on December 1, 2006
Since I’d visited San Francisco once before, I was excited to leave the city for awhile and drive north to Muir Woods. After the excursion, I think it’s an essential part of even a first-timer’s trip to San Francisco.I get excited just thinking about the drive. As my friend Kate begrudgingly drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, the three of us passengers craned our necks in every conceivable way to take in the views. There is no way to describe the beauty of the scenes, and these panoramas continued for every one of the 12 miles up to Muir Woods. The cityscape, the island of Alcatraz, the bay, the mountains, the valleys… the beauty is overwhelming.The drive took about 45 minutes because of the twists on the two-lane roads. Anything that prolonged the views was fine with me.I’d never seen redwoods before. I’d sung about them (“From the redwood forests…”) and certainly read about them, but seeing them in person was still humbling. We paid the small entrance fee and walked around for a couple of hours absorbing the sheer size and beauty of these trees. The woods feel nicely isolated, and we could hear nature sounds through the crowds.We didn’t expand on our trip with a more challenging hike through the forest, although you can. I would have liked to spend more time in the area, but we had to bring a friend straight to the airport. Still, every minute and mile to Muir Woods was well worth it.
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