Pops, myself and two backs circa 1979
We drive an hour out of Silicon Valley, unbeknownst to any billion-dollar tech deals that may be happening just off the 101. As we wind up shaded Santa Cruz mountains, Robert Plant coos in the background. With each turn the trees begin to grow, the air begins to clear, and human existence begins to diminish. We reach our version of base camp, lush and mystical Big Basin. As crowded as the ranger check-in may feel, each site offers complete isolation. Humbling redwoods serve as mossy walls between camp patrons.
I rise to a misty morning, my Dad whistles away at the griddle making pancakes and his famous jittery Jim’s coffee. Deadly strong. Dangerously good. Our packs for this particular excursion date back to 1979, making them kitschy, cute, and ultimately cumbersome. Hats off to mankind for improving this technology tenfold over the last 40 years. Once packed and properly fueled we begin our trek.
The trail is flat and passerby hikers are friendly. Giving us compliments on our retro gear and waving genuinely from their hiking poles. We walk listening to our syncopated footsteps hit the earth. Each twist and turn is magnificent. The redwood canopies allow hazy beams of light to span intricately across the forest floor. We reach Berry Creek Falls and march up the back of the brimming waterfall. The recent rain has coated the rocks in moss giving the environment an Isla Nublar vibe. A small clearing appears in the tree line, and we recognize that we’ve reached our home for the night. I happily rest my time traveling pack on a fallen log and roll up my sleeves to prep our provisions.
Every meal tastes better in nature. Time slows and noise fades, allowing us to enjoy what is directly in front of us. A meal, a ridge-line, the person next to you. It’s mother nature’s way of putting everything in perspective. When we lose service, we gain clarity, worries are stripped away leaving space in our minds to fill with gratitude.
When the sun rises, we hike down, we get in our car, we go home.
We’ll be back.