Thursday, May 6, 2004

Valley of the Giants

I've been searching out the most interesting places in Oregon and Washington since I was old enough to drive. It's always nice when I come across someplace that I can take my mom and dad with me. Valley of the Giants is a relatively small stand of old growth forest in the coast range of Oregon. Mom, dad and I took off early given the long drive and the labyrinth of gravel logging roads to navigate. We went on a weekend to avoid the log truck traffic. While the destination ended up being amazing, it was very disheartening to see how much destruction has taken place in our forests. Logging has gone on for far too long with reckless abandon and the evidence is all too clear. Landslides dot the landscape in one of the wettest regions in Oregon. So, it was a pleasant relief to finally make it to the trail head.

Mom poses with one of the first incredible trees

The author and another great tree

Places like this make your imagination go wild with what the Pacific NW must have been like for the pioneers. Very few low elevation stands like this still exist in western Oregon and Washington.

Mom and dad on a nurse log

The trip was great, but it was also clear that in spite of protections the BLM has put in place that the stand is getting more exposed to storm damage all the time. Logging activities in the area are putting this gem in peril. I strongly recommend seeing this place soon as we will continue to lose these irreplaceable giants.

Dad clears the way for mom to proceed

Mom returns the favor

The trip is a full day and you should go with a good map and a lot of time. The Salem BLM office will give you directions if you go in in person.

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