Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sites and Sights for Murder


My parents are up visiting with a guest from Germany, so Dave and I had a chance to play tourist with them today. We went to Causality for lunch and then to Muir Woods. For those of you not familiar with Muir Woods, let me quote the website: it's the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area and one of the last on the planet. It is estimated that nearly 2 million acres of forest just like Muir Woods once covered a narrow strip along the coasts of California and Oregon. Today, 97% of this has been impaired or altered and most coastal redwoods now grow on protected second and third growth forests or managed timber plantations. Thanks to William Kent's preservation efforts, Muir Woods was spared this fate and remains as a very accessible yet prime example of an old-growth forest.

"This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods.

I have to agree. I've only been there once before, back in 1995, before the trails were marked with wooden rails, keeping you on a boardwalk. No longer can tourist go into the Cathedral Grove and step inside these huge thousand year old trees, but the majesty and mystery is still evident from the trail. A creek runs next to the main trail, moss covering rocks and roots along its edge. Patches of over sized clover covers the ground and ferns reminiscent of JURASSIC PARK overhangs the creek. Gorgeous. Peaceful. And all I could think of was, "Wow, this would make a GREAT setting for a zombie story!"

Should I worry? Should I be concerned that I'm surrounded by all of this majestic beauty and all I can think of is "that huge hollowed tree would make a GREAT place to hide if you were being chased by zombies/murderers/tax collectors." My question to you all is, how often are you visiting some gorgeous or historically significant location and spend your time there thinking about using it as a setting for murder and mayhem? Given this group, I'm thinking the answer will be "Oh, heck, all the time!"

Dana Fredsti

7 comments:

Mark Troy said...

My wife and i visited Muir for the first time in July. It's a gorgeous place. We can thank Kent for having the foresight to preserve it. It never occurred to me to hide from zombies in that tree, but I did see Ewoks running through there and flying scooters crashing into the trees.

Jean Henry Mead said...

A most beautiful place, Dana! I love the redwoods and cringe when I think of all the Japanese redwood fences that precipitated the cutting down of all those beautiful giants. No wonder environmentalists have chained themselves to the trees in an attempt to save them in other areas of northern California.

Dana Fredsti said...

hee hee...Mark, Ewoks are a natural for the place, much more so than zombies. Just goes to show the differences in the way writers' minds work!

Jean, I've seen the people in their tree nests in Humboldt - all I can say is no matter how passionate about a cause I was, I would never be able to make myself go up that high in a tree without oodles of safety nets and wires... They are some very brave eco-warriors, that lot...

Tony said...

Dana, here in Humboldt we sneer at your petite little redwoods in the Bay Area. And our zombies are faster and hungrier, too. So there.

'Possum

F. M. Meredith, author said...

I love the coastal redwoods and have seen them often on trips to Crescent City. Where I live we have the Giant Sequoias--also wonderful huge ancient trees. I've put both in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Morgan Mandel said...

That place is simply astounding! Beautiful!

I also have a penchant for the darkside. It's lots of fun being that way.

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com
http://choiceonepublishing.com

Dana Fredsti said...

I love the redwood forests in Humboldt (and hey, I KNOW a Tony up in Humboldt and am now slightly suspicious) and really enjoyed Fern Canyon a lot too. It just gets prettier and prettier driving up the 101 above SF...

Our zombies down here are all ex-flower children, so they're a little more mellow. :-)