The Indistinct Redwood National Park and a Bunch of Other Indistinct Little Parks

So after the coast, the trees. Y’know, on my cross-country road trip, during which I visited a bunch of parks, it came to my attention that not every national park is like the national parks in Washington state. The parks in Washington state make sense to me. They’re big, there’s a lot to do there, they have visitor’s centers, they’re where the important topographical features are, and when you’re in the park, you’re in the park. Some of the other parks violate these guidelines.

Redwoods, for instance — well mostly you just never know if you’re in the park or not. Many of the most “important” trees are in state parks that adjoin the national park for some reason. I dunno. There’s a reason: people got worried about the ability to protect redwood forests, some of which were already part of state parks, and so lobbied a then-friendly federal government into buying up a bunch of random plots of land (so ungefähr).

Plus it’s just trees.

highway 101 near redwoods national park

No redwoods are actually included in this picture.

redwood trees in california

These trees' souls have now been stolen.

avenue of the giants -- redwood trees in california

"Avenue of the Giants", which I don't think ever passes into land that's technically part of the national park.

They don’t charge to enter the national park, either, which on the one hand seems appropriate since I’m not sure anyone ever *does* enter the park, but on the other hand they charge for all the parks in Washington state, which is where the *correct* national parks are located. Or something.

fallen redwood tree

It's sort of easier to appreciate how tall the trees are when they're lying down.

Up to 300 feet is how tall they are, tallest living things in the world. They’re not the biggest in volume, though (the sequoias are). ‘Course, they’re a little more normal-looking than the sequoias. Not that there’s anything not-wrong with that.

Oh, and:

california camping fees

In case you didn’t quite catch that, that’s $35 that the State of California is trying to charge for a night of camping. Surprisingly, the campground was empty.