Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MUIR WOODS


When a friend of ours heard we would be in San Francisco, she recommended we take a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge, into Marin County (the land of the rich and famous) and up into the incredible Coast Redwood forest that is Muir Woods. Have you ever heard of a Coast Redwood before? I hadn't, but when our tour guide started talking about them on the bus trip out to see them, my heart started pounding with sheer excitement, for I was about to see some of the oldest and tallest trees on the planet. These evergreens are over 100 metres in height (excluding the roots) and are known to live beyond 2000 years. And you know what else? When the old, old trees can't hold themselves up in their old age, they drop their seeds around them and their baby trees grow around them, supporting them just like we should do with our folks! Most photos can't capture the sheer height and width of these wonderful trees - you really must see them for yourself - but I think I might be able to give you an idea of just how towering they are. Look at how tiny this kid is in comparison to the forest around him - and I haven't captured anywhere NEAR the top of those trees!


And what about how small James and I look (pardon my expression in this picture) in comparison to this fallen one? I wonder what it would be like to see and hear a tree such as this one crash to the ground:


I would love to write an essay on these trees and the wonderful world of Marin County but I would be here all day. If any of you are planning to go to SF, you're going to need to know the name of our out-of-this-world, human encyclopaedia tour guide so you, too, can get your head filled with all sorts of crazy, interesting facts. For instance, did you know George Lucas' Skywalker ranch is out in Marin County? And the area's surf beaches are notorious for shark attacks that are nearly always non-fatal. The reason for that has to do with the fact it's so cold and the sharks need to conserve as much energy as possible. So, instead of mauling you aggressively, which does take up a lot of their energy, they'll bite you then swim slowly around you as they wait for you to bleed to death. Luckily for a surfer with a shark bite, they've got time to swim away and a chopper can be there in minutes, hence the survival rates. FYI, the high incidence of shark attacks is no deterrent to surfers; we saw a number of them heading out to catch a wave. Anyway, this wasn't meant to be the point of today's post but it was too interesting not to share. Let me leave you with the pictures of Muir Woods and I'll check back in here when I'm in Mexico City. I have so much more I want to tell you, and if I get a quiet moment, you're going to be bombarded with one long post!

 





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