Today we went to the Tree Farm, which is actually a (very) small portion of the Mendocino National Forest. The official title is the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center. For my readers who live in Chico, it is possible to live here for years and not even know it's there (I did) because it's sort of hidden behind the Skyway Italian Cottage in those roads behind that shopping center. It's down Cramer Lane if you want to check Google Maps.
It was, until recently, known as the "Dog Park" which was part of what kept us from going there very often. It was a place where people could go and let their dogs run free of leashes. All of the havoc you would imagine from that set-up ensued and now dog leashes are strictly enforced.
Which is good for us because now we can take our dogs there. Ginger looks intimidating to some people and Schubert is not a very well behaved little dog, so we never let them outside without leashes and try not to take them places where others don't extend the same courtesy.
The tree farm mainly looks like this. It's like walking into a Tolkien story (except with paved trails.)
Here's Laurie on the trail.
Here's me by a very large and old tree. I imagine a lizard just ran by my feet or something.
They have many types of trees, many of which are not indigenous to the area. Comanche Creek runs through the park and the lion's share of the trees grow near the creekside.
One of the more recent photographs of me that I've actually liked.
It is 209 acres of land, so there is more than the creekside trees. The back of the park looks like the picture below with many trees growing in rows. It's a nursery area of trees whose seeds have been gathered throughout the North State. I have heard that they are the most genetically superior of those seeds, so we're helping evolution along, fighting against encroaching civilization. The pinnacle of Ishi Nation saplings, cultivated and preserved by one of our greatest social programs!
You can get a really nice, 45 minute or so hike on that back trail and now that they've outlawed unleashed dogs it seems like you can pretty much have the park to yourself. We did and it's even a holiday weekend!
It was a really lovely way to spend an afternoon. One which I imagine we'll be repeating soon.