Today I got to visit the Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. I finally made it into the redwoods! This has been one of the bucket-list items I’ve been most excited to experience on this journey.

My friend Henry picked me up after breakfast, and took me to visit the local co-op, of which he has been a member since 1999. I picked up a few provisions for today, as well as for my hotel time in the next couple of days in Fort Bragg.

And then, we headed out on more twisty mountain roads through gorgeous rolling hills until we reached the park.

Of course I have always known that redwoods are big. I was so looking forward to seeing them. Being among them felt magical, and they did indeed look huge. But it wasn’t until later, looking back at some of the photos Henry took of me with them, that I fully appreciated their scope. It’s truly staggering.

The forest was wet from recent rain, which looked and felt lovely. (I even found a newt under a fallen tree!) However, we could see evidence of fire on many of the giants; their trunks were blackened on the inside and/or out. It’s a testament to their hardiness that many of them have remained standing after enduring the fires.

I hope to see a few more redwoods before my California time is up. I plan to stop by Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco, and possibly also in some stands around Santa Cruz and even a patch of them in southern California, just east of LA. But I’m so glad I got to see these today. What a dream come true.

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