John Steinbeck once wrote that “the redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always.” He carried on that “the feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.” The Pioneer Cabin Tree, or Tunnel Tree, was one of those great Redwood trees — enticing visitors since 1880 and inspiring that “awe.” And now it’s no more, after 100 mph winds felled the 1,000 year old tree.
The Calaveras Big Trees Association made the announcement on Facebook that around two PM the ancient giant fell to earth. They lamented that “the storm was just too much for it” in their post showing the fallen tree.
The Pioneer Cabin Tree was one of many ‘drive thru‘ trees that are found around the vast Redwood forests of northern California. It was cut off from road traffic in recent years, but that didn’t stop hikers from making their way to get a photo with the tree and walk through the 137 year old tunnel in its trunk (which, may seem like kitschy novelty by today’s standards).
Jim Allday, a volunteer at the park, noted the tree’s historical significance, “the shame of it is that the history of the park is tied into this tree quite a bit.” He continued, “the inside of the Cabin Tree was covered with etchings from the 1800s. Those are lost now.”
(Via BuzzFeed News)