Muir Woods + Marin Headlands

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This week I did something I swore never to do: I drove on the side of a cliff. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I’m telling you, Highway 1 is not the safest road you could be driving. Deep curves, steep roads, and sometimes no guardrail…several times I envisioned accidentally driving off and tumbling into the abyss below. Needless to say, I drove under the speed limit. And, I didn’t care if the car behind me was judging. No Marissa pancakes today, please.

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The last time I was in Muir Wood was maybe 10-ish years ago, and I’ve never been to Marin Headlands. I’ve heard a lot about the Headlands, but they’re a bit far and honestly I’m somewhat against driving anywhere more than 20 miles from my house. But, Squaw was here, so there’s the exception. If it weren’t for her, I definitely would not have gone, because going alone is almost certain death. Both lovely national parks are, unsurprisingly, without cell reception. That means no GPS, and frankly I’m surprised that we made it out of both places without being horridly lost.

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Once we arrived, however, scenery was worth the near death and destruction. Marin Headlands has a handful of trails, and we ended up on one near a beach. Which beach, I don’t know, because I’m incompetent when it comes to paper-map reading, but it was the most dramatic scene. Karl the Fog had decided to roll in, shrouding the view. But, you could hear the waves lapping gently and the wind whipping. Despite the lack of view of the Bay, the Headlands themselves are something to look at, a quiet and peaceful respite from the smog, dirt, and grime of the city.

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After bumbling our way back to 101 North, we survived parallel parking and waltzed into Muir Woods. I had forgotten how grand the redwoods are, majestically towering into the sky. Beauty and grace are so evident in the vast trees, trickling of the streams, and hushed, wooded paths. Sometimes I forget that these places still exist, but it’s undeniably peaceful when you inhale the gentle sent of moss and earth and listen to the stillness.

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