We continued our trek down the California coast from Northern to Southern California and went from Yosemite to the old growth Redwoods outside of Monterey. It was overwhelming in its beauty and we took a ride on an over 100 year old steam train through the redwoods. Again, it passed the bored teenager test with the kids — the highest possible recommendation for families on vacation.
We drove to the “Roaring Camp” to see the “Big Trees” while riding on the steam train. A lawyer spared the old growth area as companies cut down 96 percent of the magnificent trees in the area. The lawyer actually bought the over 100 acres to chop down but his wife begged him to spare the area for future generations. Thanks to her, we have this small but inspiring forest of trees reaching 2000 years in age. It is truly a spiritual experience to stand among these giants soaring hundreds of feet in the air. It it tragic to think of the loss of the great redwood forests to logging. What I find most impressive is the resistance of these trees to fire. Their bark contains wonderful fire resistant elements. Most of the trees show burn marks but continue to thrive and grow.
We took the steam train through the forest and it was really a lot of fun. It is a bit pricey (around $25 a person for a one hour ride) but it is a very cool way to see the trees. We then went on a short hike in the redwoods in the park next to the Roaring Camp.
We then went to the old boardwalk in Santa Cruz, though it was a bit too crowded for the kids. We then went to a really terrific restaurant called Laili Restaurant in the downtown area. This restaurant was pricey but if you want to have a truly great meal, I would recommend it. The food was very interesting with different contemporary Mediterranean & Afghan food, including incredible sauces.
Today we go to the Monterey aquarium and nearby sites.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday: