Road Trip: Final Chapter
On November 24th I took the train to San Francisco for several days of visiting friends and family in the bay area. First, I met Ellie for a great thanksgiving dinner with our aunt Kirsty. The next day we went to Muir Woods, a protected stand of old-growth coastal redwoods outside of the city. Over the next couple of days, I hung out with Laura C in Golden Gate Park, and joined Jason again at his aunt’s in Marin. From there, we had a lovely drive through Point Reyes, admiring the waterbirds and rocky coastline, en route to Arcata, home of Humboldt State University, and doorstep of the Redwood forests. The redwoods were by far my favorite destination of the entire trip. I’m a biologist after all, and while other parks are geologically impressive (Bryce, arches, grand canyon, Yosemite), the redwoods were biologically stunning! I hope the photos reflect this. After the redwoods, we headed back to Fresno, and visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon’s national parks. The sequoias were gigantic, but were interspersed loosely throughout a forest of smaller trees, so the environment was far less intimidating. The last stop on our trip was Yosemite, which lived up to John Muir’s rhetoric, but I wish we had the time (and the winter gear) to explore it on foot. Now I’m exhausted and back in VT for a bit of R&R. I'll hopefully post a more thorough reflection on the trip and the parks, but for now, enjoy the photos.
|Epiphytes and bryophytes and sporocarps, oh my!|
|Coastal redwood. Big.|
|Giant sequoia. Notice Jason standing at the base. This is the largest tree|
species by volume in the world, and the second largest individual of the species.
|The ubiquitous Yosemite photo. One day of bad weather over the course of a month-long trip isn't so bad.|
El Capitan on the left, Bridal Veil Falls in the center, and Half-dome in the distance between the two.
|On the way back into the central valley from the mountains, we stopped for a bit to enjoy the scenery and the pastured animals. California's "Happy Cows" in action. We spent quite a while feeding grass to this horse.|