Let's Talk with Terry Ambrose

October 12, 2023

Exploring a community forest and finding wonder

We spent nearly a year planning a road trip that would take us through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. But a month before our trip, it appeared that forest fires raging in all three states would kill the trip. Disheartened, but hopeful, we canceled the latter half of the trip and focused on Redwoods National Forest in Northern California. Despite the fires raging less than a hundred miles away, up until the day before our visit, it appeared we could still make that part of the trip. Then, the wind shifted.

Enjoy the serene beauty with this community forest jigsaw puzzle


Discovery of a jewel in a small town

By the time we arrived in Eureka, CA, which is southwest of where the closest fire raged, the entire region was shrouded in wildfire smoke. On our first morning, we visited a local restaurant and happened to mention our disappointment to our server. She told us about the Arcata Community Forest and suggested we give it a try.

Redwoods and fernsI had no idea that Arcata Community Forest was nestled in the heart of Arcata, CA. It’s a hidden gem that not many outsiders know about. In a world where nature seems to be overrun by urbanization, this forest serves as a breathtaking example of what can be done when people care.

As our little group entered the forest, a sense of calmness enveloped us. The air was fresh, and the natural surroundings, peaceful. Redwood trees towered over us. It’s hard to imagine that these giant trees were almost wiped out due to excessive logging in the past. Luckily, a group of concerned residents formed the Arcata Community Forest Planning Committee and worked to preserve this beautiful forest for future generations.

The result is not just a natural wonder; it also serves as a recreational area for the residents of Arcata. The forest has miles of well-maintained trails that locals use for walking, jogging, and biking. I was struck by the abundance of ferns and the sound of birds chirping in the silence.

The Arcata Community Forest is an example of what’s possible when a community comes together to preserve nature. It struck me as a perfect example of urbanization and sustainability coexisting.

Cover of Dead Men Need No Reservations by Terry AmbroseSo even though our trip was shorter and still threatened by smoke, we were able to adjust our plans to experience the wonder of a redwood forest. Do you enjoy nature? What do you like best? (beaches, mountains, forests, boating, wildlife, etc) I’d love to read your thoughts on getaways.

Have you entered our October contest yet? If you haven’t, click over to our CONTEST PAGE. The contest runs from Oct 1-22. This month Maggie Toussaint is giving away her SNUFFED OUT (writing as Valona Jones) and Cheryl Hollon is giving away her STILL KNIFE PAINTING.

By the way, we’ve got more jigsaw puzzles coming for you here at Booklovers Bench. We’ve kicked off our brand-new monthly series with a puzzle for the cover of Debra H. Goldstein’s Five Belles Too Many. And, if you enjoyed the puzzle in this post, you can find a new one each Friday on my website at terryambrose.com.

Want to learn more about author Terry Ambrose? Visit his WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Terry Ambrose • Tags: , , , , |  12 Comments


12 thoughts on “Exploring a community forest and finding wonder

  1. I love to visit new places even if only for a weekend. I tend to go where there is a beach, whether it’s the ocean or a lake. My husband and I like nature walks and spotting new birds and plants. I want to go to New Orleans some time soon. I’ve read so many books about it that I want to see it myself and try some of the foods and pastries.

  2. Thank you for sharing! What a silver lining . Beautiful pictures too. I agree that it is a balm to the soul to walk through the woods on a bright day.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I like walks in parks the best. I used to like nature trails but now I prefer paved paths, especially since bears live in the woods at Central Florida.

  4. Sounds like such a magical place. As for my love of nature and the outdoors – it’s pretty much running barefoot through an air-conditioned room.

  5. Arcata looks just beautiful. Hopefully you can visit Oregon and Washington at a later date. I have family that lives in Washington, and they love it.

  6. Loved exploring the Shawnee National Forest when I was growing up – hiking the trails and exploring the caves. Now I like to ride through the forest – that is how I saw the Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, ME and Redwoods in CA. Have a wonderful Fall Season.

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