I love my niece! Her name is Claire and she is one of the kindest, funniest, coolest people on the planet. Imagine my delight when she and her equally wonderful friend, Julia, came for a visit over their February break. They were escaping the soul-crushing Boston winter for some California sun and fun. In addition to hanging-out in the hottub (did you think the CCC wouldn’t have a hottub?) and eating all the junk food our mothers won’t usually let us eat, we had some excellent SF-Bay Area adventures. Our first stop was Muir Woods in Marin County.
Named in honor of John Muir (the founding father of the National Park Service), Muir Woods is home to 240 acres of old-growth coastal redwoods – one of the few remaining groves in the area. The land Muir Woods sits on was originally owned by William and Elizabeth Kent. They purchased the land in the early 1900s. In 1907, a local water company wanted to dam the nearby Redwood Creek and flood (read: ruin) the valley. The Kents thought this a terrible idea. When the water company threatened eminent domain, the Kents donated the land to the federal government effectively avoiding local jurisdiction and court proceedings. (Sneaky!) In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt designated Muir Woods a national monument (the first ever from private land). The president wanted to name the location “Kent Woods” but the Kents insisted the glorious redwood grove be named after John Muir. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Kent (and John Muir and President Roosevelt) for ensuring we can enjoy Muir Woods now and into the future!
Is it time for lunch yet? Yes, it is! No trip to Muir Woods is complete without lunch at The Pelican Inn. In the style of a Tudor inn (indeed, much of the inn’s decor is from English buildings built in the 16th century), The Pelican Inn serves tasty pub fare perfect for hungry hikers.