California is – among other things, of course – famous for its redwoods, the tallest trees in the worlds. There is one redwoods park, the Portola Redwoods State Park, about an hour’s drive from Mountain View.
I decided to go there for some light hiking on Saturday. Considering that I did not leave Moutain View before 11:30, and thus had only about four hours of sunlight left when I arrived, it was more like an extended stroll through the woods – but let’s call it a hike for argument’s sake.
Portola State Park can be reached via a very narrow and winding road, which begins right outside Palo Alto. In fact, it is so small and winding that all other drivers on the road got out of my way and let me pass after I followed them for a few minutes – perhaps because I am such an assertive European driver? I don’t know. Perhaps it helps that I practically grew up on this kind of road.
Descending the road to the park, I had my first encounter with the local wildlife: A deer standing in the middle of the road! I was on the right way. In the park itself, I was informed that all the foot bridges over the Pescadero Creek had been pulled for the season. Crossing the creek meant taking off one’s shoes and wading through – I immediately felt like a real adventurer.
Fortunately enough, I found another group to tag along with – we were the only ones on the trails at this time of the year. I completed a 1 1/2 hour loop with them, and then went off on my own for another two hours. We saw another deer and some more lowly examples of the local wildlife – banana slugs.
And since it was not completely dark when I finished, I decided to drive over to the ocean and finally see the pacific. This meant another 45 minute drive, but I was in time to catch the sunset.
Photos from my trip are in my Portola Redwoods gallery. And once my new camera arrives, I promise better pictures.