The Drive-thru Chandelier (Redwood) Tree at Leggett, CA

First, where is Leggett? Leggett (formerly, Leggett Valley) is a place in Mendocino County, California. It is located on the South Fork of the Eel River 17 miles northwest of Laytonville, at an elevation of 984 feet. You can get there from Fort Bragg (the home of our club’s Model Railroad Layout) via a VERY twisty State Route 1, whose northern terminus with U.S. Route 101 is just outside the community. How big is it? The town of Leggett includes a single gas station, K-12 school, a convenience store, pizza parlor, fire station and Drive-Thru Tree. The Drive-thru tree is named the Chandelier Tree.

It is a VERY large Redwood:

Chandelier Tree. Sign

Chandelier Tree. Sign

Can you really drive through it? Yes, and you have been able to do so for many years. Look at the age of the cars in the gallery below:

 

50-Million-Year-Old Redwood Chunk Found in Diamond Mine

How long have “our” coastal redwoods existed? Well, a search for diamonds in Canada’s far north turned up a rare fossil — a chunk of a redwood sealed in volcanic rock more than 50 million years ago. A search for diamonds in Canada’s far north turned up a rare fossil — a chunk of a redwood sealed in volcanic rock more than 50 million years ago. A study of the well-preserved specimen, which also contains a sliver of amber, shows that the now-icy region where it was found had a swampier past. The wood was found a few years ago in a kimberlite pipe, named the Panda pipe, over 1,000 feet below Earth’s surface at the Ekati diamond mine, just south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the researchers say.

50 million year old piece of Redwood

50 million year old piece of Redwood

As Peanuts would say – “Good grief”.

Near Ukiah is Montgomery Woods (Montgomery State Reserve), home of one of the world’s tallest redwoods

The tallest living tree stands at 367 feet, 6 in, or five stories higher than the Statue of Liberty. It is the Mendocino Tree, a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) found at Montgomery State Reserve near Ukiah, California, USA. It is estimated to be over 1000 years old. The tree was last measured in September 1998, and was also found to have a diameter of 10 ft. 4 in. It was declared the tallest tree in 1996. More recently other redwoods have found to be taller.

My kids loved having adventures with their dad. They even had teeshirts which said, “I survived adventures with my dad.” Some of our adventures were hairier than than what was good for me let alone them. Anyway, when daughter Holly came from Connecticut to visit she wanted an “adventure.”

Notwithstanding having lived here (Fort Bragg, CA.) since 2000 I had never visited Montgomery Woods. So a visit to Montgomery Woods was mooted. Getting there isn’t real easy:

From Mendocino go 30 miles east on Comptche-Ukiah Road and pass through Comptche (it’s tiny – if you blink you’ll miss it). Continue on as it becomes Orr Hot Springs Road, a scenic, winding and poorly maintained country road. Park in the lot of the Mendocino Woods State Park on the right just east of a small bridge.”

We stopped for a libation and snack in Mendocino and off we trooped. It was well worth the effort of getting there.

Sign at the entrance

Holly checking out the sign at the entrance

Really neat A Frame bridge

Informative sign about the Pomo

Look at the size of this downed one

Is this the tallest tree?

Lots of the visitors having their pics taken in front of this one

Great adventure.

 

Big Trees in pics from way back then

I love big trees. One of my great pleasures is taking a drive to Eureka and stopping in at the Avenue of the Giants. I like it best when it’s pouring rain!!!

This pic shows, in part, why I like them so much – you stand by an old redwood and you are standing next to over a thousand years of history. Look at this pic to get the idea:

Time capsule

Time capsule

Amazing isn’t it. I don’t know how old the trees are in the gallery below apart from a lot. Alas I have few details of where they were located or cut. Double click on any one to set the gallery in action.

Climbing a Big Old One alongside Big River

These were taken by Jerry (Gerald F.) Beranek or his friends – they were climbing an old one that Gerry had located for fun. Whilst up the tree they made it “look beautiful”.

Proof there are some big ones left

Proof there are some big ones left

Starting up

Starting up

Showing how you climb a tree

Showing how you climb a tree

Cleaning out the dead stuff

Cleaning out the dead stuff

Taking a break

Taking a break

On the way down

On the way down

These pics were taken getting there and from the top of the tree Gerry and his friends climbed

Taken from Gerry's skiff

Taken from Gerry’s skiff

Early morning mist

Early morning mist

From the top of the bil ole one

From the top of the big ole one

Great pics.

The Doust Drive Thru Redwood Tree, also known as The Shrine Tree (maybe)

Doust Tree 1932

Doust Tree 1932

I have lived just north of Fort Bragg since 2000, Wife Sarah, the kids and I used to come to the Mendocino Coast for at least ten years before we moved here. Never, in all that time, have I heard of the Doust (aka the Shrine Tree????). Yes, we have driven through the Chandelier Tree at Leggett at least ten times but the Doust tree?????????????

From what I can find out the Doust Tree is situated between Myers Flat and Miranda in the Avenue of the Americas. Next time we go up to Eureka I will spend some time looking for it. If anyone has recent pictures I’d be happy to see them.