To get to Muir Woods, filled with its towering, regal redwoods, you have to drive through eucalyptus groves that remind me of Australia. Although, in Australia the roads are straight and long and here, they are winding and narrow.
I arrived at the park early, which was good, since it was a sunny Martin Luther King Day and by the time I left, cars were parked two miles down the road and a ranger was directing traffic.
Muir Woods doesn’t have the largest redwoods, but its trees are some of the most historic. It’s an easy two-mile hike from beginning to end. But if you stay on the main paved trail, you’ve sort of missed the whole point.
You see, a redwood needs to be touched. In fact, a redwood needs to embrace you. You need to sit inside its trunk and feel the slow beat of time, hundreds and hundreds of years. Sure, you can march through the forest and stay on the main trail, even gaze up in wonder, but to really reap the benefits of a redwood you must sit and listen. Sit and dream. Sit and absorb the ancient knowledge of trees and the magic of the forest.
I can’t tell you what it will whisper to you. I can only tell you that it’s a joy to listen.