Though I was bummed I accidentally left my John Muir shirt at home, it didn't take too much time in Muir Woods to forget about my error. The hilly drive through San Francisco bumper to bumper traffic while crossing bridges and winding around serpentine roads was adventurous, but the sights and sounds of this national monument made all the travel troubles worth it.
When we saw the "Muir Woods parking full" sign on the freeway a few miles from our destination, we knew the woods were crowded. It's always a blessing and a curse when so many people take over nature. While it is great to see people out and about enjoying nature, it sort of takes away from the tranquility and serenity offered by the woods. However, the crowds here were quite respectful and the overall feel of the park was still very natural.
As we ventured into what Embry called the "red woods," the amazing smell first caught our eyes, or noses. So fresh. The amazing collection of trees was impressive from ground level, bit as we took the hillside trail, a trail that took you among the canopy of these towering giants, you got a whole new perspective and appreciation of just how skyscraping these beauties were.
Along the way, small cascading streams guided the way. Huge crayfish scoured the stream in search of lunch. Many trees had "caves" at their bases, perfect for exploring and mugging for the camera. There were also many rocks along the way that our daughter just had to climb and jump off of. One of Embry's favorite tricks was being able to "squeeze the trees" as she walked between trees along the trail.
When we reached the end of our hikes for the day, we stopped by the gift shop. Besides getting a new shirt for my nature kindergarten wardrobe, I posed with John Muir himself and Embry rode a bear and we enjoyed some natural artwork.
Muir Woods was a beautiful and popular place I look forward to returning to and exploring again someday.
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