The Redwoods: It’s almost impossible to feel alone in the company of giants. These trees have seen empires burn like campfires, only getting wiser with each halo tattooed on to their stomachs. Predating Christ, the old-growth Redwoods can live up to 3000 years and are designed to survive natural disasters. When their trunks are cut, burned, or destroyed, these tenacious trees release a pheromone to trigger a series of new-growth around the ring of the dead tree, giving it an almost immortal life. These trees have outlived dinasaurs, ice ages, and great fires, and have lived for hundreds of thousands of years with almost no enemies, until about now. Due to the intense logging of our recent past, we only enjoy about 4% of the mystical Redwood Forest. The only natural predator of Redwoods: man. But thanks to the Save The Redwoods League, we have managed to hold on to and conserve several state and national redwood parks on the west coast.
The company we kept: The perfect supplement to any adventure are the companions met along the way, and we have been living in the company of kings.
There was no one else I’d rather share the Redwoods with then my older sister and her husband, Matt and Melinda Armeni. Squeezed comfortably in their truck named ‘Hombre’ they drove over a thousand miles just to rendezvous with us here in the woods, and they made sure to bring the bacon. For three days we explored the forest like our backyard, and the coast, our sandbox. We love you guys, and we can’t wait to see you in San Diego.
Now to San Francisco, where Henry and I were hosted by a most lovely Bay Area family, Heidi and Martin Awesome (since I can’t remember your last name, i dubbed you with a temporary one). They caught us up on recent events (the fires and floods of the east) and cooked us up some delightful culinary treats (macaroons and steak!). Also in the city, we were lucky enough to catch up with one of my camp friends, Rick Raymond. Rick was actaully my counselour once upon a time at Camp Dudley and i haven’t seen him since i was 14, but like all great friendships, time meant nothing, and we jumped right back into the groove. We caught Rick at a crossroad in his life; he’s actually about to leave his work at Greenpeace to move to South Africa for some non-profit work, and of course, to look for an adventure. That being the case, we were able to follow Rick as he finished his San Franciscan bucket list before his grand exit. We jumped in the frigid bay to the wild gasps of onlookers, we schooled some randoms in pickup soccer at Fort Mason, and even rocked out to an 80’s cover band in North Beach. Good times were had. Good luck Rick.
Let’s finish with a little trip to a town called Berkeley. The truest representation of the “Left Coast,” Berkeley is said to be where people from around the globe come to practice democracy. Growing revolution since the 1950s, Berkeley has been at the forefront of almost every civil right’s movement in America. Berkeley has bled for freedom of speech throughout it’s existence, and will continue to fight for as long as there is something worth standing up for. And of course, as we’ve talked about before, Henry and I not only see these new places through our own experience, but through the eyes of those we meet. Our time in Berkeley was spent with a lovely lady name Aine, a family friend of friends, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We cooked, told stories, and learned a great deal from each other. Aine left Ireland at 18 and has been chasing adventure ever since. We thank Aine for her warmth.
And now on to San Mateo, for our first interview of the West Coast, the Daily Journal. We’ll talk soon! Love you guys