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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vacay to SF: The Coastal Redwood Forest

Since we weren’t at our fancy shamcy hotel anymore we had to fend for ourselves for breakfast. Sure if we wanted to get up EARLY and rush we could have partaken in what I am sure would have been a crappy Super 8 continental breakfast that was free but instead we opted to wake up slow, pack slow and find a breakfast place nearby. With the smart phone I found a place around the corner with awesome reviews, the problem sometimes with reviews is that they mostly accurately review the food not exactly the ambiance. We were less than thrilled walking into the tiny cramped space that was GoLo however we were overwhelmed by the smiling friendly owner and amazing food. Ms. Pool Shark let me order a variety of things and we just shared; BLTA on wheat, strawberry waffles and sweet potato mixed home fries. YUMMMMM!

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Since yesterday on our tour we only stopped at one of the lookouts for the Golden Gate Bridge and since Ms. Pool Shark and I both got distracted in different directions we didn’t get a photo together with the bridge, and because I totally wanted to get a belly bump photo for my shadowbox in the nursery, and because the tour didn’t get to my favorite Golden Gate Bridge lookout we decided to stop and see it again abet from a different angle. It’s a short little hike up a short little hill and then you reach the crest and see this awesome vista. Ms. Pool Shark took my pregnancy photo even going so far as removing some trash someone had left tied up there. She’s a good Samaritan and started carrying the trash down the hill to throw away. But then we kept getting these weird looks. Yup, just two girls walking down the hill from the bridge at 11am, one pregnant, carrying an empty beer case. Totally normal!

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We were torn on what to do with our last half day in San Francisco between taking a boat to visit the Alcatraz island and ruins or driving an hour north to see the Coastal Redwood Forest. Both options sounded equally appealing and we were having a hard time trying to decide. But when I called for the Alcatraz trip to find out the cost I also found out that it was sold out. Decision made for us, the Coastal Redwood Forest it is!

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We got up there around noon and were immediately awed by how TALL these trees are. The Coastal Redwoods are the tallest in the world but they don’t have the girth that the inland Redwood forest has (I still have to get there too!). Throughout the 2.5 mile hike we took there were signs explaining how old these trees actually are. This is one of the only old forest sections of Coastal Redwoods. This forest has never been cut, it is as it has been for thousands of years and you can feel the ancientness in your toes. We love nature!

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A tree can grow for thousands of years and then it can get sick, the tree could have such hardship that the trunk could be no more, however the tree does not die. It lives on in its roots. Young trees start sprouting around the now damaged center tree creating a circle of trees all coming from the same root system; a family of trees rising up from one single damaged tree. We saw several of these and the thought of a family of trees made me smile.

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With all the information boards plus the brochure we picked up when we paid there was so much to learn but I loved it when we ran into a lecture by a ranger just starting. Its amazing that such gigantic trees come from such a tiny little seed!

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After being in the city for days, after not having as many outdoor adventures because I am pregnant I just soaked up being in the forest. It really is my personal form of meditation. In fact Ms. Pool Shark and I were talking about how RELAXING walking through the redwoods was that we were actually getting sleepy. As in the nature was literally lulling us into wanting to take a nap.

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But then we got to the hill. The hill that warned that strollers were not advised, that the trail was rutted, rocky, steep and narrow. The path went in a big loop so our options were to go back the way we came or to just continue on. We went slow and got to the top of the hill were thankfully the path totally leveled out. As long as we stayed away from the steep edge we were just fine.

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We were about a half mile from our car and I was starting to get more than a little cranky. I was tired, I was thirsty, I was hungry and I was eight months pregnant. This is the only excuse I can give for what happened next. All through the redwoods there were signs, signs to keep your voice down, and believe me as a nature lover I am all about preserving some quiet. However Ms. Pool Shark had gotten quite a bit ahead of me and I called out to her to slow down for a minute. Unfortunately that is when a woman had just come around the bend, she was coming toward me, and as she passed she said in an annoyed voice that maybe I should keep my voice down, that this was a quiet area.

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At first I was stunned, I hadn’t been that loud, and it wasn’t like I was screaming historically or being a drunken idiot, I simply called out to my friend. My silence quickly turned into anger and as Ms. Pool Shark reached my side I furiously told her what THAT WOMAN said to me. Ms. Pool Shark tried to comfort me:

PS: “I think that she was trying to be quiet and find some creatures in the bushes.”
Me: “I wish one of those creatures would jump out and eat her FACE!”

I blame the hormones and my general crabbiness for my inability to calm down. We looked at each other and then erupted in a fit of giggles, not silent giggles I might add so here we are making more noise. The laughing was exactly what I needed. We were able to finish the hike, get to the car and head for lunch.

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We ate in the same sleepy town we had visited the day before with our tour guide, this time we asked around for a good sandwich place with a good view of the water and were directed to Salitos. The food was just ok, it wasn’t fantastic and it wasn’t what I was looking for but hey I am picky. I was even more upset that this awesome sandwich place didn’t have great French fries. Instead they didn’t even have French fries but some basterdized fancy potato smashed, half-baked/half-fried monstrosity that they were trying to pawn off as French fries. At least the water was good and refreshing and the view was incredible.

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On the way home we decided to take the long way. Ms. Pool Shark has never driven on the 1, the Pacific Coast Highway touted as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Even though it would add about 2 hours to our already long drive we had to do it. The views are incredible and it is an experience of a lifetime. Besides you only live once and we can sleep in tomorrow morning! At least sleep in a little bit.

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That last hour and a half trying to get home was pure torture. Ms. Pool Shark was driving and we were chatting trying to keep each other awake. We rolled in about 2:30am in the morning and immediately fell blissfully into bed. Home sweet home!

2 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

According to the sign, looks like you won't be returning to this trail with the baby. Beach shots are beautiful.

Inzodda said...

The part about the monstrosity they tried to pass off as french fries made me laugh out loud. Those potatoes were horrible. Waaaaaaaa!! Remember the dog we were worried about in the water?

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