July 29, 2009

San Francisco - Armstrong Redwood Forest

It's time to catch up with myself and feature some pictures from my visit earlier this summer to the San Francisco area. This set of photos is from a day trip to the Armstrong Redwood Forest in Sonoma county, where the main claim to fame, along with a fantastic old growth grove and good, accessible hiking trails, is the Parson Jones tree, which is a mind-blowing 1300 years old. This was my first experience of a redwood forest of this size; the height and grandeur of the trees is difficult to capture photographically, which didn't stop me from trying:
Below is a fallen tree that was cut to clear the path. I like the textures in the cross section:
The main trail wound up the mountain and lead to views of the cool, foggy valley where the redwoods flourish:

The micro climate at the top was warmer and drier and supported a different class of vegetation, including my first encounter with manzanitas. I was smitten by the purple color of the bark and the twisty architecture of the branches:

Descending again, I took a moment to rest and contemplate my place in the universe as a puny human:

And to consider life as a hobbit:
After leaving the forest, we made a brief stop at Olompali State Park in Marin County. It has a fascinating history as an Native American settlement, ranch, battlefield, estate, and hippie commune. Over-driven guitar amplifiers at a late night revelry led to an electrical fire; the buildings await the funding necessary for restoration, and unfortunately it looks like it may be a long wait:


Adrian LaRoque said...

Great post, great blog too!

Sue Reno said...

Thanks Adrian, I appreciate it!

Judy Alexander said...

Love your tree pictures! Still time to sign up for my blogivesary give away.