Sunday, April 29, 2012

Roaring Camp Railroads & Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Within our first month of living in Monterey, we met five Aggies totally randomly.  So when Aggie Muster rolled around last weekend, we were really excited to meet more.

We spent most of the afternoon getting to know a really nice couple, Jim and Amanda, from about 40 minutes north of here.  A few days after Muster, Amanda messaged me asking if we wanted to get together this weekend. 

Our original plan was to go strawberry picking, but after Amanda talked to some farms and found out that the strawberries aren’t quite ready yet, she suggested that we go for a hike through the redwood forest.

We picked Amanda and Jim up yesterday morning and headed out to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  As soon as we pulled up to the park ranger booth, we heard a loud train whistle.  Jim and Amanda had forgotten that Roaring Camp Railroads butted right up to the state park.  So of course the two little kids (and maybe a few big kids) wanted to check it out.

042812_4439(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)


We got to the ticket counter just in time to buy tickets and board the 11am train pulled by the Sonora Shay Engine #7, built in 1911.

042812_4399(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)

042812_4403(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)


It wasn’t long before our steam engine was pulling us though the redwood forest on our way up Bear Mountain.
042812_4416(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)


Once we reached the top of the mountain, we were given about 10-15 minutes to get off the train, snap pictures, take potty/diaper breaks, and look around the forest.


Then it was back down the mountain.  Once we got back to the train station, it was time for lunch and looking around Roaring Camp a bit more.

(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)


It was then time to walk on over to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.  Well, everyone else walked while Trenton hitched a ride on his new best friend.


The trees were HUGE!  And to think that there are redwoods even bigger than these in northern California is unfathomable.

We came across a cross-section of a redwood that fell in 1934.  Charlotte thought she could push it over.


Wanna know how old it was?

(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)

Yeah, that’s right – oooooooold.

And the trees weren’t just big around.  They were super duper tall too.  One of the tallest trees in the park stands at about 270 feet – almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

(Photo courtesy of Amanda Hickernell)

The park also had some trees that people could walk in along the trail.  There were six people inside this one at one time.  And there was still room for more!

We even found a banana slug on our walk!

Charlotte was determined to touch this thing, and though I finally pulled her away from it, she kept searching for more over the fence every time we stopped.

What an awesome day exploring the redwoods by rail and by foot.  Thanks to Jim and Amanda for showing us around!


Amanda Hickernell said...

What a fun day it was! Thanks for coming up to Santa Cruz.

Staci said...

Looks like fun! I can't wait to check it out. Great pictures, too! :)