Monday, October 5, 2015

Muir Woods

It is a new goal of mine to be better at blogging. I set this goal for a few reasons: 
1. I really like writing, especially about my experiences.
2. I like to be able to look back on what we have done with more detail.
3. I am horrible at keeping in contact with friends and family, so hopefully I can use this as a way to update others on our life. 
So here is blog post one of many. They wont come on a daily basis, but they will be much more frequent. So here is a backlogged post from earlier in the summer. It is now October, so I shouldn't be blogging about summer, but  I have a lot of catching up to do. 
Caitlin and I have loved exploring the bay area, and no trip to the bay would be complete without a trip to Muir Woods. Muir Woods is a famous National Park that is filled with redwoods/sequoias. We like to hike really early in the morning so we got there around 6:00 a.m. and started out hiking without anyone else on the trail.  
It was so great to be out in the woods with hardly anyone there. We were able to soak up the peace and tranquility of a forest that is normally heavily saturated with tourists. 
I love hiking with Caitlin. I always have the best view. Ha ha. She'll kill me for writing that. Oh well, sometimes she doesn't even read this. :)
Since we get out and going so early in the morning, it is always chilly in San Francisco, so we have to bundle up in order to stay warm. Slowly throughout the day, we shed numerous layers in order to prevent heat exhaustion. We have such a difficult life. :)
We did the Dipsea trail, and maybe a few other ones. We kind of just went around however far we wanted to. In the end we hiked over 10 miles, which was fine by us. We absolutely loved it. 
Since we got into the forest so early, we got a great parking spot and we didn't have to pay an entry fee. I guess nobody really cares if you enter into a National Park before it opens, just as long as they don't have to get up early to regulate it. I would recommend this to everyone. Although we did get stopped on our way back to our car asking us if we paid, we were able to get away with our free admission since the guy could definitely tell that we had been hiking for at least 10 miles. He just asks that the next time we sneak in, we let them know so they don't stop us. It was definitely a strange encounter. 
At the Muir Woods monument, there is a stairway that leads to a wooden platform that loops around some of the big trees. There are benches where you can sit and ponder or just relax. 
There were also a few trees that were cut in half. They were incredibly large. I can't believe that trees can grow that big around. Or that tall. We saw some insanely tall trees during our visit. 
We also saw some wildlife. 
Caitlin was so excited to see this banana slug. She had never seen a slug so big. Growing up in Oregon means that slugs are ultra common place, so I didn't even pause when I saw it on the path. She ogled at it for a few minutes. I guess that is the difference between an Oregonian and a Californian. And did you know, Banana Slugs are North America's largest land mollusk. They are a gastropod which means footed stomach. They crawl along the forest floor crunching up and decomposing dead material. Yeah, I learned that from the Muir Woods webpage. I guess they are kind of fascinating creatures. 
I don't know why, but we felt it necessary to take tons of pictures at every interesting tree we saw. We literally have so many pictures of us posing next to trees, in trees, hugging trees. We're like some kind of nature freaks. 
But it is cool when you can crawl inside a tree and see what the insides look like. I'm surprised when hollowed out trees are still standing. 
And of course, no trip into nature would be complete without a jumping picture. :)
So, if anyone wants to come visit us, we know how to do Muir Woods - and even better, we know how to do it for free. :) 

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