Friday, September 28, 2012

Redwoods National Park

Last night I made it to the redwoods just before dark.  I pulled into the Prairie Creek State Park Campground (also part of Redwood NP) and found my own little piece of heaven in a campsite (a nice change from hell a couple days ago).  The campsite was in the middle of a redwood grove and I was able to park right next to a bunch of these magnificent trees.  Two were 6 feet from the camper.  I say this is heaven for me because one of my favorite places on earth is Muir Woods National Monument just north of San Francisco.  I hiked Muir Woods as often as I could with my numerous trips to San Fran over the past 17 years with work.   But I was never able to spend the night in a redwood grove.


This morning I woke up looking through the skylight above my bed and could not believe that I was able to sleep among these ancient giants. (pic to the right-->) If you have never experienced redwoods, you should make it a point to go and spend some time in one of these groves.  It is really hard to comprehend these trees; pictures can’t even capture the feeling or size of these trees.  They can be as tall as 370 feet  ( or more, longer than a football field)  they can have a diameter of over 22 ft (longer than the truck and camper)  and they can over to 2000 years old.  To me,  it really shows how insignificant we as humans are.  We live (if we are lucky) only 0.5 % of their lifetime.  We are only 1.6 % of their height,  and only 0.02% of their weight.  But we, as humans, have destroyed 95% of them in the past 100 years.  Luckily most of the rest of them are now preserved in parks.


After many days of volcanic regions (and dusty roads) it was time to give the camper a deep cleaning.  Somehow the black volcanic ash had gotten into everything,  even inside the camper.  I spent the morning cleaning and doing some maintenance, not so bad when you’re in the middle of a redwood grove.   


In the afternoon,  I went for a hike for 4 hours deep into the redwood trails.  I don’t exactly know how far I went (it really does not matter),  because I was able to hike in my own piece of heaven for hours on end.  I only saw about 6 people the whole time on the trails.  I never got tired, and at the end,  I could not believe I had been gone 4 hours. 
To me this is the perfect meditation,  I completely cleared my mind and was able to become part of what was around me (the light, sounds, smell).  The hiking was enough to keep my mind busy by just having to keep track of where my feet went (so I didn’t trip) and other than that… I could think of nothing and just enjoy…  I didn’t even take pictures for a number of hours!

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