It was a great day for exploring the great outdoors.
Sunday morning Dave and I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on picnic essentials including cheese, baguette, shrimp salad, prosciutto … the usual. We put these items in a backpack, along with a bottle of our finest Lakeridge Winery wine (which made the move from Orlando), suited up in our Sunday-best sweatsuits and headed out into the wilderness.
Not only did we cross the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time, but we also went well into Marin County and drove up an extremely narrow, winding mountain road before arriving at Muir Woods — a national park in Mill Valley, California. Muir Woods is one of the last old-growth coastal redwood forests on the planet and comes as a highly recommended wilderness experience.
Dave has been eager to see the “big redwoods” ever since we arrived, and see them we did. We hiked for nearly four hours through the woods, most of the time on a path beneath the shaded cover of the huge redwood trees. After more than an hour-and-a-half of uphill climbing, we reached the top. We emerged from the tree cover to a sunny side of the mountain, where we set up our picnic and enjoyed the views of mountains, valleys and gorgeous scenery as far as the eye can see.
While it was a little busy near the Muir Woods Visitor Center on such a picturesque Sunday, once we got out into the trails it was incredibly quiet. In fact, it may have been the least amount of noise I’ve heard since moving to San Francisco.
When you live in the heart of a big city, not a moment goes by that you can’t hear at least some sounds from the street. If you don’t hear street sounds, you hear the TV, or the heater or whatever it is that you’re using to drown out the street sounds. However, Sunday afternoon in Muir Woods, there were times when I heard nothing at all but silence.
We never went on a hike in Orlando, nor did we ever take an out-of-county trip to see a natural landmark just because. Living in San Francisco, with its proximity to so many amazing outdoor and indoor activities, has certainly improved our list of “what to do today” — especially on what could have been a lazy Sunday watching TV.
While it did cost $6 to go back over the Golden Gate Bridge, we lucked out on park entry fee. It was free admission Sunday at Muir Woods. Score! That’s money that can be used toward another baguette!