P80429Redwood Glen was the ‘camp’ that we all went to in the sixth grade. It was probably our equivalent of what is now known as ‘nature camp’. For most of us, our experience at Redwood Glen was the longest time we had ever been away from our homes and families. We arrived on Monday morning, and returned home on Friday afternoon. It was something that we looked forward to with great anticipation for the few years prior.

While there, we studied nature in a variety of ways. We found animal tracks and made plaster casts of them. We went hiking through a variety of ecosystems, and went on a night hike. We searched for fossils; and I found and still have the most complete fossil of half of a fish. We studied ecology and native flora and fauna. We identified redwoods, Douglas firs, ponderosa pines, bays, live oaks, bigleaf maples and box elders. We collected a few edible herbaceous plants and made our own salads with them. The three leaves that I collected to distinguish leaves with pinnate, palmate and parallel veins was a project in one of our botanical workshops. I described it yesterday at: https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/pinnate-leaves/

For my class, that was back in November of 1978. In 1995, when I went to grow rhododendrons nearby, I became a neighbor to Redwood Glen. I always knew where it was, but never had any excuse to stop by; until now. Some of my colleagues who manage the facilities and landscapes at a nearby conference center toured the site. I was right there with them.

Some of the buildings were new since 1978. Some had been renovated. The big dining room had not changed. What was most excellent about touring the facility was finding the same old cabin I stayed in back in 1978. I think that it was simply designated as Cabin 4 back then, but is now known as ‘PINE’.

Except for a modern roof and windows, Pine looks just like it did when I was there three decades ago. The middle front door was for the counselors who stayed in their own tiny room between the two wings to the left and right. I stayed in the wing on the right. My bunk was the lower of the two just inside the front door to the right. I so wanted to see the interior of Pine, but the door was locked.

I rarely want to see places that I remember so fondly. I prefer to remember them as they were rather than find that they had been renovated disgracefully, or demolished and replaced with something new. I sort of expected to find something new here. What an excellent surprise!P80429+

18 thoughts on “Pine

    1. I would not go back to my grandparents home because the man who purchased it showed up as we were emptying it out and told us of all the ‘improvements’ he planned to make, such as removing all the nasty bushes (the rose garden), paving all of the big front garden around a big fountain, and surrounding it with a high wrought iron fence. My great grandparent’s home a few miles away was remodeled into a sleek, modern bungalow devoid of the old English walnut trees that were there before the old house was built. I will not go there either. I did not mind going to Redwood Glen because I knew that whatever had happened to it really would have been an improvement. I was informed that the cabins will be renovated soon, but they really need it. I am pleased that they can at least be renovated and not replaced by something that would ruin what Redwood Glen is about. Even if they needed to be demolished, I know that it would be justified. That is easier to tolerate than blatant and wasteful destruction.

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      1. So do I. The old is so much better. Unfortunately, some change eventually becomes necessary. My old home in town needed a new roof. I painted the interior and put new carpet in it when I left. However, after I left, the nice old bathroom was replaced with a cheap and flimsy one that is probably falling apart after only a few years. Eventually, it will get demolished and replaced with something new, which will be change for the sake of change. Ick!

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    1. Yes, like someone else pointed out, going back is rarely a good experience. It might be the last time I go back. I suppose, it is likely that I will eventually go back for some reason or another; since we are neighbors. I suppose I could get used to it as it continued to evolve. However, if it can be avoided, I think I would prefer to not see the cabins after they are renovated.


  1. I’ve experienced going back and finding significant change, and once I returned to find things almost exactly as I remembered them: save for one much larger tree. I’m glad your return trip was such a positive one. Like you, I have wonderful memories of camp, which I revisit from time to time.

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    1. Yes, I have found the same. One home I rented while in college looks just as it did in 1988, except that an ugly and disfigured apricot tree that was too close to the porch is gone. However, my parents first home was completely removed and replaced with an unsightly monster home that fills the tiny parcel. ICK!

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  2. What a nice memory and to have the cabins looking good and the same must have been a pleasant surprise. Back in the early 80’s a friend and I went to Maine and stumbled on an old inn way too pricey for our incomes. A few years ago, I remembered it, looked it up and went there to stay with my niece. It was fabulous–just as I remembered it–and now I have new memories of it.

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    1. That is so excellent when that sort of thing happens. In our region, things change so quickly and so dramatically, and very rarely for the better. Years ago, San Jose was the fastest growing city in America. Even things that have not changed so much are extremely expensive. The home my parents lived in when I was a baby looks surprisingly similar to how it looked when they left, and the same family who purchased it back then still lives there! Even some of the old trees are still there. However, when that house eventually gets sold again, it will be worth much more than a million dollars. I do not know what my parents sold it for, but the more expensive home that my parents moved to when they sold it was purchased for $50,000.

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      1. Housing is crazy. A few years ago, I looked for a house here and I kept being outbid by people who then bulldozed the house and built something bigger, when I just wanted the actual house (and usually the yard). It’s unusual when things don’t change, I guess!

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      2. When I was looking at homes many years ago, I only looked at old homes, but found that almost all of had been remodeled with huge kitchens with granite counter tops. Some of the homes lost a bedroom to provide space for the ridiculously large kitchen, and probably part of a lavish bathroom. It seemed odd to me that the original kitchens that were small by modern standards had cooked for entire families for decades, but that the much larger and elaborate kitchens would cook for childless couples because no one with children could live in the remodeled houses lacking bedrooms.

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      3. Those couples likely don’t cook, either. A friend of mine used to admire the kitchen of some people whose kids she nannied for periodically. She loved cooking in it, but always cleaned it up carefully because it was so spotless (“not even an onion skin on the floor”). She finally realized, as she put it, “Nothing real ever happens there.” I still laugh about that, years later.

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      4. I know people who live in such homes, and it sometimes seems that the only things they use in the kitchen are the corkscrew and dishwasher (for their wineglasses). They typically have difficulty finding the corkscrew in all those cabinets. Rather than simply asking their significant other where the corkscrew is, they go about it the long way. “Dear, where did you put the corkscrew after you opened the bottle of 2010 Bordeaux from Chateau Grand-Pue-Lacoste that we paid $119 for?” If they spend that much money on rotten grape juice, it is no wonder they can not afford to buy fresh grapes or any other groceries for their big kitchen with the granite counter tops.

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  3. It’s great that they have camps like that where kids can really connect with Nature and wild things! I’m sure it made a difference in your life. From the time I was 6 to 11 yrs old, we lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. My folks ran a tourist business that was only active in the winter, so for a couple months every summer we camped in a friends woodland on Lake Champlain in Vermont. We spent every summer wandering and playing in the woods and on the lake… Some really happy memories!

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    1. In this region, iit is more important now than it was back then. We lived more of a suburban lifestyle, with more of an awareness of nature. Much of the area nearby was undeveloped. Much of it was orchards. I grew up knowing that fruit grew on trees and all sorts of vegetables grew in the home garden. We knew how to use certain resources from the forests. We knew that trees were the source of the lumber that built homes, and firewood that heated them in the winter. That same area is now very urban. There are no orchards. The forests have been subdivided and occupied by fenced monster homes. Children here are so unconnected from the world outside.


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