I never thought I could look at a tree and see the face of God.
Yesterday, (Saturday, August 1), we drove through the Redwoods National Park and saw some nice trees and some beautiful coastline. We stopped at the Park Information Center and picked up Passport Books for August and Autumn, and the kids all got their books stamped and their Junior Ranger paperwork.
We were amazed to see the beach right there next behind the Park Information Center for the Redwoods National Park, but all in all, we thought we’d had a great view of the giants.
My mother had told me, “You have to go to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park to really see them,” and to be honest, I’d felt like ignoring her, as kids sometimes do to their mothers. But she is a huge National Park fan, and she usually knows what she is talking about. So we looked for something called “Humbloldt Redwoods State Park,” and eventually saw them. A sign reading “Avenue of the Giants Scenic Byway” told us to get off the 101 and follow it south.
It was the best decision we made all day.
The trees were, simply put, amazing. Trunks the size of our car, towering over us and reaching toward the heavens. The sky was blue, the air was warm and full of the smells of pine needles. We drove slowly, far below the 55 mile an hour speed limit, so we could drink it all in. We left the windows down, took off the sweatshirts, and relished the warm, gorgeous day and the beauty of God’s creation.
We kept saying, “Yeah, this just happened.”
Looking at these trees, we could not help but be convinced again of the glory of God, to see His handiwork, and to be convinced that there is a divine Creator. We couldn’t help but take pictures, to take movies, to capture as much of what we were experiencing so that someday we could remind ourselves of what we were seeing.
It took a couple hours. We ate lunch at the State Park Visitor Center (and experienced a minor accident as Austen was pushing the stoller across the field and didn’t see a hidden sprinkler hose, thus upsetting the stoller and giving August a big scare–he espcaed with only a very very tiny bruise on his forehead and was back to his normal happy self again in a couple minutes), and stopped at a all the “Auto Tour” spots along the trip.
It was amazing to see that invividual people had purchased as much of the forest as possible to save them–and that some even convinvced timber companies to not log until they could buy the land–long before they became protected. What a picture of working together, and good for the invidividals–and the logging companies. A final parcel we stopped at was the Colonel Raynal C. Bolling Grove–named and purchased in honor of the first US officer killed in World War I, and took some pictures–did a small hike–and figured it would take 14 of us to wrap our arms around one tree.
The rest of the journey was beautiful–a drive through Sonoma Wine Country was really quite lovely, and we vowed to come back someday, without kids–and dinner, at the one and only In-N-Out Burger was everything I knew it would be. (Amazing how one bite of a Double Double takes me back to my first bite as a freshman at Biola.)
We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco (the weather was slightly cloudy but the bridge beautifully jutted out of the bay and into the sky), and got to our hotel. After a cold swim in a warm pool, it was time for bed.
But I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after seeing the wonder of the trees. To see them was to see one more proof of the handiwork of my loving God. We are truly blessed.