Redwoods and Vineyards
Just north of San Francisco, you’ll find two of the most beautiful areas in the country. First is Muir Woods, home of the giant Redwoods, and to the east is Sonoma and the Napa Valley, the most famous wine district in America. This was the perfect day to visit both.
Muir Woods National Monument is named for John Muir, also known as “John of the Mountains”, a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests. He petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite National Park. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas. He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”.
In 1907, a water company in Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek, flooding the valley where the largest trees lived. Because of heavy logging, this 600 acre forest was one of the last areas where the Coastal Redwoods could be found. To stop this travesty, the valley was bought by a U.S. Congressman William Kent and his wife Elizabeth to preserve it, but the city took them to court claiming eminent domain. In a desperate move, the Congressman donated the valley to the Federal government, ending the court fight. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt declared the valley a National Monument, and the congressman insisted that it be named for John Muir. Today, over one million visitors a year make the 12 mile drive up the coast over the Golden Gate Bridge to experience this natural wonder in person.
These images will give you some idea of the majesty of these trees in their natural rain forest setting. How fortunate we are to be able to experience these giants.
Less than an hour east of Muir Woods is the Napa Valley and its many award winning wineries. In the center is the quaint town of Sonoma, with its many restaurants and galleries. With these four images, I have tried to capture the flavor of this exceptional valley.
Jacuzzi Vineyards Winery