I looked up information on the web for hiking trails in the Forest of Nisene Marks, a state park near us, when I came upon some descriptions of hikes in the Medicine Buddha Retreat Center. It borders on the state park, and there was a nice six mile loop trail described, that started in the Center and wound through part of the Nisene Marks park.
The day was cool but the sun was shining, and by the time I made our lunch and we drove there, it was about eleven in the morning.
By following some directions we got from the Web, we found a parking area near the trail head, and found the trail with no problems.
The well-groomed path crossed a little creek and climbed steadly up into the forest.
It felt so good to be hiking, but we both agreed we were terribly out of shape from sitting around for so long! I have gained some of my weight back and feel terrible about it. But perhaps a renewed hiking regime will help with that.
This forest was logged, possibly clear cut, many years ago. One of the fascinating things to me is the way the redwoods grow back. Where each large tree was cut, a circle of new trees grows around it. They call the cut tree the "mother" and the ring around it the "sisters".
In time, the stump of the mother totally decays, and the sisters grow thicker and taller. In the picture above you can see several groups growing.
Some people are distressed by the logging of old-growth trees. Seeing how the new growth develops gives me a peaceful feeling that although we may not see the giants in our lifetime, they can and will regrow in their own time if left to do so.
So very tall!
We hiked for a little over three miles, and when we came to what we decided was near the halfway point of the loop trail, we stopped for a little lunch.
Sandwiches, cheese sticks, cut asian pears, and water on a fallen log taste better than any fancy gourmet dinner.
Not all of the hike was through redwood forest. This section was dominated by live oak and tan oak trees. We were glad to see so many small tan oaks, because there has been an epidemic of disease that has killed many of them just a few miles away. We are hopeful that these new-growth trees will survive.
Part of our hike took us past several meditation points that had Buddhist quotations and explanations of them. I (Merikay) was quite taken by what some of them said. Perhaps it is because I am in such a stressed state, but I found a new comfort and a curiosity about Buddhism. It may be what I need right now.
The hike felt so good. We did get to go out for an early dinner, and
were happily tucked back in at Camp Driveway by nine.