July 19, 2016 – on our way to Muir Woods & Sausalita, CA. It’s about 100 miles from Cousin Joyce’s house (in Modesto) and she came with us. In fact, she drove, as that was preferable to climbing into the back of our little Mini Cooper, MURTLE.
We passed through cities … and industrial centers …
Upon arriving, we realized that we had left the “Handicap” sign in MURTLE, and there were so many people and cars that it looked as if we would be walking a mile or two before even entering the Park. The nice Park employee standing next to Tom, here, was kind enough to give us a temporary Handicap paper and showed us where to park, right near the entrance … he saved the day!!
Panoramic view in the Muir Woods:
In 1847, the Austrian botanist, Stephen Endlicher, proposed the name Sequoia sempervirens for the trees. It is believed he did so to honor the Cherokee scholar, Sequoyah (pictured), who had invented an alphabet for the spoken language of his people. This information and picture is on one of the boards posted in the park.
For example, before it fell in 1930, this tree had seen more than 1000 years of history:
A – 1908 – MUIR WOODS NATIONAL MONUMENT ESTABLISHED
B – 1849 – CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH
C – 1776 – DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
D – 1607 – JAMESTOWN VA ESTABLISHED BY ENGLISH COLONISTS
E – 1492 – COLUMBUS SAILS TO AMERICA
F – 1325 – AZTECS BEGIN CONSTRCTION OF TENOCHITLAN, MEXICO
G – 1100 – BUILDING OF CLIFF DWELLINGS BEGINS, MESA VERDE
H – 909 AD, TREE IS BORN
More trees. How small we look near them. See Joyce pointing to … nothing, actually, but she made everybody nearby look, too, just for fun.
Looking up was enough to make one dizzy. We appreciated the sign asking people not to pollute the park with their own fragrances.
Here Tom and Joyce are sitting on a bench in the First Amendment Area. These are areas especially set aside in national parks and other public places for protestors. The sign at the lower right of the picture explains it, saying: ” This area has been set aside for individuals or groups exercising their constitutional first amendment rights. The National Park Service neither encourages nor discourages or otherwise endorses these activities and receives no funds in relation to these activities.”
Even the dead tree trunks were dramatic
Besides trees, there were lots of other plants, many we had never seen before, but we are not botanists, or farmers, so I have only unlabeled pictures for the most part. Joyce, however, as a local farmer, is far more knowledgeable. Below is a short video where she explains the horsetail fern:
More plants growing in Muir Woods
Here, Joyce gives us a lesson (which I have totally forgotten) about clover
Not sure what this is, but it is VERY green, no?
When these giant trees fall, they continue as part of environment. Notice how many “babies” have grown up from this horizontal trunk.
We did get lots of nice pictures of deer. They were shy, but seemed unafraid of all us primates roaming through their territory. Below are two short videos and some stills.
Below is a “gopher hole” created for defense of San Francisco Bay from enemy ships after Pearl Harbor. They were built to house soldiers who manned very powerful spotting scopes to relay positions of any enemy ship to a central communications and plotting center, so powerful guns in nearby batteries could aim accurately and take them out.
Although these gopher holes are located in the Bay Area of California, they can be cold, foggy, and windy even in the summer. In the summer of 1944, a request was put in for a supply of cold weather parkas and fur lined boots. The supply sergeant at the Army depot called them, very confused, because he had just shipped an order of summer-weight shorts to the nearby base at Hamilton Field.
Driving through the residential streets of nearby Sausalito, we have few pictures, mainly because Shula in the back seat (with the camera) was holding onto the car with both hands. The roads are narrow and steep, and you seem to be driving right over houses on the level below you. Even the smallest houses located there are very expensive, I’m told, but to tell the truth, I wouldn’t live there if you gave me one for free. We also noticed that there seemed to be the largest concentration of Mini Cooper cars we have ever seen — at least one or two per block. We suspect this is because the only reasonable car to drive on these roads would be the smallest one you can find. Mini Coopers are small … and they hug the road.
Below are some pictures of the harbor with walkways and lots of boats.
We found a gift shop, and sat near the water at a snack bar, watching bikers, waves, boats, etc. Very pleasant, especially after the miles of walking through the forest.