“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…”

On our way to Sonoma, we got to drive over the Golden Gate bridge. I really had wanted to walk or bike over it, but based on time restraints driving was the best that we could do. And whoa! That bridge is massive! It was really beautiful and a fun experience though. I didn’t know a bridge could have such an effect on me… 

Once we go to Sonoma, we stopped at Mill Creek winery first. It was our first tasting experience and we thought we were off to a great start, until we pulled out of the winery and got a flat tire. Not even a little baby puncture that could be plugged… No, that thing was massive.

The good news is that I was able to snap some great shots of the vineyard!

After Mill Creek, we went to Lambert Bridge, Kokomo, Papapietro-Perry, and Amista (our favorite). It was a day filled with [maybe a little too much…] wine and laughs. Amista had a beautiful yellow lab that loved Stephen and I, so we had a great time playing with Shay and socializing with Larri Anne, who provided us with our tasting. 

After Sonoma, we got up early and headed to Redwood. We were lucky again to drive along the coast and got to stop to stretch our legs. The ocean water was freezing!

We also got to drive through the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile stretch of Redwood with some of the largest trees in the area.

Now that we’re on the topic of Redwood… I think it’s safe to admit that this was my favorite campground so far (even outranking the night that we backcountry camped in the middle of the Painted Desert). We didn’t do much – in fact, we were only there to camp and take pictures – but there was something that was really magical about calming about the trees.

As some of you may know, I’m an extremely spiritual person. I find that I am the most calm during prayer or reflection. I’m also someone who considers themselves to be “in touch” with nature; my mom used to read me Walden by Henry David Thoreau when I was little and I felt that the idea of being alone in the woods would have more than just what we refer to as a ’transcendentalist’ effect on a person. And seemingly, I was right. 

Something about being in the Redwoods – I deeply believe – has changed me. Maybe it’s the timing, or the current events taking place, or the chapter that my book is on in this story of life. There is just something about the light shining through the trees, the steam coming off the concrete, the light particles in the air… I am forever changed and forever in love with those trees. I have so many pictures, and I know that none of them will be able to ever do my words and feelings justice in the future. For just one night, I was enveloped in their shade and protection and calm sways. I was safe, and calm, and sheltered. I am forever grateful. 

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