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Avenue of the Giants

Everything is bigger in America, even the trees.

We took the time to drive the Avenue of the Giants, a world-famous scenic route in Northern California, running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

The area has 80 per cent of the world’s tallest 137 trees. Larger trees are around 500 to 800 years old, with some being around 2000.

At several points along the 31-mile-long drive, we stretched our legs.

The forest was quiet, with foliage muffling noise from nearby roads. The light that managed to get through was soft, and flecked with red dust.

The trunks are so tall and close together your perspective is distorted, until you stand next to one and try to reach your arms around it, then you realise you may as well be hugging the Statue of Liberty.

We’ve got plenty of trees in New Zealand, I know, but the redwoods had us truly awestruck.

Here, when a tree falls, even if there is no one around to hear it, it makes a sound. Heck, it doesn’t just make a sound, it makes an earthquake.

The Dyerville Giant, a 113-meter redwood in the park, fell in 1991. Apparently, the crash was so loud that people in the closest towns thought it was a train accident. It also registered on a nearby seismograph.

I’d been most excited about visiting the cities on our trip, but at this point I realised the allure of California is its natural wonders.

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The road is narrow, and appears to be getting narrower as trees grow right to the edge

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Heh

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