Whenever I visit John we hike our favorite trail in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which is just a couple of miles from his home. We hike along Fall Creek through dense stands of coastal redwoods, ferns, and moss. The trail itself is soft and quiet from its bed of redwood duff.
But we have never hiked here as far as we did yesterday, 8.2 miles. We hiked a huge loop through the center of the park’s Fall Creek area, climbing up and down about 1,760 feet.
The picturesque creek itself and the glorious stands of redwoods are the twin attractions:
We hiked to the biggest old-growth redwood in the entire area. They call it “Big Ben:”
Few flowers grow in this dark and damp place. The big exception is this aptly named Redwood Sorrel:
Since I poke along so slowly as I photograph everything, I loaned John my iPod Touch. At each stop he was able to continue reading the book that I brought him in partial thanks for his generous hospitality.
I gave him an old-fashioned paper version of Richard Preston’s Wild Trees. This book is a great read about the coastal redwoods and is the most appropriate reading among the redwoods. I bought a copy of it for myself to read on my Amazon Kindle, which just a week ago came out with an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
By 5:30 we had completed a wonderful hike through a wonderland that we had started seven hours earlier. Two good friends left the woods feeling on top of the world.