Redwood & Pinnacles National Parks | Fall 2016

“Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves and dreams of trees untold, when woodland halls are green and cool, and the wind is in the west, come back to me, come back to me, And say my land is best.” I love JRR Tolkien’s characterizations of trees - I think he would have gleefully marveled at the groves on the west coast of the United States. The Redwoods put you back in your proper place. They are massive, you are small. They are unchanging, you are fickle. They are rugged, you are frail. They will last, you will pass. I was once told not to look up in big cities like New York or Chicago - it is a dead giveaway that you are a tourist, that you’re not used to the place. I hope I never get used to places like this, and I will certainly continue to look up when I walk through these groves. My friend Jordan and I only spent a few hours here as we raced down the coast, not nearly enough time to properly enjoy these majestic views.

Speaking of quick visits, Pinnacles National Park also got the raw end of my schedule shake up. It is wonderfully rugged Californian wilderness, full of as much noise from all manner of animals as any place I’ve been yet. As I was hiking through the wood and the caves and boulders, I stopped multiple times because of the sheer volume of animal communication and commotion that surrounded me. The most distinct sound was from this little guy pictured above. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woodpecker before in person, certainly not in the wild. My lack of pictures does not indicate my opinion of the park. I actually think it is a fantastic place to hike and explore, and I plan on coming back to camp for a couple days in the future!

Redwood National Park became the 34th National Park on October 2, 1968, and runs along the coast of northern California.

Pinnacles National Park became the 59th (and newest!) National Park on January 10, 2013, and is near the Salinas Valley in California.

Pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L