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A Muir Woods Experience
The Muir Woods of Mill Valley, California are stunning. Located between mountains, the national park's hikes lead you from the cool, crisp bottom of a redwood grove to the tops of tall trees and vast ocean and bay views.
I had been there before. Last Christmas when our parents visited, we stay at an inn on the slope of the mountain. The innkeeper had told us about a brewery and bavarian beer garden that opens to the public only four hours a month, The Tourist Club, and you can hike from the bottom of the mountain to get there. Albeit, you can drive there too, but what’s the fun in that?
So this past weekend, after a meeting of new friends, I found myself back on the same redwood trail I hiked the year before, but THIS TIME, I was en route to the aforementioned beer garden, beyond stoked to be on another adventure where I hardly knew most of the people I was with. My favorite kind, for sure.
This particular day was perfect weather, and the hike was strenuous enough that I felt like I had truly worked for the beer a was about to pound at the end of the trail.
The arrival was epic, as we approached the beer house from the top and realized how absolutely jam packed it was. But so calm. Groups of people picnicked on decks overlooking the redwoods, and played childhood games provided by the club. Everyone was happy, laughing, and thankful for having the opportunity to enjoy such an exclusive and wonderful experience. You could feel it in the air. Just pure, beer-drunk joy.
After a few hours of downing pitchers of crisp, fresh brews and drinking games that I hadn’t played in years, the party drew to a close, as it was late, and the club was prepping to hibernate from the public for another month. Fairly tipsy, we stumbled out of the beer garden, and soon realized there was no way we could walk back onto the 2-mile woods trail with the sun going down. Didn’t really plan that one out. Whoops.
“Luckily” we ran into an older member of the club, a total hippy, who told us he new a direct path back to entrance, about a ten minute walk, but then refused to tell us where, and just disappeared, leaving us there to figure it out on our own. So we walked, somewhat conscious of the fact that we had no idea where we were.
By the time we found a sense of legitimate hope, it was pitch black and we only had our adjusting eyes to see the white lines in front of us, directing us down the dark windy mountain road. Forty five minutes to an hour later and we found the car that would take us back to the city. I was relieved knowing my bed was waiting for me, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t possibly excited about the thought of being utterly lost, having to sleep in the woods. But I’m weird and wannabe rugged like that.