California Surprises

Last year, during my trip to Cali, I discovered my love for mountains. I love the surprises that the mountain tops reveal after a good climb. After being trapped in the concrete jungle of Shanghai for the past few months, I was dying for a good climb. This afternoon, my sister and I got in a car and headed for the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We had read somewhere that there is a hike with waterfalls!

We set off for the drive and the mountain enveloped us immediately. I hope Californians realize just how realize they are to live in a place where the air is constant clean, the sky is always blue, and the trees are ever so luscious. I missed I-280, and ended up taking a windy mountain road. Suddenly, the ocean emerged as I turned on Highway 1! What a delightful surprise! California, you never seize to amaze.

We had a full tank of gas and a (somewhat) functioning GPS, so we didn’t mind going off of the beaten track and be adventurous. We stopped for some photos along the coastline, and then turned off onto a gravel road and headed into the mountains. Our GPS guided us with spotty connection, and we never quite made it to the actual destination of Berry Creek Falls. We didn’t see a waterfall, but we found a pleasant hike through the woods filled with majestic trees. I’m quite sure they were Redwoods, so at least we made it to the right park! Can you tell we aren’t really seasoned hikers? We just sort of… wing it. Whatever works!

It’s a rare treat for me to wander in a public space that is completely devoid of other people. This type of luxury simply doesn’t exist in Shanghai, so I soaked in every step of it. The air was crisp and refreshing as we hiked up the mountain along these tress. We were simply such tiny creatures. Worries? What worries? The universe simply has much more in store for us. The beauty of this world provides the best perspective.

My sister and I completed the entire hike without seeing another soul. We chatted along the way, but sometimes each of us were deep in our own thoughts. One step after the next, focusing on breathing and where to walk, hiking is extremely meditative, and good for the soul.

Post our hike, we drove by the Stanford Dish Trail and finished out our day there and watched the sunset. This is my favorite place in Palo Alto! What a beautiful day, and how can I find a way to incorporate this with my bustling city life in Shanghai?