HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. — Enter the Avenue of the Giants and you immediately feel small. California's Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living organisms in the world and they are the main attraction in Humboldt State Park.
It’s illegal to log the old growth trees in the park, but for the last 45 years, Jim Davis has been running a chainsaw among the protected trees.
Davis is a veteran chainsaw artist and his work has become as iconic as the redwoods that surround him.
"A wise man once said there is more to a redwood than a two by four," said Davis.
Redwood art is all over Humboldt County. I mean all over. Jim didn't carve everything you see in the Avenue of the Giants, but a lot of his early work is still on display at the One Log House near Garberville.
"I've seen a lot of good carvers come and go here...'go' is the operative word," said Davis.
Much of the artist's inspiration comes from the redwoods' surroundings. Animals are a popular choice, but there is also a Native American influence and don't forget the tributes to the fishing and marine life from the Pacific Ocean.
Chainsaw art in the redwoods
To make a living, Jim has been forced to take his carving skills all over California. Places like Marin County and Lake Tahoe paid his bills, but if you ask him, there's no better place to showcase his art than the Avenue of the Giants.
"I really feel I have a spiritual connection to it," Davis said.