Welcome to Humboldt Redwoods SP
sign about the park

The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic highway in Northern California, U.S.A., running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The Avenue of the Giants was part of U.S. Route 101 until a freeway bypass was completed on August 27, 1960, assuming the 101 designation. The Avenue was then designated as CA Route 254 by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 10. it continues to be maintained by the state as State Route 254.

The southern entrance to the Avenue is just north of Garberville, and the northern entrance is 15 miles south of Fortuna. The highway is notable for the Coast Redwoods that overshadow the road and surround the area. Coast Redwoods are taller than any other living thing. It is from these towering trees that the Avenue of the Giants takes its name. The road winds alongside the scenic Eel River, and connects several small towns. The two-lane road has a number of parking areas, picnic sites, and attractions for visitors. The nearby river provides many excellent swimming locations, such as those at the Rockefeller Forest redwood grove.

road and redwoods
road, redwoods and Lee Duquette
big redwood tree
fallen redwood tree

Below: Looking up a tree

The inside of a tree

Looking up a tree
The inside of a tree

This area had a lot of fallen trees.

Karen Duquette
fallen Redwoods
Redwood trees
fallen Redwood trees
Redwood trees Karen Duquette and root stumps
Saddler Grove sign Karen Duquette and redwood roots

Below: Some interesting burls and shapes on the trees. Use your imagination and enjoy them.

big face burl
monster on a tree
 

Immortal Tree

Though not the oldest redwood in the forest, this large tree is over 950 years old, and is currently around 250?feet tall, though originally it was much taller. It has survived not only the ravages of time but also the 1964 flood of the area, a 1908 attempt at logging, and a direct lightning strike which removed the top 45 feet of the tree (making its original height close to 300 feet). It is from its age and the perceived hardiness to the fates that the tree derives its name. Markers were visible on the tree, denoting the heights of where the loggers' axes and the floodwaters struck the tree.

Situated in the northern half of the Avenue, The Immortal Tree was easy to find, and had a large gift shop and parking area in front of it.

Immortal Tree sign
Immortal Tree and Lee Duquette
Immortal Treeand an ax
 
tree chair
redwood shape

Lee Duquette was dwarfed as he stood outside of the tree remnant shown below.

Lee Duquette by tree stump
sign
 

Founder's Grove

Near Weott, this grove had an easy 1/2 mile self-guided walk with informational booklets available at the beginning of the trail. This well-travelled trail is a good example of old-growth redwood forest and contains a few very big trees, including the Founder's Tree (346 feet tall) and the Dyerville Giant (370 feet tall) which fell down in 1991.

Founders Grove sign
Humboldt Redwoods State Park sign
Founders Grove Nature trail sign
Founders Tree measurements

Karen Duquette by the Founders Tree

 
Karen Duquette and the Founders Tree
Founders Tree
 

The greatest accumulation of plant mass ever recorded on earth is a redwood standing here in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This temperate rainforest has seven times the biomass (living and dead organic material) of that found in a tropical rainforest. Everything seen here has an interconnecting role with the rest of the forest, from the huge trees to the smallest decaying plant material.

Karen Duquette and a huge tree
Karen Duquette and a huge tree

The terms "Ancient Forest", "Old Growth Forest" and "All-aged Forest" have been used synonymously. An ancient forest describes a forest that has trees of all ages, many layers of canopy, large standing dead trees, large downed logs, large fallen logs in streams, and trees over 200 years old.

Karen Duquette and a huge tree
 

The large redwood below is an old growth tree that has been through may fires, a natural occurrence throughout the centuries. Even though it appears to be heavily fire damaged, it continues to live. Below are several views of the tree.

Lee Duquette and a huge Redwood Tree
burned Redwood Tree

Below: Looking up into the tree.

Looking up into the tree
Looking up into the tree
 

The death of a tree is the birth of a log or a snag. Dead trees are essential to the health of the forest and they are the basis of its astonishing productivity.

nurse logs info
stumps
stumps
fallen tree
 

Below: The Dyerville Giant stood here perhaps for as long as 1600 years. It was taller, larger and older than any other trees around it. It was recognized as a Champion Coast Redwood as certified by the American Foresters Association until it fell on March 24, 1991. Before it fell, it was at estimated between 362 feet tall and 370 feet tall. That is 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls, or comparable to a 30-story building. It is 17 feet in diameter, 520 feet in circumference and probably weighed over 1,000,000 pounds.

The Dyerville Giant
The Dyerville Giant
The Dyerville Giant
spider web in The Dyerville Giant
The Dyerville Giant  bark
The Dyerville Giant  bark

The events that caused the Dyerville Giant to fall are common in ancient redwood forests. During the rainy season the soil got saturated with water, causing a tree to fall and it hit a second tree, causing it to lean. Eventually the leaning tree fell and it struck the Dyerville Giant, causing it to fall as well. A tree over 50 feet away had mud splattered 15 feet up its trunk from the impact of the giant hitting the ground. Unless fire consumes it, the Dyerville Giant will continue to lie here on the forest floor for may hundreds of years, fulfilling an important role in the healthy life of an ancient forest. As the decay process gains a hold on the Giant, it will become the host, home, and food source to over 4,000 kinds of plants and animals that will live on or in it.

Dyerville Giant
Dyerville Giant
 
tree
tree
tree
tree
big burl
big burl

The two RV Gypsies took a picture of each other at separate ends of the same tree.

Lee Duquette
Karen Duquette
tree parts
tree stump
tree logs
branch over the walkway
Karen Duquette in a tree
look below

Menu for the two RV Gypsies in California. You may view these 4 sections in any order you choose. There is also a link to Oregon at the bottom of this page.

You do not have to return here to continue from page to page because there is a link at the bottom of each page for further navigation.

Section 1 of 4: San Diego

Entering the state of California

Mount Helix Park

USS Midway (CV-41)
and several memorials

A National Salute to Bob Hope
and The Military

Unconditional Surrender Statues (FL 2013 and CA 2015)

Artwork - "Our Silences"

Beaches in San Diego

Balboa Park

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

San Diego Botanical Gardens

Cabrillo National Monument

Pio Pico Thousand Trails

Hotels

Section 2 of 4: Los Angeles County

Fairflex Los Angeles KOA in Pomona

Mt. Baldy Park

Los Angles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Section 3 of 4: San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf and the seals

Lombard - The zig-zag street

Golden Gate Bridge - 2009 and 2015

Eureka KOA

Section 4 of 4: The Redwoods - Giant trees and more

Willits - Gateway to the Redwoods

Travel photos and some elk

Avenue of the Giants

The Drive Thru Tree #1

The Drive Thru Tree #2

Beach at Redwood National Park

Trees of Mystery - page 1

Aerial Tram at Trees of Mystery

Tall Tale trail at Trees of Mystery

look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have viewed all of the above sections, please continue on to
Florence, Oregon: a dune buggy ride, Devils Churn, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and more.