Managing travel, accommodation, food and sight-seeing in a different country where one is new to most do’s and don’ts, tires no end. After 15 days in USA, we obviously were! And we needed a break from all planning, thinking and managing. So when we landed at my cousin’s home at San José, we precisely did that…….left all the decisions, planning, what to see, what to eat etc on his young shoulders.
And there he was taking us to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s wharf, the crooked street, Gherardeli Chocolate factory, Muir woods etc…..
Muir Woods National Monument, a part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area is 12 miles north of San Francisco and has old growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. The park is named after the naturalist John Muir who campaigned for establishing national parks.
As we entered the park, there was a big slice of tree trunk mounted as a plaque showing the various years of growth of the forests. The park was quiet, cool and damp….. the silence at occasions broken by the chirping of birds.
Since the park is a popular tourist attraction, there are walkways made throughout the forest to prevent the young sprouts of the trees from being crushed and destroyed under the feet of many visitors to the park.
The Sequoia, for which the park is known for, are giant trees with their heights reaching 380 feet. The bark is thick and very porous and the foliage creates a huge canopy which obstructs the sun rays from filtering down on the pathways. Most of the trees are 500 to 800 years old and the oldest one being 1200 years old.
Some trails were closed due to fallen trees when we visited the monument and we could not go to the Redwood Creek. The park has many hiking trails too though picnicking and camping are not allowed.
The Aramark Cafe was a welcome place because after walking through the park we were famished. Huge bears carved out of tree trunks were placed outside the café and our daughter made us click her photographs as she posed with each one of them. Some huge mouth-watering sandwiches and salads, and many pictures later we shopped for souvenirs in the gift shop of the cafe’ and headed for other must-dos of our list.
This post is also for A to Z challenge.