Yesterday we spent the day in and around Muir Woods. Three years ago, we did the same day’s worth of hiking, starting at Muir Woods and ending up overlooking the Pacific Ocean near where the Dipsea Trail enters the woods going down to Deep Ravine. Only, three years ago, I asked Jen to be my wife.
I know what you’re saying; awwww, that’s the sweetest thing. And you’re right. It was pretty freaking adorable. She said yes, and we’ve been on our honeymoon ever since that day. The trail was about eleven miles roundtrip, with tons of hills, lots of sweat, and four sore calves.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a sucker for long hikes through redwood forests. Muir woods is great, but this day I thought we were going to be out of luck. At the ranger station, they were all in a tizzy because one of the redwoods had fallen and currently laid across the main path, cutting off access to much of the park. This happened a week ago, and apparently the forest rangers have the same tedious levels of bureaucracy as any other area of government, because they all seemed to be standing around, scratching their head, wondering what to do with a tree across the path.
I thought, wow, this was gonna be cool. I was gonna witness some historic, monstrous, recently deceased redwood blocking our path. It must be enormous! When we got to the tree, this is what we saw:
That’s it. I was hoping for something huge with at least ten people crushed under its girth, still desperately trying to get out. Instead, it was a trunk just below waist high. If I were brave enough, I would have thrown caution to the wind and leapt over it, evading the park rangers and their head scratching.
But no, we decided to follow the plethora of signs and find another route. I’m still surprised we were able to find a route to where we wanted to go. It was like threading a needle, and we had to take a bunch of obscure trails all around the park, up and down various mountains and crossing several streams way out of the way. But, we made it. That downed tree added a few miles to our trip, and it was an awesome hike.
The second half of the trail, after you get out of the redwoods, is a deep ravine called “Deep Ravine,” which follows a little stream down a gorge as it slowly builds and gains momentum, gathering strength from lots of additional little streams running down the sides of the mountain. Deep Ravine has its own micro-climate that’s much more similar to a rain forest than the standard redwood groves that don’t have much underbrush. This part was much easier and more relaxing until we started back up the Dipsea Trail, which is a near vertical set of steps that eventually brings you out of the woods, into some meadows overlooking the Pacific.
This is where I engaged my wife years ago, and we honored this occasion by, once again, getting cheap prebuilt subs from the local grocery store and a cheap bottle of wine. I would have lugged two bottles of wine with us, but Jen argued that one should do. Oh, all right.