The main driver of our visiting San Francisco for the second time was to visit the giant redwoods. Somehow on our previous trip in the summer of 2017 we didn’t manage it. There was people to see, arrangements to make, work to be done and SF was jam packed with summer tourists, it was all a bit too pressured. I had been keen to see these giants, but truth to tell we didn’t realise that the redwoods were as easy to get to as they are and I was disappointed. So needing to fly back to the mainland of USA from Hawaii and wanting a few days stop over a second chance for me to see the trees became a reality.
I wasn’t disappointed this time. Despite the rain of a San Francisco winter it was a genuinely awesome experience. Muir Woods is a National Monument and a protected area of some 600 acres (I think that’s right) and getting in among these ancient trees has been made easy. One might think that the paved paths and boardwalks would spoil the sense of nature but they can’t impinge on the majesty of this small forest some of whose inhabitants as 8 or 9 hundred years old.
As we walked I was trying to capture what I was feeling and was using words like serenity, beauty and peacefulness, but I also felt a watchfulness, an expectancy and a sense of community as though this place was one entity biding its time while mankind comes and goes. I count myself lucky to be there when the weather was poor; very few others were. We were able to stroll alone for long periods hearing nothing but the dripping rain and the active silence of the forest. It was magical.