Driving up and down and around the windy roads is an adventure in itself. They lead you to the Golden State’s Muir Woods National Monument on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast. The crisp, fresh air shocks your nerves while the vibrant colors of red, green, and blue soothe them. You’re surrounded by the towering redwoods who’ve watched people come and go in and out of their territory in awe for hundreds of years. They are an extensive family posted and scattered across all 554 acres of rich, moist soil, dampened by the marine layer fog. As you look forward you see their sturdy and long legs, but when you look up…
…you can see their slender, crooked arms spider across the sky and sway with the wind while they shower thick, short needles of green on your forehead. The tallest in the Muir Woods family is 258 feet and the eldest is 1,200 years old. Imagine if we could live that long or grow that tall. How many things we could do, how many people we could meet, how many things we could learn about ourselves or about the world around us. Imagine if we were posted in one spot like these redwoods for hundreds of years watching others admire our magnanimity, our substantial nobility, our grandeur. Although they can not speak or move, I believe they send us individual messages so they can move through us. The amount of work these majestic beasts have put into themselves to become the beautiful creatures they are is effortless, they just be and that is all it takes for them to speak.
I felt as if this particular group of redwoods were looking specifically at me, watching my every move in their domain, guarding what is theirs, owning the space around me and the ground I stepped on. They were alert and vigilant, yet I felt as if they were observing me, looking through me, seeing what I am as people have done to them. I can only imagine what they think about me.
“It looks very short. Maybe a little over 5 feet? It has long, dark leaves or vines from it’s top and not very slender.”
Visitors can enjoy the tallest trees on earth while they hike and bike on the designated trails throughout Muir Woods. Lodging, camping, picnicking, and pets are not allowed in the monument; however in the neighboring Mount Tamalpais State Park, camping facilities are accessible. The Visitor’s Center, gift shop, and cafe are available for hungry guests to see the history and learn more information about the Muir Woods National Monument.