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Monumental Muir Woods

April 10, 2015

 

Cue the Star Wars theme-song please…

 

Oh, you are WELL aware this is the land of Ewoks, don’t kid yourself.

 

PRESENTING the old-growth redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument located just outside of San Francisco, California.

 

 

According to the National Park System, “Muir Woods is the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area and one of the last on the planet.”

 

No pressure, redwoods.

 

As soon as you enter this park, the towering trees take hold of your perception, forcing you to gaze upward and feel their presence.

 

 

Not to be confused with Ents (I am on a ROLL here with nerdisms), these babies are the tallest of all living things! Quite the superlative. The tallest coastal redwood at Muir Woods is about 258 feet, “approximately the height of a six-foot person stacked head to toe 45 times” [NPS]. However, these trees can reach heights up to 379 feet, further north…that’s 74 feet TALLER than the Statue of Liberty (another National Monument, might I add)!

 

Not only are these bad boys impressive in height, but their average age at Muir Woods is between 600 to 800 years, with the oldest being at least 1200 years old. Grandpappy Redwood over here.

 

 

And this isn’t even as old as they can get. Their full lifetime can span up to 2,200 flippin’ years! Could you imagine being around that long? 'Sup, Ancient Rome.

 

Aside from these intriguing ENTities (see what I did there?), Muir Woods also has a rich history. It was actually President Theodore Roosevelt who “used the powers of the Antiquities Act on January 9, 1908, to create Muir Woods National Monument. William Kent, who donated the land for the monument, requested that it be named for noted conservationist John Muir” [NPS].

 

Redwood Sorrel, huddled beneath the towering redwoods.

 

If you are unfamiliar with John Muir, he was a pretty stand-up guy when it came to nature and conservation. Back in the day, Muir wandered our nation, contemplating man's relationship to nature, “concluding that all life forms have inherent significance and the right to exist. Humans, Muir decided, are no greater or lesser than other forms of life” [NPS].

 

My hero.

 

 

When Mr. Muir learned that they were naming a redwood forest near San Francisco in his honor, he declared, "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world" [NPS].

 

Couldn’t have said it better myself, sir.

 

So if you’re in the San Francisco area, be sure to visit Muir Woods National Monument and tip your hat to a primordial redwood.

 

Special thanks, again, to Jenn & Amy for accompanying me to seize these trees.

 

 

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