Looking for the World’s Tallest Tree: Humboldt County, California

Paul Bunyan has an axe to grind. He and his ilk don’t rule the far north of California anymore. Like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, this American folk hero “don’t get no respect.” Tearing down a swath of timber in a mighty swing is ecologically unsound and politically incorrect. A giant blue ox ploughing through the wilderness certainly has to be folklore’s answer to clear cutting.

Poor Paul.

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Grove of the Old Trees

TreeBuddha1SMPhotos (c) Russell Johnson

Occidental, California, a railroad stop in earlier times, is known for its family-style Italian restaurants. Negri’s has been a popular spot since 1943 and The Union Hotel claims to have been dishing lasagna since 1879. In nearby Bohemian Grove, the fat cats of industry and politics (mostly Republican men) frolic – sometimes naked – in the summer. In the 1940s, the Manhattan Project, which gave birth to the atomic bomb, was planned there.

But high above the clanking of forks and the clicking of tongues, is a verdant, meditative stand of old-growth redwoods called Grove of the Old Trees.

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