After we left Don and Stacey's in San Jose, we headed off to the mountains just north and slightly west of Santa Cruz. Our destination? Big Basin State Park.
Established in 1902, Big Basin is California's oldest state park and home to the largest continual strand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. Some of these behemoths are more than 2,000 years old. The section below was from a tree that was 1,392 years old when cut down - and 948 years old when Columbus landed in the Americas.
Many have also lived through hundreds of forest fires, leaving hollowed-out trunks on these still-living trees. A great place for a grrrl like ours to hide.
We arrived in the late afternoon and only could score one night's reservation, so unfortunately we didn't get to explore all that much. However, we did take in the short Redwood Trail...
...which winds around some of the oldest and tallest trees in the park.
Even the root stocks were impressive.
That downed tree comprised one side of the forest "auditorium":
After our hike we went back to camp and roasted the obligatory marshmallows.
How peaceful and surreal it was to sleep under these giants of the forest.