Wednesday, July 6, 2011

California Adventure: Sequoia National Forest

John Muir, a famous naturalist and early advocate for preservation of the wilderness wrote:
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

He was correct about this.  Funny thing about nature is that it nearly always is restorative.  It gives the person a chance to reflect, not only on their fleeting thoughts, but also on the beauty around them.  Of course, you don't always have to go into the wilderness to find nature.  It may be simply in a neighborhood park or your backyard.  

This weekend, R and I traveled down south again for the long holiday weekend.  I was very excited about the trip, because we were headed to Sequoia National Forest.  I absolutely love trees, and have had a serious fascination with sequoias ever since a family friend brought home a book about them when I was in elementary school.  In Kansas, we have many varieties of trees; oaks, callery pear, maples.  But nothing compares to the majesty of a giant sequoia.  

Unfortunately, the trail was not full of giant sequoias as I had imagined before leaving.  It was a beautiful area, but had been affected by fire a few years before.  This left many of the trees burnt and fallen down...many, many times blocking the path.  Though, the trees were not drive-through sequoias, they were still very beautiful.  

It was quite a weekend adventure.  We several times got lost, due to a missing trail, bushwacked through thornbushes and saw a bear.  Seeing a bear in nature is really quite startling.  Though we were nearly 100 yards away, it is still thrilling to see a wild animal in his natural habitat.  Very different from standing in front of them at the zoo.

By the end of the 20 miles, we were dirty, exhausted and anxious to start our long journey back to SF.  Moises spent a good part of the 2nd and 3rd day riding on R's pack, so needless to say, he was ready to head home as well.  

As far as giving strength, my legs are definitely still aching from the climbs.  It was a restoring to be out of the city for a few days and enjoying the quiet and solitude of nature.

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