Crescent City, CA Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is densely forested with huge ancient Coastal Redwood trees. In fact, it contains 7% of all the old-growth redwoods left in the world. The park has some trees of truly stupendous size - perhaps not quite as tall as the redwoods to the south, but bigger in diameter. Somewhere in the park is the largest coastal redwood by volume, a tree that's exceeded in size, and not by much, by only 7 giant sequoias. The tree's location is secret so that it can be protected from damage. Incredibly, these trees have an average lifespan of 500-700 years and as long as 2,000 years. To view them, we traversed Howland Hill Road, an adventure all by itself. This is a one-lane dirt road with 2-way travel. If a massive tree grew where the road should have gone, the road went around the tree. The road was originally constructed as a plank road between Crescent City and the Gasquet Toll Road during the mid-nineteenth century and hasn’t been improved to speak of since then. Along the way we stopped at Stout Grove, perhaps the world's most scenic stand of redwoods. We craned our necks trying to see the tops of the trees but to no avail. It was beautiful and serenely quiet, sound dampened out by the thick, spongy layer of needles on the ground. Jim has a fascination with slugs - sea slug, ghost slug, black slug, whatever. He was delighted to discover a banana slug among the towering redwoods. Wildlife for the day. Be warned, however: mosquitos are also plentiful here. Stout Grove is also where several scenes in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi were filmed.