Then nudged by Austin, the night before I decided I would take an adventure. What followed was the most wonderful day of the quarter. Everyone at UCSF told me that I absolutely should see Muir woods, the closest Redwood Forest- with this destination firmly in mind, I set off for the buses… only to realize that the next one wouldn’t come for four hours (oops). Fine- what would Austin do? Obviously, it would be to take 4-5 hours to walk there! With this rudimentary “plan” in mind, I spent an enjoyable hour getting lost in SF, wandering up and down hills, stopping at a fruit market, taking in the sights of the city and bay… it was a beautiful day to walk and soak in a different place.
Finally arriving at the Northern part of the city, I noticed that I could take a ferry across… or rent a bike. A few minutes later I was whizzing along, joining the mass of tourists and muscled athletes crowding the path and roads. Then the Golden Gate Bridge- first, not golden (reddish!), second, much larger than expected, third, overlooking such beautiful hills; breathtaking terrain, absolutely incredible.
After much “I-live-in-Illinois-this-is-bloody-hilly” effort, I made it up the narrow, winding roads coating the mountains that ensconced Muir Woods’s valley- biking down into the valley, descending into the weighty realm of the Redwood forest, with the wind whipping away-- I hadn’t felt this alive in ages. And the Redwoods- behemoths, staggeringly beautiful and grandiose, humbling to think of my snapshot of time, theirs, all of ours.
Thanks, Austin. Best day of my year. I know you would have eagerly walked the 20 miles to the woods and then happily hiked there, too.