You'll never guess where we decided to go first thing Saturday morning. That's right, Muir Woods. My family has an affinity for this place and since all of us could get in free. We figured, "Why not?" Cam took the token sign shot.
At 8:30 am, we had the place nearly to ourselves again.
Sounded like it had been nearly 10 years since my folks had been to this park.
And pointed out things of interest.
The main trail makes a nice easy loop. The entire thing is paved and there is little to no elevation change. However, Sam and I had been itching to try the route we took with the Sierra Club, shortly after his arrival in California, again.
With the club, we'd started on the Dipsea trail from the parking lot, hiked that mostly uphill for a mile or so on a ridge along the coastline until we reached the Ben Johnston trail. Then we turned toward the park and hiked down a bunch of stairs into it, eventually arriving at the park floor.
This time, we'd follow the route in reverse. Everyone said they were up for trying it. So after seeing one buck, we crossed bridge four and started up the Ben Johnson trail. At one resting point, I thought I saw monkeys (hear no evil...)
The basically straight uphill climb of Ben Johnson was more strenuous that I'd remembered and we expected but we didn't quit. The above link describes the loop's difficulty as moderate. This description, from mytrails.com calls it a "spectacular challenge for the energetic hiker" and refers to the "steep, steep Ben Johnson trail."
At the top, we enjoyed the views of the ocean as we hiked the ragged dirt trail down the Dipsea back towards our car. Sam found an intriguing resting spot in this tree. I am proud of all of us for completing the hike. It was an invigorating way to start the day.
Afterwards, we went home and had take-out from In and Out Burger and Lucinda's (veggie burrito for me, chicken quesadilla for Sam.) Then we rested, relaxed and played for awhile with plans to watch the sun set later at the beach or on top of a mountain.