We continue the Day Trip Series by heading to John Muir National Park and Monument. Located 45 minutes from San Francisco, the park boasts large Redwood trees, hikes and trails through the forest, providing a reprieve from the bustle of the city, with sandy beaches and expansive coastlines.
We began our morning doing a short hike through the Redwood monument. With a dense forest canopy and silence, it’s a sacred space filled with the sounds of nature and glistening sunlight. Every time I am surrounded by the massive foliage and giants of the woods, I’m reminded of the smallness and simplicity of life. Where my arms can barely wrap around a third of the tree trunks and the canopy towers feet above me. The peace of the forest somehow has the ability to bring about a sense of rest unlike anything else. It is one of my happy places. Here I’m no longer concerned about the tasks of life, the processes and systems I find myself in, or the full routine that fills my days. My mind and heart finds rest and solace, a peace unlike any other.
After a morning hiking through the mighty Redwoods, we headed to find a chill snack spot at Muir Beach. The coastline was clean and beautiful. While the water was chilly, I love dipping my toes in, squealing with delight, and running back as the tide rolls in. Granted my skinny jeans always seem to get wet, but it’s worth it. (I often mirror the behavior of sandpipers when the tide rolls in. Some might call it immature, but I love the childlike nature of it all nonetheless.) We found a washed up piece of railroad tie on the shore and draped a picnic blanket across it, making for the perfect spot to take it all in. Sometimes I find that sitting on a rock and gazing at water is just what the doctor ordered. Often like the time in the forest, the coastline brings similar vibes to mind. Maybe it’s my love for adventure and play, enjoying all the nature has to offer, or the solace that the sound of surf and sun brings. There’s something about sitting and gazing at moving water that brings raw clarity to mind, to why I create, and much needed break from a desk or classroom that fill my days.
We headed back toward San Fran with lunch of fish tacos on our mind. After stopping for a quick bite of lunch and coffee, we headed into the city for the airport, where I bid farewell to my adventure partner for this day trip. The day ended with a drive back to Redding. As the sunset kissed the Sierra Nevadas on the horizon, I’m reminded of why I do these day trips. For the adventure, for the connection, and to leave life behind if only for a day. On these days, life becomes simple. No distractions, no tasks to tend to on a phone or worrying about the time. It is in nature’s playground where I find myself, living beautifully, radically, and wonderfully with those I hold dear. Adventure and days like these are what we were made for.
Until next time my friends!
Looking for a digital download from John Muir Woods? Find it here.