Everyone has their Grove of Titans story and now we have ours. While ours has none of the adventure and daredevil antics of the first explorers who put these enormous trees on the map — that would be Steven Sillet and Michael Taylor who in May 1998 discovered this collection of giant redwoods in the Jed Smith Forest — Meg and I still collected some scrapes and went down many a dead end before reaching our goal.
Our first encounter with a known Titan was the Del Norte Titan. We got turned back by water, had to climb over fallen trunks, surfed the false forest floor and bushwacked through thick fields of fern. In the end an open meadow announced that we’d stumbled on an unusual setting in the forest. We had a feeling we’d found Del Norte but weren’t completely sure. We took out pictures and later cross referenced with photos online. It was indeed Del Norte.
Most who write about the Grove attach an almost religious tone to the search. In the end, their location and remoteness is underwhelming, surprising. But that doesn’t detract from the awe they inspire when you stand at their base and look upward. Thankfully they remain hidden in plain sight and for that reason the hordes do not intrude. I for one will never reveal what I know. Not that I like secrets, but everyone who who has discovered their location and enjoyed that first moment when they come into view (especially El Diablo) knows that to break the code of secrecy is to unleash a certain doom. Not on my watch.