Friday, September 10, 2010

A Hidden Haven


Julia Pfeiffer State Park

Traveling on Highway 1 we were off in our own little world once again, inhabited only by other tourists, backpackers and bicyclists. What a sight the next morning to see the sun streaming over the hills, the ocean pounding on the rocks below us. We stopped multiple times to photograph this or that, only once going into one of the state parks. We found it quite by accident; I think I was getting a little motion sick from the twists and turns. The entrance to Julia Pfeiffer State Park is tucked in a curve. We drove into the small, uninhabited parking lot; signs were posted everywhere “No overnight parking”. It cost $10 to park there, another way to deter sleeping in cars I’m sure. We were getting low on funds and wanted to get to Anaheim that night so we opted not to stay long. I got out and ran up the hill a short way into the woods while Josh stayed with the car. I came around a bend in the trail and stopped short in amazement. A cheerful stream greeted me, babbling down a hill, finding its way down to the ocean below.

Impressive redwoods grew on either side of the stream, not straight and true like their Northern brothers, nor as big around. A leaf canopy had been formed by the force of the wind pushing the trees down and to the side. Light pierced the leaf canopy, falling on the water in patches and making it sparkle like diamonds. A quiet aliveness permeated the glade, the light filtering through the trees was like light coming through stain glass windows in a cathedral. I lingered, enjoying this unexpected haven, then ran back to Josh. We switched, I stayed with the car while he explored.

We wanted to explore further here, but our time was running out. There was still a lot to see before we got to Anaheim! The story continues...

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