“So does that mean I can keep my chapstick in my tent?” Evan asks hopefully.
It’s the start to our happy adventure in Redwood Forest. We had just stopped in the visitor center to find out interesting places to see over the next few days, and while Evan bought a “May the Forest be with You” shirt, we found out that they did not have many bears in these woods (no need for a bear locker).
Spirits high, we headed to Stout Grove, which is near where parts of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi were filmed. We got out of our van and hiked a short one-mile loop, and every moment was special. No one complained about the hike; in fact, everyone enjoyed it, and it wasn’t strenuous at all. The only small elevation change was at the very beginning; everything else was super flat. “Everyone is having fun,” as Evan put it.
Evan, who loves Star Wars almost as much as I did when I was his age, immediately began role-playing. He jumped off fallen trees (they don’t rot!), snuck through the brush, and pretended to wave a lightsaber or a blaster in his hands. The rest of us joined in too, and he didn’t have to pretend to have weapons after he stole the small wooden spear that Abby found and “attacked” him with. The video camera clicked on and off as we repeated our “scenes” many times in order to properly capture them.
Walking through the huge trees, it was easy to imagine scenes from Star Wars. The huge trees towered three hundred feet above us, and the small plants looked exactly the same as they do in the movie. The forest is beautiful, the weather was perfect, and we could have easily spent more hours climbing on the trees, quoting movies, and posing for pictures.
So day one of the Redwoods has been very successful and might overtake Lake Tahoe as the favorite place of the trip, at least according to some members of the family. Hopefully, we will maintain this energy and excitement level as we spend the next two nights camping in the majestic forest.