In Montgomery Woods (2)

Just moments after leaving the site of my previous post I did indeed find the official entrance to Montgomery Woods, with a proper sign, a parking lot, restrooms, etc. Bicycles aren’t allowed here, so I leave the bike and head out along the loop trail. The trail goes up and up. I couldn’t have biked it.

1_Mont2_ trail begins and climbs 2_Mont2_and climbed


But the trail finally levels off and we enter the forest of old-growth redwoods:

4_Mont2_ and we enter the old growth...


Sunlight shines down from on high:

5.1_Mont2_light shines down1


We see traces of the forest fire of 2008:

5_Mont2_traces of the fire of 2008


And here we arrive in one of the best preserved parts of the grove. No wonder they call redwood groves “nature’s cathedrals”:

6_Mont2_nature's cathedrals


Further along the trail I come upon a fallen tree:

7_Mont2_further along, fallen tree


But, of course, redwoods are not alone here. Ferns flood the forest floor in some places:

8_Mont2_flood of green ferns


Clover too:

9_Mont2_ other undergrowth_clover


And California’s ever present poison oak:

10_Mont2_poison oak


Further along there is more and more evidence of the fire. This tree has its trunk totally burnt out, and yet it still lives:

12_Mont2_burnt out tree trunk 13_Mont2_but this tree lives still


This one is badly burnt too, and no longer lives:

14_Mont2_this one burned too 15_Mont2_but no longer lives


More traces of the fire:

16_Mont2_more burn 17_Mont2_and more burn


And much burn debris scattered about:

18_Mont2_burn debris

But we learn from the different information signs that forest fires are in fact good for the redwoods.  Their bark is resistant to the flames and fires cleanse the forest floor and allow the undergrowth to renew itself.


Here, a fallen tree serves as a stairway and a walkway:

19_Mont2_downed tree stairway 20_Mont2_and bridge walkway


The trail meanders through a meadow of ferns:

21_Mont2_ trail through ferns


And a stream, though dry in this season, runs through it all:

22_Mont2_stream runs through it


Far back in the canyon, I come upon this makeshift memorial:

23_Mont2_memorial altar

Notice the bouquet of roses.  If you zoom in you can see a photo of a young man on the left, and you can make out the details of many of these small piles of stones.  I decide that I’ll leave something in memoriam too.


I quickly gather a few stones:

24_Mont2_my rock collection



From this collection I select a few.  Six will do. And I make the following pile which I show here from four different angles:

25_Mont2_tribute1 26_Mont2_tribute2

27_Mont2_tribute3 28_Mont2_tribute4

And I dedicate this to the memory of my parents, Phillip Eugene and Jean Darlene, the father and mother of  Tim, Larry and John.

Dad died many years ago, Mom remarried and moved to Redding with her new husband.  But today Phil and Jean are together again here, in a cemetery in Petaluma:

29_Phil and Jean



It’s getting late now, and I take another trail back down the canyon:

30_Mont2_trail_back1 31_Mont2_trail_back2 32_Mont2_trail_back3


Along the way, I see these deer.  I’ve seen quite a few of them, but they don’t like to be photographed:

33_Mont2_deer1 34_Mont2_deer2


When I get back to the parking lot I come across this duo:

35_chickens in the parking lot


I have no idea what they’re doing here, or where they come from. This will be one of the many little mysteries of my journey.


6 thoughts on “In Montgomery Woods (2)

  1. Ah, what magic! I may start at the beginning again, just for the beauty and sheer pleasure of accompanying you on this walk. Thank you. Redwoods and not just in Muirland either. I can feel the stillness.


  2. Hello !
    Waouh !!! C’est trop chouette !
    J’aime beaucoup le petit sanctuaire de pierre !
    Et tu as laissé un joli souvenir de ton passage 🙂
    Au fait, j’ai une blague avec “deer”… What is a “deer” with no eyes ???!!!
    A la prochaine !! C’est super de suivre ton périple !


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