Since I have been the first time in San Francisco I always wanted to see a giant redwood tree. But in all the years since 2012! and all the time I’ve been in and around San Francisco, I have never made it out to see one. Been to Alcatraz, walked multiple times to and over Fisherman’s Wharf. Had an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Café walked over the Golden Gate Bridge, eat sourdough bread at Boudin, and bought chocolate from Ghirardelli, but one thing was missing and that was seeing a giant Redwood.
Last time I visited San Francisco I made it my goal to visit the Redwoods and extended my trip by a couple of days to make it finally happen. I was also lucky that a friend of mine has offered to drive and show me one of her favorite hikes in the Muir Woods, so we went on a Sunday morning. The weather was great neither too hot nor too cold. Just perfect for a hike through a forest.
The Redwoods are just beautiful and it’s mind-boggling to know that these trees can live thousands of years and that they are part of this worlds for hundreds and hundreds of years. It certainly put some perspective to my understanding of a lifetime. A lifetime can be very short from Mayflies (24 hours), to Dragonflies (4 months), a human (avg. 80 years), Greenland sharks (300 – 600 years), and then the oldest Redwood with 2,520 years or 31.5 human lifetimes.
These trees are just remarkable and I felt a certain connection there. For a tall tree with a height of 107 m (350 ft) and a diameter of 7 m (24 ft) they have shallow roots. What’s makes them so special is that their roots spread up to 30 m (100 ft) and intertwine with roots of the neighboring Redwood trees. They create a huge network in which baby redwood trees can latch onto the roots of their parents for nutrients.
The whole forest felt very special and there was a certain vibe/energy, which was fascinating and as I touched the bark of the tree as strange as it may sound, I could feel a connection, an energy going through me. Especially touching the tree with both hands and it felt likes it goes right through and I’m nurturing the tree and he is nurturing me in a way. I felt at peace and could exchange stories with a friend, which I probably otherwise couldn’t have exchanged.
The whole experience left me with a new sense about time and appreciation of nature and it’s infinite wisdom. I think we can a learn a lot from it as it has been here much, much longer than we are. And it probably and hopefully will be much longer here. Needless to say, that it was an unforgettable experience and I’ll be back again. I would like to close this was a quote from Henry David Thoreau from his book Walden.
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods