I have to admit that driving through redwoods in the fog-filled mountains at night is no fun. I told my husband at one point that I hoped we never saw a state park again last night; in our driving conditions, the state park sign was literally translated 'it will be too dark for you to see an animal surprising you around the horrendous curves in the road'. But, my husband has faithfully driven the whole way thus far, and I wanted to bless him by letting him rest a bit.
What has been so amazing about about these trees is to think that many were here almost 1000 years before Christ walked this earth. I confess that with all the traditional historical thinking within me from my own secondary school days 30+ years ago, my concept of America didn't consciously drift past 1492 until adulthood. As I learn more through schooling the kids and completing research for writing projects, I realize that the notion of Christopher Columbus “discovering” America is one of many Eurocentric twists on the whole story of our great nation. I'm fascinated with the accounts of Native American artifacts and written expressions of more ancient culture, and excited about learning more. The thought that there actually was activity in this land while Christ ministered overseas totally boggles the mind. When you study world history, America is so young compared to the rest of the world–or is it? Okay, it's deeper than I feel like going right now, but definitely something to ponder over time.
Anyway, the kids' nature notebook entries have continued to be as entertaining as any part of the trip:
From my 8 yr. old:
'On our way up the mountain, there wasn't much to see,
As we got a little higher we saw tree after tree,
When we go to the top we saw a whale,
Even though we didn't see its tail.
On the way back I tried not to look down,
And if we fell into the water not to drown.'
Below is the 11 yr. old's illustration of 'General Sherman', the tallest tree in the world. It grows in the Sequoia National Park and is between 2700-3000 years old. (For the nature study enthusiasts, I loved her color blending in order to accurately capture the reddish-brown bark and the green of the leaves–such a proud mom I am, huh?)