I maneuvered past potholes on an old, narrow gravel road that turned to dirt. Still used for two-way traffic, the road boasted occasional turnouts. I drove hesitantly down this narrow road, backing up once for a fire truck in the middle of nowhere.
Once we got to the grove, not only were the trees immense, but despite other visitors, the sense of peace was profound.
In 1850, when logging started, there were 2 million acres of old-growth redwoods. Today, we have less than 5% of these wonderful trees, or about 100,000 acres, of which only 40,000 acres are protected.
We walked around a small loop, past waist-high ferns, sun filtering to the forest floor, to admire these trees that live much longer than we do -- the normal span is 400 to 500 years, though some reportedly live up to 2,000 years.
Though we can't hike the backwoods trails as we once did, the sense of peace remains.