San Francisco Day 2: Muir Woods

We started off our second day in San Fran with a delicious breakfast! Dad and Will scouted out this hole-in-the wall diner the night before, and boy was it a gem! We thought our bellies would be full all day, but we ended up walking off more than just omelette calories.
We headed over the famous golden gate bridge on our way to Muir woods. Engineer-in-training, Will, gave us a lesson on suspension, tension, and compression on the national icon. I of course, sang the full house theme song 🙂

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Next we headed to Muir woods, the state park of the beautiful coastal redwoods. I personally found this whole park breath taking. These massive trees are over 350 feet tall. It is hard for me to even put 300 feet into perspective. Just imagine, the length of a football field…standing up on end. These pictures don’t even do it justice. These massive trees are 500-1200 years old. I think it is so cool knowing that these trees have been on this planet for so much history!

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I found it interesting that these massively tall trees only have a root system that reaches about 10-12 feet into the ground. Instead of reaching deep, the redwoods spread their roots wide and intertwine with other redwoods creating a network of roots along the forest floor. How cool!

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As you can imagine, these ancient redwood trees require a lot of water, 200-400 gallons a day! And to think, I have trouble drinking a full water bottle daily. The leaves are found at the tops of the trees only, and were created to be flat and absorb San Fran’s famous fog in order to nourish the tree tops. The closer to a water source, the larger the trees are. The area with the biggest trees was right along the stream and called cathedral grove, which was my favorite part. Signs asked visitors to stay quiet in this area to better observe nature. I loved listening to the birds, trickling of the creek, and rustling of the foliage. It is places like these were I feel closest to God: disconnecting from the hub bub of today’s busy world and reconnecting with and appreciating His beautiful creation.

We spent about 4 hours hiking up and down the hillsides admiring the stunning views. If you know my mom, you know when she power walks, she could probably give Usain Bolt a run for his money (Only on flat land that is). Mom was born and raised in Illinois, and by result, is a flat-land-lady. Mom lost the normal pep in her step as we climbed up hill after hill. Many breaks to catch our breath were always great photo ops!

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Getting back in the car, I think we were tuckered and ready for a nap, but with my experience with motion sickness yesterday, there was no way I could close my eyes with dad behind the wheel zipping through the twists and turns of pacific coast highway (PCH). We had to inform him that these signs, did NOT indicate snakes ahead.

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SLOW DOWN DAD!

After grabbing lunch we got a little lost when our planned route was closed for construction. We ended up at an old army fort with an amazing view of the golden gate bridge, the San Fransisco skyline, Alcatraz, and Angel island. Of course we took a lot of photos. While looking into the bay we noticed some large splashes right below. There was a whole school of dolphins! Not a bad detour if you ask me!

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After getting back on track we reached our intended destination: a Marine mammal rescue hospital. These workers and volunteers rescue and rehab sick mammals. We saw sea lions, elephant seals, and harbor seals as they fed and prepared them to be released back to their natural habitat.

We drove and hiked around the area checking out army gun emplacements that were built into the hills and could even see some wild harbor seals playing in the bay below.

Another great day of vacation! Tonight we pick up Shay, (my sister— check her out at CallMeShannon.com) from the airport. We are sure to sleep like babies tonight as we get ready for a full day tomorrow!
Take it easy:-)

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