reached age 12, my father drove our family through the “Avenue of the Giants”
in northern California along the Pacific coast.
We jumped out of the station wagon to look straight up to the sky
following the 2,500 year old trunks of the gigantic redwoods also known as
magnificent “Monarchs of the mist”
stunned our family in that we drove through one of them, walked around in a
house carved out inside one of them and camped next to one. I cannot begin to tell you the magic of the
campfire and my dad telling stories while mom cooked up Dinty Moore beef
stew. To dip our slices of bread into
the broth and cook marshmallows for dessert must rank up there with, “It
doesn’t get any better than this.”
later, I bicycled down the West Coast from Canada to Mexico. I stopped to visit a few of the remaining
groves of Redwoods. Talk about a
spiritual experience! Those giant trees
began their lives before Jesus Christ walked upon the Earth.
trees live, breathe and flourish through thousands of years of fires, droughts
when loggers got hold of them in the latter part of the 1800s, they cut down
over 98 percent of those noble trees.
They cut them for lumber, railing, railroad ties and houses.
ranger said, “The General Sherman redwood could provide wood enough to build 75
homes and its branches could make picket fences around each house. Additionally, it takes 28 people touching
fingers to fingers to complete a ring around a single large redwood. Now that gives you an idea of how large they
are at the base of the tree.”
bicycle journey, I exited the highway and pushed my bike “Condor” into the
deepest part of the redwoods. I found one
burned out by a fire centuries ago. I
pitched my tent inside the tree. I cooked my dinner and dipped my bagels into
the hot soup I heated that night.
I want to
thank my dad and mom for giving me that incredible spiritual appreciation for a
hot pot of stew and a slice of bread while sitting under the giants of the
universe. I swear that God dwells among
those giants and they dwell within God.
tell you that I have never seen anything on the planet nor have I camped under
any living creature as majestic, sublime and awe-inspiring as a giant redwood.
time, I have been a member of the “Save the Redwoods League” for decades. The people who run that organization feel as
I do—that no more redwoods should be cut down.
When loggers cut down 2,500 year old trees, they cut down God’s greatest
works and nature’s finest tapestry.
ever stand among them in the mist, those trees take your heart, mind and soul
to new elevations. Your spirit soars and your senses race to life’s
I am asking: you are invited to become members of “Save the Redwoods League” by
contributing any amount of money annually, as little as $10.00, to insure that
we can keep buying the forests to take them away from the loggers. You will save those remaining trees for
future generations. You will empower
the League to buy more and more endangered redwood groves and forests. There’s only 2 percent left of the original
forests that covered California.
it’s like to look skyward from beneath a giant redwood.) Photo by Save the
Empower those who care by your
financial support. You will feel SO good
about your actions.
And, one day, when you too stand in
the mist and gaze to the heavens, you will feel what I felt and millions of
others who have stood within the magic of those uncommon monarchs of the mist.
Save the Redwoods League
114 Sansome St. Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA 94104
Joseph B. Strauss
Here, sown by the Creator's hand.
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.
The greatest of Earth's living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.
The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now-their splendor gone:
But these proud monarchs still live on.
So shall they live, when ends our days,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials' span.
This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life's proper goal:
To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.