On my visit to San Jose, CA for work, a group of us decided to take a road trip to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to see the redwood trees. Rhiannon and I have never seen redwood trees and were really excited to see them. We had talked to a local coworker to find out the best way to drive to see the redwood trees. He told us to take the mountain route because it had good views and was more scenic than the highway. We anticipated our trip to last roughly 3 hours (round trip) of driving. We did not know what we were in for.
Redwood Trees Road Trip
Rhiannon and I sat in the back of the rental car, which was probably not the best idea because we both get car sick. The mountain roads were extremely windy. Robert had to continue to pull over to let travel behind us pass because he could not go fast without making us sick. We did stop to see the clouds rolling into the valley and actually saw Ames Research Center from the overlooked we stopped at. I wanted to knit, but there was limited knitting on this car trip!
We started to feel better once the windows were open. The cool wind felt good. We drove through some of the clouds that were flying by, which was cool because I have never seen fog move so fast. I really was regretting not bringing my DSLR camera on this trip with me now, but I am sure I will have other opportunities to see the trees again.
We then drove down Pacific Coast Highway (PCH 1). The views of the cliffs and the ocean waves crashing against the rocks were interesting. It was hazy on our drive to Santa Cruz on the PCH 1. Rhiannon pointed out that is it weird that people out here refer to highways or routes at “the” PCH. Apparently people from Texas and Pennsylvania do not do that because we both made the observation.
We ended up leaving Rhiannon’s and Aubrie’s hotel around 3:45. We did not get to Henry Cowell Park until 6:45. It was nice to get out and walk around for an hour after being in a training course and car all day.
The redwood trees were huge. It cost us $10 per car to enter. They did not have the gate staffed, so we had to fill out an envelope and leave it there with our payment. We then walked around the redwood loop shown in the following picture:
We took about 40 minutes to an hour of walking around the loop. We enjoyed being in the quiet part and took pictures of the redwoods and of each other. We got to sit on a log bench, which was funny. The trees were amazing. The bark patterns were interesting to look at with deep grooves with cobwebs. There were many trunks that shared the same roots but then branched off from each other. Also, once redwoods reach a certain age, their bark cannot be damaged by fire. I can’t wait to go to other redwood parks on future visits out West.
After the seeing the redwoods, we all headed back to San Jose, CA. We had not eaten yet, so we ate at Elephant Bar in Cupertino, CA. We then all headed back to our hotels after a long night of driving and exploring the redwoods.
My advice to anyone who may do this day trip is to allow time and make sure that our driving route may cause car sickness.
Where was the biggest tree you remember seeing?