I'm back on the coast and, uncharacteristically, the sun is shining. The mornings are still just above freezing though. Brrrrrrr.
|Dan Glaser from Redway, and Steve from P.E.D.A.L.|
Dan Glaser kindly hosted me for a few nights in Redway while I recouped. He shared some great stories with me about growing up in Israel and moving to Los Angeles. Now he is living a leisurely retirement, and is part of a group that has been holding a Peace Vigil every Friday for the last five years in response to the Iraq War.
|Sunrise in Redway|
|South Fork of the Eel River|
I winded my way up the South Fork of the Eel River, which, right now, is gushing and beautiful. However, in the Summer time it dries up. Like many rivers, it has been the subject of water diversion schemes. In this case, the land ridge that divided the watershed for the South Fork of the Eel from a neighboring watershed was torn apart to divert it's flow. Dan Glaser describes the scheme as 'making a whole through a mountain.' The diversion has led to decrease in Coho Salmon runs, which, among the decrease of many other migratory fish species, seems to be a theme throughout the Coastal Redwood ecosystem.
|This disgruntled face is due to the overcast sky that greeted Steve in the morning and spoiled his bathing plans. The South Fork of the Eel is in the background.|
|Top of the first ridge biking over the Coastal Range of Hwy 1. Notice my bike.|
|Looking the other direction from the top of the ridge. The downhill ride from here was definitely a highlight of the past few days. Real fast.|
Although the pictures above depict vast forests, from southern Oregon where the Coastal Redwood ecosystem begins, to where I am now, 200 miles north of San Francisco, California, we witnessed many patchy forest stands, and very few intact sections of mature Redwood trees. From the feature article of the October 2009 National Geographic magazine titled 'Tallest Trees', I learned that of the original Redwood old growth, less than 5% remains. A map from the article showing the entire Redwood ecosystem with the old growth stands highlighted is available online also, however the online map doesn't come across as well as the hard copy version. Online article:ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/redwoods/bourne-text
In Canada, the western old growth coastal forests have also been depleted to the point where the Northern Spotted Owl, which depends on old growth habitat, is now listed as endangered. Last I read, only 8 breeding pairs remain in Canada. In the US, the Spotted Owl is listed as threatened.
|Jordan Bower is walking to Mexico. We met in Leggett, and again in the Coastal Range. Safe trails Jordan!|
|Sweet stand of what I think is Red Alder|
|Not an unusual curve along Hwy. 1. Fun riding!|