Avenue of the Giants [If You Go]
by Mark Sedenquist
[Continued from Page 1]
We think the most spectacular part of the drive is in the northern section, where many of the tallest trees are. We walked a short way up the trail at the Chandler Grove, an area where visitors have reported seeing flying squirrels and ringtail cats. We didn't see them, but at least we knew to be on the lookout. The free auto tour brochures available from Humboldt State Park were helpful in this regard - you can pick them up from boxes at the beginning and end of the route.
One thing we noticed as we drove along were "high water mark" sign posts along the edge of the highway. At one spot near the Rockefeller Forest, we saw a sign indicating that the water level had been nearly seven feet above the road. Periodic flooding of the forest by the Eel River is key to the ongoing health of big trees because it brings fresh silt and nutrients.
We stopped for lunch at the Knights Restaurant in Myers Flat. The food was nothing short of outstanding. My cheeseburger may have been the best I have ever had. The Knights Restaurant is owned by the same family that runs a steak house located adjacent to the Riverbend Cellars tasting room down the street. Along the avenue are a number of small towns, with visitor services including stores, cafes, cabins, RV parks, and curiosity shops. There is also a visitor center located near the Burlington campground about half way along the drive. In addition, the park maintains three car & RV campgrounds, horse and hike-in campgrounds.
The staff at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park frequently refer to the "magic" of the forest. The word fits, and the magic lingers even if all you have time for is a short detour through the majestic trees.
IF YOU GO:
November 6, 2005