We got up on Sunday to another beautiful morning.  Our plans for the day were to borrow our friends' car (thanks Laura and Dustin) and drive up to Muir Woods National Monument.  Muir Woods is a small grove of coastal redwoods very near San Francisco.  Coastal redwoods are taller and thinner than the other type of redwood tree, the sequoia.  We picked up the car around 9:15 and set off over the Golden Gate Bridge to find Muir Woods.  We got there in about 15 minutes and found a place to park.  At this time, the lot was almost full.  Apparently, the park gets very popular on the weekends.  We upgraded our RMNP pass to a full national parks pass and entered the park.  The park is pretty small, so we pretty much just set off along the main loop trail.  You get to the redwoods in just a minute or two down the trail.  The area was full of people and very noisy, it just didn't fit the scenery very well.  It had been about 15 years since either of us had seen any redwood trees, and it is hard to remember just how big and tall they really are.  The only other types of trees we've ever seen that compare are the Kauri trees in New Zealand.  I took a bunch of different pictures, but there really isn't any way to capture these amazing trees with a camera.

Amazing Coastal Redwoods

We continued on through the trail and the crowds thinned out and it was actually pretty peaceful back in the redwood grove.  On this picture, you can just make out Erin in the bottom right hand corner.  This was an attempt to present some scale for these trees.

Erin next to some redwoods

There was a nice little stream running through the grove.  We just couldn't get over how this terrain and forest was so different from just a mile or two away from the park.  It truly is a perfect example of a microclimate.

Stream along the trail

We continued along the loop and finished it off.  I'm glad we got here when we did, because by the time we left, people were parking over a mile down the road.  We decided to drive along highway 1 to see some of the California coastline.  If you've never been, highway 1 is very curvy and slow, but very scenic along many stretches.  After just a little bit we came to a nice beach.  We stopped and stretched our legs and walked along the beach for a little bit.

The Pacific Ocean

We decided to continue driving up highway 1, but it ended up being a stretch that was pretty far from the ocean, so we ended up driving back inland to find some lunch.  We stopped at a little bakery and had some calzones.  We got to sit outside and enjoy the nice day.  Afterwards, we headed to Sonoma to just walk around and check out the town.  Sonoma has a wonderful little downtown with shops and restaurants.  We spent a while walking around the town and went to check out Napa.  That was a mistake.  We thought Napa would have a similar downtown, but it really didn't.  There wasn't much to see, but there were a million people driving around and we got stuck in some traffic on our way back to San Francisco.  Eventually, we made it back and returned the car.  We headed back to our hotel and ate dinner nearby.

Continue to Day 4

Back to trip home