I could barely sleep the night before, so the 6:30 a.m. wake-up call to get ready for breakfast was no hard task. We were about to embark on one of the trips I have anticipated the most—hiking the Redwood National and State Park. We left immediately after breakfast and drove the three hours to visit the eminent Redwoods. The hours flew by as we observed the beautiful coastal views on the way, as well as played a few car games. Eventually, we arrived, packed our backpacks with our lunches provided by OIMB, and began our hike to observe the tallest trees in the world.
Although you prepare yourself by knowing these trees are large, nothing quite prepares you to see them in person. The trees were absolutely massive, some being so wide that even if all 9 students would circle them with our arms stretched out, we still would barely meet the halfway mark of the trees. The light drizzle of rain helped keep us cool as we hiked along the trails but made us very cautious when walking on or around the roots so we would not slip. The rain also made the paths pretty empty of other hikers making it easy for us to get as many pictures as we wanted. We also met a few new friends—some snails and a few banana slugs—along the way. We sat next to a stream to eat lunch and then made our way to finish the trails.
Many conversations took place from favorite pies and cookies to sad movies and the emotional impact they had on us as children. We, of course, stopped at the visitor center where we all got a bunch of Redwood merch for ourselves and our family. Then we hopped back into the van and made our way to Wild River Pizza for dinner. During dinner, we shared more random conversations ranging from sports to video games and then movies. The drive back to the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology was quiet as we were exhausted from our day but in the last hour of the drive conversations easily broke open once again.
Although this day was not what we are usually doing out here in Oregon, it was an amazing opportunity that I am so happy we had. I never thought one day I would be able to say I saw, touched, and ate lunch around the largest trees in the world. It is only the third day here so I cannot wait for the days to come and all the new things we will see, touch, observe, and learn.