For millennia the redwoods have stood tall, facing west as they look out across the vast Pacific Ocean—an ocean that brings fog in the summer and rain in the winter. Earlier this week the first storm of the season rolled into northern California, and with it came the feeling that summer has finally come to an end and winter beckons. I’ve always loved this time of year—pumpkins in the store and the promise of a wet walk among the glistening forest. There’s nothing quite like walking in the woods after the first rain. It feels like the forest is relaxing and giving itself over to the long winter months to come. The dust has gone and the forest comes back to life as the rain hydrates one leaf and frond at a time.
It makes me want to travel to northern California and be among the big trees. But, closer to home in the Bay Area, it’s a great time to visit Big Basin Redwood State Park and enjoy the miles of trail that you’ll likely have to yourself. Wrap up warm, lace up some good boots, and perhaps pack a thermos of tea (or flask of whiskey!) and enjoy the forest coming back to life. Where do you like to head once the rains have started? I’d love to know!
[originally posted on “Giant Thoughts,” Save the Redwoods League, October 23, 2012]