It was a simple, 2 day trip to Eureka – a small town five and a half hours away from where I live, on the north coast of California. Hubby had a job that would take us there for either a one hour or two day job. As it turned out, it was a one-hour job plus waiting until the next day for environmental lab results so we could head the five and a half hours back to Sacramento.
Our early afternoon arrival allowed us to get our business done in time to overnight the samples. Given the cold temperatures and rainy conditions, we spent the afternoon napping, and then sharing a leisurely dinner at a little café on the waterfront.
Wednesday we had time to explore while awaiting the return of lab results so we took a drive about forty five minutes north of Eureka on Highway 101 to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, part of the Redwood National Forest. The ancient redwood forests in Northern California are, perhaps, the most stunning of all ancient trees in the world. The trees are hundreds of feet tall and as much as 2000 years old. At Lady Bird Johnson Grove there is an easy mile and a half loop that wanders through a bit of the forest. There is only about a 100 foot elevation change, but you get a glimpse of the terrain and growth common in this area.
Traces of the hail from a passing morning squall were still lining our walk – and a misty veil of fog created a quiet, muted solitude. The wind blowing down on the coast was absent. There was a carpet of huge, deep emerald green ferns, and webs of yards long moss hanging from the winter-bare trees growing under the redwoods. It was humbling walking through these ancient giants – it is impossible not to feel reverence and respect for these living towers
As one who lives a spiritual path that celebrates nature and all living things, I was overcome with love and compassion for all this forest has endured through natural fires (witnessed by the multitude of trees bearing the huge scars at their bases, and yet full and healthy with growth above the scars) and at the hand of man in clear-cut farming of the trees before they were preserved as a national park (or treasure). Had it been warmer, and not quite so wet, I could have stayed there all day and been perfectly contented – the eternal wood nymph!
Too soon it was time to head towards home. On the way back to Eureka, we stopped at one of the many beach parks. In spite of the bone-chilling wind and storm surf conditions, I had to greet my friend the ocean – if only to stand by her side for a moment. Have you felt the power of the ocean lately? Just another reminder of how small we really are.
Just after leaving the beach, we ran across a sign that brought a little reality home, especially after last year’s earthquake in Japan, and subsequent tsunami effect, which actually hit the Northern California coast … it’s a concept that one doesn’t think about often, but …. It happens …
Our little trip to Eureka was enjoyable in so many ways. The last time I was there was in 1963. I don’t think it’s changed much! It was a nice little get away for hubby and me – and I had the much needed pleasure to touching Mother Nature in a very special way. Something we should all do more frequently!
Where have you been lately?
Namaste … I honor you.