California Trip Day 1: Muir Woods

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After hiking Mt. Brushy we returned to my aunt’s to plan our first big adventure.  I had a client tell me about Muir Woods National Park and that it was a “must see” for my San Francisco trip.  I let Julie know and she put it on the tourist list – and it was the first thing on the list we checked off!

The park is located north of Sausalito and was about an hour drive from Livermore.  As we got closer to the park itself, the roads got higher and twistier.  We lucked out with fantastic weather (the weatherman had threatened us with storms but he didn’t know I was in town) and enjoyed several hours wandering through the trees.

A little history:  The land was established by President Theodore Roosevelt as a National Park in January of 1908 and is 554 acres, 240 of which are the famous Redwood forests.  In 1945, San Francisco was the meeting spot of the delegates of 50 countries participating in the United Nations Charter.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt died just before opening the conference and a memorial was held for him in Cathedral Grove within the park.  Since 2008 the forest has been considered a National Monument, officially on the National Register of Historic Places.

The trees that close to 1 million people come to see annually are the Coast Redwoods.  The tallest tree in Muir Woods is 258 feet and the oldest tree is at least 1,200 years old.

Entrance to the Park

Before we entered the park, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I had an idea of what trees might be inside but was not expecting the grandeur, enormity and presence of the trees.

A Great Redwood

The three of us spent most of our time walking with our heads tilted back trying to take in the pure size of the trees.  It’s incredible to think of how many years go into the creation of such a tall tree.

Looking Up

It was quiet inside the park as we walked along the trail with other visitors.  It was almost like no one wanted to disturb the peace of the tall giants.

Through the Forest

We were pressed for time so didn’t take any of the side trails deeper into the park but I really enjoyed our short hike through the forest.

Light through the trees.

Almost the entire walk was completely shady and cool because so little sunlight is able to reach the floor of the forest.  It helped with the tranquil feeling of the afternoon.

Ancient tree from 900 A.D.

This display at the end of the walk shows how the park rangers count the age of the tree by the rings in the trunk.  Marked on the stump are big dates like 1776 and 1492 – this tree was around way before then!

I am so glad we took the time to see the Redwoods.  I think their size and age are incredible – withstanding wars, storms, fires and time.  It sure can make you feel insignificant as you crick your neck backwards to see the tops of the trees!

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