Day six in California. I chose to rent a car because, while the BART is a great form of public transportation, it is limited in destinations. I wanted to have options. And actually once I started driving around the Bay Area, I was much more comfortable.
On this day I opted to go visit the redwoods north of San Francisco at the Muir Woods National Monument. The drive out there was fun and a treat. Fog hung low over the Bay, not enough to make things dangerous, but enough to give me a relaxed mellow flavor. The road up to the park was a trip – I thought I had been on some curvy roads previously… Yeah, not until I had gotten to California!
I just have to say that this place is / was one of the most serene, soothing locations I have ever been to. I suspect it has to do with the old growth forest – some of the redwoods are suspected to be at least one thousand years old. Wow!!
I went by myself, which might not be the smartest thing for hiking, but I am experienced (famous last words right?) and the place was busy enough that even on the side trails I passed people every twenty minutes or so. Just walking the boardwalks was amazing. Plus I must have encountered at least two dozen different nationalities – Koreans, Japanese, many different European languages, etc. I was very happy to see that ( I think they mostly came up on tour buses).
I would recommend starting out early – parking was crazy as I was leaving in the early afternoon. But getting there early meant it was very chilly. I had been prepared, bringing many layers, but I had to use them all until I started hiking uphill. When they say that the redwoods do not allow a lot of light to hit the forest floor, they aren’t kidding.
By 11am though, spokes of sunlight started poking through, especially on the hillside trails, and the fog quickly burned off. I had not been having the easiest visit up to this point, but any worries or concerns evaporated among these peaceful giants.
I hiked several side trails, for a few hours, including both sides of the board walk, so I might have done 7 to 8 miles total. I would recommend getting a trail map though as several trails were closed due to slides. So if you plan to hike, it will come in handy.
I wanted to hike to a point where I heard you could also see the Pacific Ocean. I did not get there though, because one of the trails was closed and I got turned around trying to climb another trail. Fortunately I feel extremely comfortable in the woods – my intuition and creative juices really start flowing – so it was no problem finding my way back down to the boardwalks.
I do not have a way of getting my camera’s pics on here yet, so I will add those in a later post.
I returned to Concord via the Golden Gate bridge. I was feeling kind of tired from hiking so I just drove through. I did not get out of my car until I happened on Fisherman’s Wharf (another place I’d recommend getting to early because parking was a bear). I just walked along the pier for a while. I saw the old Maritime ship and the view of the Bay from the water was something special! What with the fog having lifted.
There are $5 and $6 tolls to use the bridges around the Bay, so I could see those fees adding up quick. This is another reason I don’t plan to live in the city. But I definitely intend to visit the Muir Woods often and hike every available trail. I will need to find a hiking buddy though if I want to do any overnights!
In Concord, I was pleasantly surprised to find an entire shopping center in Spanish (owned by Hispanics). I ate what I think was shredded pork on a panini sandwich – nice and spicy, before heading to where I was staying. They treated me very well, which is a trait I love about most Latinos – they have kind hearts if you are open to that sort of thing. 🙂
Thanks for reading.