08 June 2016

My Endless Summer Begins at Armstrong Woods

We have decided to get out and explore the trails of Sonoma County now that I have an endless summer vacation.  What better first trail than Armstrong Woods.

We started out gently hiking from the parking lot at the Visitor Center down the Pioneer Nature Trail to Redwood Forest Theater Road to the theater and down the Armstrong Nature Trail to the Pioneer Nature Trail  back to the Visitor Center, a distance of one and a half miles.

Of course, it was a photography walk.

The morning was overcast, in fact as we approach noon at home the sun is just beginning to poke it's head out from the clouds. 

This was definitely a serenity walk, as we had the park all to ourselves, something we're not accustomed to on our weekend visits. 

Icicle Tree

 This tree reminded me of all the burl I photographed on the Olympic Peninsula last summer, not realizing we had our very own redwood with burls at home!  This tree had its burls stolen by poachers to be sold and this is what remains of what used to be icicles.  The burls are caused to grow because of stress to the tree from fire, flood, wind, earthquake and logging.  The burls are an example of the resiliency of the Giant Redwood.   

Could this be the Ghost Tree?

Or this?

About 20 years ago when we were at the picnic grounds grilling dinner, Rob went off on a different trail than his cousin Bryan and friends in search of the "Ghost Tree".  As I came across each burnt out trunk I had to wonder if it was the infamous tree.  The path ways are all surrounded by wood railing that didn't exist at that time.

I even learned something new!

As we were walking back towards the car Mark exclaimed, "We've probably been to this park 100 times in the last 26 years and never really seen it!"

We are blessed to have this gem only 20 minutes from home.