I can’t abide anything having to do with Ronald Reagan, but secretly I’ve long shared one of his sentiments.
“If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all,” he reputedly said in 1966. Actually, as my extensive research for this blog post revealed, it was Governor Pat Brown who gussied up Reagan’s anti-conservationist statements into the catchy quote we’ve all come to know and love. What Reagan actually said, in a speech to the Western Wood Products Association, is: ”I mean, if you’ve looked at a hundred thousand acres or so of trees — you know, a tree is a tree, how many more do you need to look at?”
The following year, as different factions fought over the fate of northern California’s coastal redwoods, Reagan had this to say about our oldest and tallest trees: “I saw them; there is nothing beautiful about them, just that they are a little higher than the others.”
I guess Ronald Reagan would not be what you’d call a tree-hugger. A vista gal myself, neither am I.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. In my 20s, I spent the 4th of July weekend backpacking with friends in Redwood National Park. It was fine, if you like sleeping on a gravel bar in the middle of a river, unable to see much of the sky because of all those damn trees.
I was never chomping at the bit to return. But my husband, in some weird nostalgic do-over of family vacations from his youth, has long been lobbying to visit Redwood National Park. What’s a wife in desperate search of birthday present ideas to do?
So we came, we went, we loved it. Maybe it’s the wisdom that comes with age, maybe it’s that the rhododendrons were coming into bloom, maybe it’s sleeping in a king-sized bed instead of a river bed.
But in case you’re as stubborn and stupid as I was, or can’t make the trek yourself, here are some pictures to enjoy.
A non-Boy Scout on Boy Scout Trail:
Coastal Trail (with a stop at Hidden Beach), Lagoon Creek to Klamath Overlook: