Day 12: A walk among giants…

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

Aristotle

I decided to start the day with a run by the Bay… no, the knee is not really sure it could handle the run, but it has been a while since I was inspired by the sunrise on a run. What better way to start a day than with a sunrise run by the Bay.  I headed out to the running trail that hugged the water’s edge and with several limps, skips and adjustments, I soon found myself in a running stride.  I could hardly focus on the run as I was caught in a trance as I watched the sky change color before my eyes… a deep pink to a light orange to a bright yellow… it was hard not to notice the shimmering glow on the ocean’s small waves.  As I ran I remember thinking… if and only if, this is my last run, I have been blessed with the most beautiful view… how grateful can I be…

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I arrived near the end of the trail and turned around to head back and complete a 5k.  As I kept my stare on the sunrise I felt an amazing energy from within… the pain could not be felt, but the stride became longer and I could feel the muscles working so very hard to propel me forward faster.  I passed one skillful runner with a smile on my face wondering if he could see my altered gait… then as soon as I had that thought; I realized that how I got there shouldn’t even matter…  As I reached the last 200yds, I decided to sprint and as if it were my last and final race….  As I completed the run, I looked out at the Bay with an immense amount of appreciation and gratitude as my knee let me know the pace I had put it through… it didn’t matter at that point as I had found the strength from within to do what many physicians had warned me I shouldn’t be able to do anymore…. I will admit, I resisted shedding a tear and chose to sigh deeply hoping this wouldn’t be my last sunrise run…  With that it was time to leave as there was a Quest calling my name.

One of the items on my Quest list was to experience the redwood forest.  I simply could not fathom that there could be trees with amazing girth that predated the Indians some hundreds of years ago.  I had Siri take the lead and navigate my way to the Purisima Redwood Open Space Preserve in California.  Siri had me driving down the highway, which then led me to make a turn down a very narrow wild flower-lined road that seem to twist and turn. The postcard looking roadway took me past cow pastures, bulls, horses and open grasslands.  At one point, I was wondering if Siri had led me astray again, but before I could question it, the road came to an abrupt end and there in front of me was the tiniest 5 car parking lot and the trail head.  I was a bit amazed that in just a matter of 100 feet the terrain went from grasslands to deep, rich, dark forest.

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I stepped out of the car and headed on the trail.  I was immediately taken aback at how lush the forest was.  It was dense with green ferns, tall trees, shrubs, babbling brooks and a creek running through it.  I distinctly remember the cool wet feeling as I entered the forest.  Light streamed through the few breaks in the treetop canopy sending beams of light to the ground as if heaven were shining down.  The banana slugs were slowly but intently feeding on the forest floor vegetation and the clover grew in tall, thick clusters.  I stopped and thought, there must be one four leaf clover in this group, but to stop and look would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack… I walked away knowing that even without finding it, I felt like the luckiest girl having the opportunity to have this experience!

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I continued to walk and I thought my camera would break with the amount of pictures I found myself taking.  Every angle, every tree, every living organism seemed photogenic.  And then just as I thought I had seen it all, there in front of me was a giant among giants…. I went down to look at this tree that if it could talk, the stories it could tell… It must have had a width of at least 7-9 feet!  I stood next to it and I couldn’t help but be speechless and in complete awe!  If everyone had this opportunity to see these giants, would they walk away with a better appreciation for nature and protecting the environment?  Would they understand the lifetimes that these trees have lived through… the floods, the wind, the storms, the people that have cut down the others.

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I continued my trek through the forest and took even more pictures. I felt sheer admiration for this magical, natural place.  As I made it to the 2 mile mark and had climbed some hundreds of feet, my knee was letting me know it is time to head back and say my “Goodbye’s” to this piece of heaven.  But before I did, I had to make one stop… I wanted to take the opportunity to dip my foot in the creek and feel the cool water run through my toes.   And that is exactly what I did…

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As I approached the beginning of the trail, I thought to myself, how lucky I am to have walked among giants… to be reminded of the beauty nature has to offer and that this precious gift should be protected.  Kudos to you California for recognizing early on the valuable resources you have been gifted and to protect them so that everyone has the opportunity to see them if they choose to.  Thank you California for allowing me to see and appreciate this great wonder!

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Feeling ever grateful for experiencing this amazing sight!  Wondering what tomorrow will bring!!!

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