15500 U.S. 101 — Klamath, CA — 800-638-3389
October 11, 2005 – I was a little bit leery of visiting Trees of Mystery when I saw that huge statue of Paul Bunyan at the entrance. I thought it was probably a hokey tourist trap, but I’d been told the trail through the trees was worth it. It was.
This land was avoided by the early Indians because they feared the spirits that must live in these weird shaped trees. I don’t doubt that trees have spirits, but I was fascinated by every single one of them and felt more awe than fear.
Maybe it’s mom’s Catholic heritage, but she seemed especially fond of The Trinity Tree.
This is the Cathedral Tree – actually nine trees in one. About 800 to 1000 years ago a very large tree stood in the middle of this formation. When it fell, the roots and burls of the stump sprouted and these nine trees happened to grow together in a circle around the original mother tree’s stump, which has long since rotted away.
“This is their temple, vaulted high;
And here we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awe-struck soul,
For here we sense life’s proper goal.
To be like these – straight, true and fine,
To make our world, like theirs, a shrine,
Sink down, oh traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.”
The other sign says: “So shall they live when ends our day.”
All I can say is Amen to that!
This tree was named for the hope for the brotherhood of man. He is over 2000 years old, 19 feet in diameter, 60 feet in circumference and 297 feet tall. It was interesting to hear that this area was logged in the 1950’s when I was born. Even then they must have felt this being’s significance because for some unrecorded reason it was saved.
I felt small but happy to be part of the world that supports such a creature. It was here and growing not only before we were born, but before much of recorded human history!
This is the Candelabra tree. Check out the three offshoots now living off this fallen giant. Even when down, the Redwoods cling to life or serve as nursemaids for other “babies” to start theirs.
It was easy to imagine this some kind of kingdom of elves and fairies flitting around here.
Malia’s 2 Cents: Besides the remarkable journey through the Trail of Trees, ride the Sky trail gondola above the tree tops, then stop at the End of the Trail Museum for some really fine examples of Indian artifacts and art. I was particularly fascinated by the story of how the displayed baskets are woven, with each stitch representing a prayer by its creator. One of the ceremonial dresses composed of shells and tiny beads took my breath away with its workmanship and beauty!
I’d love to hear your 2 Cents in comments below!
Next – Newton Drury Scenic Byway
All Malia’s Miles Redwoods pages:
Main page (LBJ Grove) — Jedediah Smith State Park
Newton Drury Scenic Byway (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)
Fern Canyon (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)
Avenue of the Giants (Humboldt Redwoods State Park)
Trees of Mystery