Riding through the 1000 year forest

Day 7: Harris Beach to Elk Prairie Campground

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How incredible these trees still stand!  That our forefathers saw the value of preserving some of the redwoods, when most were being felled and shipped off to San Francisco.

A troubled ride today, fraught with anxiety and despair.  Many unfinished projects, unstable situations, financial turmoil… but I knew I had to make this trip.  So I settled things as well as I could, then set off last Friday. 

Funny how troubles can travel right along side me.  And not.  Depends on my focus.  Today: worry.  Long hills past Crescent City added their own tangible worries (would the brakes work?) to my fantasy worries.

Then it happened: miles of climbing and descent were rewarded as I entered the Prarie Creek Redwoods State Park, one of the most awe-stirring rides on the whole tour.  A long, gentle descent through grove after grove of ancient trees.  Stopping to touch, to lean into, to feel some of the giant redwoods, alive 500-1000 years or more.  My mind grew quiet. The quality of silence among these ancestor trees is indescribable.

My resolve to repair my own forest after the logging operation became tangible.  I will plant these redwoods there, on our property on Mary’s Peak.  Alan Kapular, Corvallis organic scientist and seed wizzard, has said that redwoods were widespread in the Oregon and Washington coastal mountains before the Ice Age.  So I will plant a forest of redwoods, and watch them grow. 

(Watch for an update to this post, a riding video so you can join me in this sacred place. At the end I ride up to a giant tree, incredible.)

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