Muir Woods National Monument

This is a fantastic National Park, 12 miles north of San Francisco, where you can see ancient redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) with their beautiful red colour (that’s why they are named redwoods). They can be high even more than 300 ft and wide 10 ft. Impressive trees!

 

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These type of redwoods grow in the coastal area that goes from Monterey to Oregon.

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Unfortunately many of these special redwoods were cut down at the beginning of the 20th century. William Kent, a United States Congressman, decided to buy one of the last remaining redwoods valley to protect these terrific trees. After various vicissitudes with the Water Companies, he thought to donate part of these territories to the Federal Government, in order to safeguard them from further development. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared this area a National Momument. Mr. Kent suggested to name it John Muir National Monument after naturalist John Muir, who participated really a lot in this cause.

Many are the tourists visiting this forest, but, surprisingly, they all are very respectful of this place, maybe feeling the need to listen to his life, sounds and peace.

You can follow many paths inside the forest. One is very easy and is named “Cathedral Grove”.

This is the sign you read at the beginning.

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We live in a noisy world but you have to enter this place in silence, without bringing with you our modern sounds. Here, among these ancient and big trees, many wild animals live and they need to listen to each others to survive, love, eat and protect themselves.

It’s very easy to find banana slugs here (my son’s passion).

There are many fallen and dead trees most of the times because of fires. But even from a burnt root a new tree can grow, or even many. The forest is alive and follows its life cycle, surviving disasters as fires, earthquakes, storms.

 

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I appreciated a lot the ranger when, before greeting us, invited us to hug each others and protect ourselves as these beautiful trees do.

A wonderful image and exhort for the group. There was a lot of passion in his worlds.

He has been working there for 7 years and he really considers these trees as friends.

In the middle of the silence only my kids’ voices resounded. But I’m sure these big redwoods appreciated their presence: nothing more than a child represents the life’s energy and power.

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