This how I became a tree hugger…

Continuing where we left in our previous post, today, we will talk about how you can visit some interesting places. With provisions ready, you can visit the Redwood National & State Parks, protected by Unesco, and its star attraction, easily accessible: Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The sagacious Californian conservationists gave this forest the name of the first lady in an attempt to protect the park from the voracity of the timber industry. And the treat worked: the park celebrates its 50th anniversary today and some of its tallest trees have grown 30 m since then. Cutting them down is unthinkable; hug them, something instinctive. Younger children curl up in the cribs that form the fallen logs, teenagers take selfies posing with the peace symbol, and entire families surround the huge sequoia trunks to take a picture together.

The Redwood Parks posters ask visitors to be careful when walking among these giants: the roots of the redwoods are not very deep, sometimes they are under a soft blanket of humus and plants. Redwoods reach 20 plants high, intertwining at the roots, forming a network of mutual support and underground communication that helps them withstand storms. Drought remains a problem for these titans, despite the recent rains: the legendary hippy marijuana crop of Humboldt County is now legal in California, and requires a lot of water. Luckily, illegal cultivation has been slowed under the tree canopy and conservation efforts are constant. Travelers can lend a hand supporting California businesses with the green badge and sustainable destinations of Lonely Planet (generally, marked in your map guides with a leaf icon).

Venerating the oldest

Some of the oldest sequoia trees have been discovered very recently, near the Oregon border, at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parkin California. Hidden with the naked eye in front of the visitor center is a forest of ancient redwoods whose real age was recently calculated by carbon dating: they are over 2000 years old. After admiring these old girls, you should not miss the pile of redwoods near Stout Grove. In the most difficult years, the redwoods grow to stretches instead of in orderly rings; something that can be seen in the fallen trees of Stout Grove. It is good that when you return to the real world after forest therapy you must not forget the teaching of redwoods: even in difficult times it grows, although it cannot be measured in the usual way.

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