Monday, September 26, 2011

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

This weekend my husband and I took a little road trip to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, near Arnold, California. I’ve been dying to go hiking lately, and hadn’t been to the Big Trees since 6th grade camp! So, as usual, I packed entirely too much of everything, and we headed out on our little adventure. By the way, my backpack may be heavy, but, thanks to Bear Grills, we could survive practically any situation! Hungry and cold? No, you’re not! Lost in the woods? I don’t think so! Snake bite, bee sting, broken arm? I’ve got you covered! I’m sure my husband thinks I’m completely ridiculous, but we’ll see who is laughing when disaster strikes…wait, that doesn’t sound right. Moving on!

Saturday morning the alarm went off, and we rolled out of bed at dawn (you’re not buying that, are you?). We got up, ate breakfast, packed a scrumptious picnic (with a special surprise), and headed on our way. The drive was about 2 hours, and, thanks to my good friend, Dramamine, was very pleasant! I vehemently practiced my singing as we followed winding roads and passed first through grassy hills and then tall trees. We arrived at the park around noon and eagerly set out on the trails.

During our two hour hike, we saw unbelievably tall and ancient trees, the size of which is instantly humbling, and experienced an amazing amount of history. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is well preserved now, but wasn't before the 1930's. Discovery tree stump (pictured further down) can attest to that; it measured over 25 feet in diameter, was 300 feet tall, and was 1,244 years old when cut down in 1853. We read that the stump was later turned into a dance floor!

In addition to the trees and history, we also found some very interesting vegetation, which Dustin wanted to eat; came across exotic woodland creatures...okay chickaree (a type of squirrel, or chipmunk if you're Dustin); munched on some pine needles (what, you don't do that?); and, of course, kept one eye out for bigfoot.

(Above is a tree trunk with carvings that go back decades.)

After we were thoroughly starved, we headed back to grab our lunch and sat down for a relaxing picnic feast! I packed my favorite salad, leftover Veggie Quiche with Herbed Crust, fresh fruit, and (drum-roll, please!) bigfoot cookies, which I thought would be fitting after our trek through the forest! (Don't mind the fact that my bigfoot only has 4 toes!)

By the time we finally got home, we were absolutely exhausted! Our day was filled with magnificent feats of nature, a good amount of fresh air and exercise, and a lot of fun. If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend it! And if not, then I hope you enjoy the pictures I've shared with you :)

If you would like to contribute to this park,  or any of the California State Parks, you can do so here.

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  1. Hello Amanda!

    I truly enjoyed your story and photos. We are planning a trip for next year and your bog has been a great help.

    Thank you!
    Jennifer Fry

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