How long does it take three photographers to walk a flat one mile loop through the Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County, California? Answer: Almost four hours!
No excuses! It was a beautiful trail through a forest of expressive trees, and there was a lot for me, Marlene and Nicci to shoot.
Coastal redwoods (different from its relative the Sequoia) are found from southern Oregon to central California. Needing the coast weather they extend no more than fifty miles inland. These trees can reach 115 m (377 ft) tall. The bark can be very thick, up to 1-foot , and is soft and fibrous. When freshly exposed there is a bright red-brown color that gets darker as the tree is exposed to the elements. Its roots are shallow, wide-spreading and lateral. Redwoods are naturally resistant to insects, fungi, and fire because they are high in tannin and do not produce resin or pitch.
I remember when my children were young and we camped in a grove of coastal redwoods in Northern California. We went to a campfire program, but I left my flashlight at camp. I was good at walking by starlight, but the forest was so thick, we couldn’t see in front of us. Once I found a family who was walking back to the same campground, we followed them. I’ve never assumed that I could walk via moon and star lights again!
As for what lessons we learned:
- Always carry in your tripod. The forest is dark!
- Use a fast lens.
- Pack a lunch. Don’t count on a fast visit. Fortunately we brought snacks, and the cafe had a limited amount of lunch items.
Take a look at why it took us so long to walk that mile!