Tokyo. Bangkok. Paris and Rome. New York and LA. Take me there. Istanbul. I really want to see Istanbul. I feel so at home in San Francisco. I left my heart in San Francisco. And then theres’s Rio de Janeiro.
I want to see the opera in St. Petersburg.
It’s a seemingly never-ending list.
My wife and I talk a lot about the seasons of life.
I’d love to visit all those cities named above… and more!
But our current season has us much more connected to the outdoors.
That’s partly because of our kids. It’s a lot easier with kids in the country than in the city. There is room to run. Fewer people. Fewer crowds. Not that we don’t do cities with our kids. We do. But the season we are currently in could certainly be characterized as one in which we’re exploring the great outdoors.
There’s something about being connected to nature and disconnected from gadgets.
This past week as our family set off on a family camping trip I thought about how we were doing something that our family so rarely does. We were taking a week-long family vacation.
We’re experts at little 3-5 day trips. We take them all the time.
We’ve done the three-week and month long trips.
We’ve even rented out our house and traveled for several months at a time.
But a week-long trip is pretty rare for us. I could think of only one other time we’d done something so…. conventional.
With Round 1 of our trip behind us we were ready for Round 2. Klamath Lake and Crater Lake had proved to be all we’d hoped for and more. (Check out some of our PHOTOS from Oregon).
How would the Redwoods measure up?
They measure very high. Literally.
We camped at Jedediah Smith State Park and as soon as we pulled into the campgrounds my wife and I just sort of looked at one another. You know the look I’m talking about. It’s that look that says, “Can you believe this place?”
Sites book up months in advance. And for good reason. It’s especially great for families with young children as there are short, easy hikes you can do jumping off right from your campsite. It’s also right along the Smith River, the largest free-flowing river in California. If your kids love being in the water as much as ours do, this is a big perk.
(Check out my Musical Debut in this YouTube Video!!!)
Every time I enter one of our country’s national parks I want to travel more.
Sometimes I have to force myself to enjoy the moment.
Instead of basking in the majesty of the Redwoods I’m planning a future trip to Glacier National Park.
I’ve always had a thing for trees. A few years ago when I started my own company the logo was a tree. A big, beautiful oak with winding, gnarly branches. I’m always pointing out trees in our travels.
So for a guy who loves trees the Redwoods are pretty special.
It’s hard to overstate just how massive these trees are.
But the thing that stood out to me most was this canopy effect I felt as we stood in the Redwood Forest.
It’s like being in a grand cathedral hall.
If you think about tree-tops being the ceiling of the forest, most forests would then be like most rooms. The ceiling is just above your head. Maybe an 8 foot ceiling.
In the Redwoods the ceiling is hundreds of feet above your head.
The other thing I did not expect was the richness of the vegetation. It’s like a rainforest. The Redwoods themselves are so nutrient-rich that when they fall all sorts of plant life springs up. Even the branches of a fallen Redwood will grow into trees themselves.
It was an 8 hour drive home. Almost 500 miles.
About a $80 in gas one-way.
$35 a night for our campsite.
And we enjoyed one of our national treasures.
We have a sticker on our car to prove it.
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