I love the juxtaposition of the city to nature you get out here. Last week we headed west through Saratoga into the mountains to visit the redwood forest in Big Basin. The city slowly fades, then abruptly ceases as the road makes its curving ascent. The map said it was 28 miles, but it took over an hour because the road was so windy.
Along the way, we pulled over alongside a ridge to go for a walk down one of the many paths they have scattered all over these hills. It was like we were in an altogether different climate more akin to a cold and clammy rainforest than to the city we left behind, or the redwood groves to which we were headed. It wasn’t clammy in a bad way. It was absolutely refreshing. The air was crisp and clean with a heavy hint of moisture that left your lungs feeling pure. Everything was covered in moss, the volcanic rocks making up the hills were in a constant state of erosion and littered the path, and a silence permeated the air broken only by our footsteps and the occasional bird song. This, all just a short thirty minutes away from the maniacal traffic swarming around our apartment at all hours. I love it out here.
Big Basin State Park was another harrowing jaunt through the woods and down into a valley filled with towering redwoods. We followed a path for a few miles in search of yet another waterfall. That seems to be our life when we’re out here. Redwoods and waterfalls. There’s something surreal about walking through groves of trees hundreds, even thousands of years old. I should have been a park ranger. Or a power ranger. I think both are equally respectable.
I got a picture of the fire damage to many of the trees from what I assume is the prescribed fires they use to keep the forest healthy. I mentioned this back in the Yosemite post but didn’t get a good picture. Many of the groves are filled with trees whose bottoms are charred from fire, even though they’re healthy and full bodied at the top.
We’ll be back here to do some camping and spend more time exploring the area. Of course, we say that about every place we visit. There’s just so much to explore out here.
Back to the city we went, down the winding hills and into the maelstrom of cars. It’s such a short journey that it makes me feel I should be headed to the mountains every day. It’s great how you can spend the whole afternoon in the wilderness shown above with barely a soul in site, and then spend the evening at a Mediterranean restaurant eating lamb skewers, followed by straight shots of tequila across the way in an outdoor square, complete with a mariachi band.