Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bull Creek Road

(Dyerville overlook above. The Founders Grove is on the right, filled with old giant trees. The hill on the left has been logged and second and third generation redwoods grow there now. The contrast can be striking when seen in person.)

While driving home from the Lost Coast a few weeks ago, I have to admit that I was filled with sadness. The reason being, I was really looking forward to driving Bull Creek and Mattolle road because I thought for sure it was going to be unbelievable redwood habitat. The redwoods along Bull Creek road in Rockefeller Forest are some of the best I have experienced. When I am in there, it feels eternal, endless, indestructible, ancient. I had only driven so far along the road because part of me didn't want to know what was on the other side. The feeling of wildness and eternity was too great to tamper with. Well, my curiosity got the best of me, and I am sad to report that the feeling of wildness, strength, and endless habitat has been replaced with domestication, fragility, disappointment. I was truly shocked to discover that the point I had turned around in the road so many times was actually the edge of the redwood habitat in the area. The rest has been logged, replaced by grassy hills, homesteads, and a thinned forest.  I couldn't believe how fragile it all seemed. How could this wall of some of the mightiest trees on the planet, suddenly abruptly stop, only to be replaced by grassy fields and bright sunshine? How could this otherworldly habitat suddenly abruptly stop, only to be replaced by roads, homes, fields, and ordinariness? Why are there trees only growing along this tiny ribbon of a river, only to disappear on the other side of the bridge?

The redwoods have really brought home to me the importance of awareness when it comes to what I buy, and how I live. It's too bad that one of my favorite places to hike has been compromised to build houses all over the country, probably even the house I currently live in, and the cities I visit. The redwood habitat seems so fragile and minuscule at times. I am very grateful to be able to experience what remains of it. More often than not, I feel like the luckiest man alive whenever I get the chance to spend time in the untouched groves. I hope others will continue to be able to as well. Thinking strictly in human terms, I'd imagine as the world continues to get busier and busier in the coming years, the groves will become more and more important. Sanctuaries to recharge the mind, soul, and spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Bull Creek was another one of those epic battles by the Save the Redwoods League. Most of those entailed saving a narrow ribbon along the river as the harvest line closed in on a small stand of giants.

    That's probably why some folks decry what they perceive to be American hypocrisy when we call on them to save *their* rainforests.