Mile High Trees
Filip Drambarean '08 - Let me just start off by saying that I love nature, and today’s adventure at Muir Woods was simply amazing. I have always been a big fan of scenery that differs from the flat and uneventful landscapes of what is the majority of Indiana.
Today was a good reminder of how beautiful this place really is. We quickly noticed how fresh and clean the air smelled. Our hike through the towering redwoods felt like we were in a movie (we came to the conclusion that it was the planet Endor, home of the Ewoks, from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi). It was definitely a departure from the cornfields of Indiana. My group was particularly plagued with plenty of “photo ops.” Forrest made the rookie mistake of asking what photo op actually means. I usually have an eye for these things, and I could find a Kodak moment at least once every 20 yards. Then Bryan Burzon, the freshman hopeful, proved his mettle by sacrificing a potential pose and instead taking the picture himself, a noteworthy feat by any stretch of the imagination. Who does that? I will also make it my mission to have a servant’s heart during this journey. Nevertheless, our experience in Muir Woods was completely worth it.
It should also be noted that tonight we ate some of the most amazing burgers and fries this side of the Mississippi. With a total of three different burgers, In-N-Out Burger is a staple in these parts. Keeping things simple, we feasted on double-doubles and animal-style fries. This as only the tip of the iceberg and I am very excited about the rest of this week.
Sean Foster '08-The chilly air pressed upon our backs, urging us to follow its course of freedom. With trodden tracks setting our path, no giant tree could stop our motion. We kept our pace, to keep on time so as not disgrace, up the hills ’til we could see ships setting out to the ocean. The sun soaked valley filled our eyes. We kept trekking and to our surprise, we could see the bright blue sky of morning.
If walking to the Fine Arts Center causes your calves to cry, you’ve gotta give the trails of Muir Woods a try. After a short tour of the city, and a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, we began our ascent. The sunlight took every opportunity to shine through the trees that shaded the curvaceous road to the welcome center. A wide wooden bridge led us to the trails. Where each one leads? A dollar for a map will tell.
We took the trail called Hillside and soon discovered the origin of its name. The path never ceased to rise, until it met a curve and led us toward the bay side where we stopped to smell the r..ocean. As we left the view behind, we witnessed vultures circling ’round a dead bovine and, with that, made our return. The trail back down gave us all a frown, but our stomachs were raising a clatter.
Nathan Colglazier '10 - California has some of the most amazing scenery. Pictures do not do this place justice.The woods we traveled to this morning were absolutely gorgeous. After eating a filling breakfast, including cereal, fruit, and muffins, we drove from the hotel over the famous Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods, where we were given two hours to explore. Some chose to poke around at the café and gift shop while the rest of us went off into the woods. There were boardwalks and concrete paths stretching out from the entrance. When a small group of us saw the first dirt path, we were off.
We followed this “hillside” trail over a creek and up the mountain, all the while snapping pictures of the tall trees, rushing creek, and fallen timbers. An hour into our hike, we met up with some others and came to a junction in the trail. Some people decided to take the sure safe way back. Clay Zook, Scott Pond, and I all decided that was not what we came here for, and we took off the other way along the creek. We kept ascending, following the trail markers for Alice Woods. More and more, the trail markers indicated that we were not in Muir Woods anymore. The scenery became increasingly wonderful. We came to a clearing near the top of the mountain which ended as we walked into a camp ground. Pretty sure we were not anywhere near the visitor center, we took a break and, luckily, found a map posted at the camp site. We decided that the Creekside Trail would be the best way to get back to the main trails of Muir Woods, regardless of a notice that the trail blocked off. We crossed the barricade and set off. Later, we discovered the part of the trail that had been taken out by rocks, crossed them, and continued on. Much worse than getting lost in a forest in California would have been being late to the bus after Dr. Bowen had given us a time to be back. The path exposed us to more amazing scenery. We had to cross the creek again via two fallen trees. When one ran out, we jumped to the other to continue on. We pressed on and were assured of our timely return when we saw the signs reading “Please Stay on the Path” posted everywhere. We arrived at the bus with time to spare.
Our group went to lunch in the little town Pt. Reyes Station. Most people went to different restaurants. Scott, Clay, and I, this time accompanied by Tian Tian, went to a truck parked on the street called the Chinese Chuck Wagon. The Shrimp Mu Shu was excellent, and the guy who owned the truck, now retired, told us that he once sold and installed software for Cummins in southern Indiana. After that, we went to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, where most of us walked the “Earthquake Trail” to see the markers for the San Andreas Faultline. After climbing a few trees with a couple of the guys, we headed back to the hotel for a rehearsal to end the scheduled events of the day