Leaving Orick behind, Amy and I entered Redwood National Park. Or at least I think we did, it was all very confusing. Redwood National Park was established in 1968 with the joint objective of protecting the old growth coast redwood trees and also promoting tourism in the area. There were a number of State Parks already in existence and these became partly incorporated into the new National Park, but they also retained their individual entities. Add to all this that the area was later designated a World Heritage Site and, even more recently, an International Biosphere Reserve, and you can see how confusing it gets. At any one time you might be in a National Park, a State Park a Heritage Site or a Biosphere Reserve, or all four. The giant trees must get awfully mixed up and it is a miracle that they manage to grow up so tall and straight. We had been provided with a map which marked all the different parks, sites and reserves in different shades of green but eventually Amy decided that this was the cause of even more confusion so she chewed it up.
As we walked along I tried to interest her in the dominant fauna and launched into yet another lecture about Redwood trees. "There are three members of the redwood family", I told Amy : "coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) of the California coastal fog belt, giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) of the Sierra Nevada, and dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) of central China". "Which is the largest?", I felt Amy wanting to ask me (sometimes I have to prompt some of her questions as she is not over loquacious in the mornings). "Good question", I answered obligingly. "Coast Redwoods, like these", I pointed to a convenient tree we were passing at the time, "are younger, lighter, but taller, whereas giant sequoias are older, broader and heavier". She looked a little unsure about my explanation. "Think of it this way", I told her, "Guy is taller than you" - Guy is Amy's Great Dane friend - "but you are fatter". Following that little bon mot, she didn't speak to me for the rest of the day.