Walking with Giants
I was recently reading a travel magazine that listed reader's "Favorite Places in the World". Along with destinations like Machu Picchu, Galapagos, and Mt. Kilimanjaro was Prairie Creek, submitted by a woman from (of all places) Stagecoach, Nevada. She gushed with proclamations, such as "enthralling", "majestic", and able to "inspire spiritual ardor". After consulting my dictionary, I'd have to say I agree, but with the simple modification of adding ALL of Humboldt county to that description. As I drove through Stout Grove, you feel as though you've gone back in time to some Jurassic period in which the plants and animals grew on a much more epic scale.
The Boy Scout Tree is too large to even capture in a single picture. Though my skinny physique is a nice contrast for its hulking girth, but it's still hard to accurately represent.
Walking between these trees is a good way to keep your ego in check. It's hard to feel big, old, or significant when strolling next to ancient giants like these.
Besides its beauty and "ardor", what amazes me about Prairie Creek is how few people stop to see it. Not simply a highlight of California, but one of the wonders of the world and yet people just cruise right past on their way up or down the 101. If they only looked slightly to the side of the highway, you can see a small road which leads directly to a field used by elk to graze and rest. Literally feet from the highway, but blindly passed by most who are oblivious or simply unaware that such a wonderful place has slipped right under their nose.
In fact, if you time it just right (or get lucky like me) you can watch the heard moving from the north to the south pasture right through the road.
The elk come so close to your car that you can smell their breath, though you might wish you hadn't.
And it wouldn't be Humboldt without a delightful dose of "WTF" every once in a while