Copyright 2017 by Mario Vaden
The photo below was taken from the opposite side of a valley about 200 feet away. Chris is about 6 ft. & 4 in. tall for scale. The grove was both beautiful and forgiving for bushwhacking.
When I look at this image, what comes to mind are unexpected things found in the forest, here and elsewhere. In this grove one unexpected was a bigleaf maple. The species is common in parts of the redwood parks, but usually they vanish from sight after going uphill. On this day we went into the forest far enough to just be around coast redwoods and hemlocks. Then when least least expected there it was, a gorgeous sprawling bigleaf maple near the midst of a brook, set like a gemstone. Also, dogwood are not prolific in Redwood National and State Parks, but you can see the bare stem and branches of one behind the big redwood. This photo was taken during March 2015, before leaves grew. We also spotted some PVC pipe and fittings that day, shaped like the legs of the machines in War of the Worlds, but only a few feet tall. Very strange this far into the forest, possibly forgotten remnamts from some research project.
One other time, a good distance off highway 199, I spotted the remnants of a collapsed shelter. It looked very out-of-place and I wondered who would ever pack the wood in there. The distance was impractical for a boy's play fort. But it sure wasn't splintered wood from a redwood falling. These were sawed or milled boards and very old. Later that day after leaving the forest, the Redwood Transect came to mind, when Mike Faye & Lindsey Holm covered a 700 mile stretch on foot (September 3, 2007 to July 29, 2008). In the last month of the 1,800 mile journey they passed through this park not far away according to a file provided. I remember a photo of an old bottle they found deep in the park, another sign that humans were up in the forest off Hy. 199 in decades gone by. I suspect it may have been bootleggers like what happened around Whiskey Prairie Hike & Baxter Trail near mile 6.2 of Mattole Road (Humboldt Redwoods State Park). The lumber was aged enough for the prohibition era (1920 - 1933).