In a sentence, that’s essentially what happened. What started as a trip to Portland, Ore., to visit one of my college friends, kept getting bigger. I had read about the redwoods of California in a National Geographic article called The Super Trees, and I decided that I wanted to see them, too, to see something natural, to see something impressive, to see something not built by man.
I have stood in awe of the Brooklyn Bridge, of the Hall of Mirrors, of the Acropolis, and of various pieces of art including “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” “The Kiss” and Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne.” I’ve been mesmerized by sunsets from Lake Erie to Santorini and I went to the Netherlands to see thousands upon thousands of tulips at Keukenhof. But no where had I seen something growing naturally from the ground, untouched by man.
So that is what I went after. I decided I would fly into San Francisco, rent a car, and drive along the coast and through the redwood forest to Portland, following the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping whenever and wherever I wanted, to see as much nature as this girl who is a bit leery of the outdoors could handle.
And then things changed. What had the potential of being a lonely trip along the craggy coastline and through the tallest trees on the planet, suddenly was anything but. I had found a companion without even searching. Jon wanted to join me.
So the plan turned out even better. I would fly to San Francisco and Jon would meet me at the airport after driving from Salt Lake City. I would have a travel partner who would teach me how to love the outdoors a bit more as we drove north to Portland and then to Salt Lake City, where I would catch my flight home.
What I saw on this trip was more than I expected. After being a tourist in San Francisco and grinning from ear to ear on the cable car and erupting in laughter over a piece of art in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (you can see pictures of both below), we headed out of town across a Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in clouds to the Marin Headlands where the real adventure in the outdoors began.
That adventure will be told in forthcoming posts, but I don’t know how much I really can share with you. This trip was definitely more for the experience than checking sights off the list. We moved slowly, absorbing as much as we could from one place, rather than hurrying through. My memories are expansive but my photographs are few. For as well as my camera can do, it wasn’t meant to photograph the redwoods, and all but a handful of photos are blurry. Jon kept saying, though, that some things are better remembered than photographed, so I frequently quit trying after hearing that.
So I will try to share my experience with nature with you. But before that, a couple of pictures from San Francisco: