Wednesday, August 08, 2007

our excellent adventure part V

Today was devoted to the natural phenomena that only Mother Nature can conjure up. We crossed the manmade phenomenon called the Golden Gate Bridge on our way to the purity of the natural Redwood forest of Muir Wood. What man is able to produce is insignificant when placed against the backdrop of a giant Redwood.

We drove the twisted mountainside road that is US 1 after leaving the upscale tackiness of Sausolito. We stopped for lunch at a teahouse restaurant along the main strip of Sausolito after strolling among the other tourists, all trying to justify the overpriced purchase of some gimcrack souvenir from the hucksters in their fancy shops. We resisted the temptation to empty my wallet on any Chinese-made doodads and contented ourselves with the knowledge that far more worthwhile sights awaited us down the road. And once on that curving narrow two lane ribbon of blacktop glued to the mountainside, we were rewarded with vistas of high hills and forests and sky and water that defies description.

I have to admit that I only caught the occassional glimpse of the spectacular scenery since my eyes were glued to the road with its challenging curves and steep dips and climbs. I love to drive and that road provided a unique driving experience. Mary was clutching desparately to anything that offered some connection to reality, all the while praying that the car would instantly sprout wings to save us as we plunged over the side. Fortunately the car's wheels stayed attached to the road and we survived to tell the tale.

Our destination was Muir Wood National Monument, the repository of those mammoth Redwood trees. If you have never seen a Redwood you have no reference point with which to compare the majesty of those spectacular forces of nature. Anything that man can make pales in comparison to the magnificence of those trees. Calling them trees even seems to diminish their presence. I have never felt as small in the presence of any other natural phenomonon, whether mountain or ocean. You can't really touch a mountain or ocean to feel the connection you get when touching the bark of a 200 foot high 3,ooo year old tree standing alongside the path you are walking on. You can't really occupy the space alongside a mountain or ocean as you can with a huge ancient tree that was there long before you were ever a kernal in the imagination of whatever God is responsible for all this incredibly unbelievible TREEness. I will never forget the feeling.

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