Roadtrip 2016: Armstrong Redwoods
We were constantly surrounded by beautiful scenery in Santa Rosa, so it wasn't surprising that the drive to the Armstrong Redwoods led us through abundant vineyards, forests lined with gargantuan trees and vibrant plants, and an occasional village with a few shops and dwellings. The vibe out here was comfortably small-townish with visitors and tourists noticeable at every turn. I was a little kid all over again every time I looked out the window and spotted something to see and do. In 30 minutes I had already formed an idea of what I wished the day could be like if it were all up to me: hiking, eating, exploring and taking photos- while in my husband's head, the day involved napping for a few hours and relaxing with some or many beers.
We arrived to the park in no time, which was less than 40 minutes from town. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of other people there mid-morning during the weekday, so finding a spot to leave the car was easy. It was starting to get hot, but the shade from the trees easily made the temperature feel cool. I plotted our hike- which wasn't a hike at all considering the trails are mostly flat- through Pioneer Nature Trail and the Discovery Trail with a free map from the general store. The tree cover kept us protected the whole time, and sunlight that peeked through the leaves and branches provided great light leaks for my photos. We quickly strolled through the self-guided tour, stopping at Colonel Armstrong, the oldest living tree there, estimated to be around 1400 years old, and Parson Jones, the tallest tree in the park, reaching 310 feet high. Other interesting things we photographed included fallen trees and uniquely formed deadwood from giant tree hollows and branches.
I'm always inspired every time I see the redwoods- there are many all over California-, some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. Makes me feel so small and unimportant, yet so special and lucky to be alive and be able to enjoy such beautiful things.