I don’t get out too often and so when some poor relative or friend comes to visit, I pile on trips to all those places I want to see again and again until I die. Number 1 on my list is always … Muir Woods National Park. I know you’re thinking – what’s the big deal? Just a bunch of old growth coast redwoods, some towering over 250 feet and 200 to 800 years old. No amusement rides or zip lines through this primeval forest. If you survive the drive to the Woods, which is narrow and winding enough to require motion sickness pills, what’s there to do?
You could fall deeper in love, like this couple.
Or meander up one of the many well-maintained trails. We passed on this one as it led out of the cool canopy and into the sunshine of a very hot day.
Or contemplate the textures of a stump. What life this one has seen!
Or count the burls on a tree. Imagine this, each burl is full of un-sprouted bud tissue and serves as a storage compartment for the genetic code of the parent tree. The burls themselves differ in function and are the subject of much research (click here if interested.)
Or you can practice the art of shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Walk slowly and quietly. Listen to the songs of these ancient beings. Feel the tension lift off your shoulders and breathe in the camphor of the canopy. Bathe your senses.
Unfortunately the Woods, which used to be off the beaten path and known only to locals, have become quite popular, so if you want to visit, go early on a weekday morning before the wood nymphs, fairies and trolls have gone into hiding.