It’s 8 am, infants are crying, jays are squawking, there is a fine mist as the park is covered in morning fog from the ocean. It is a perfect morning at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
Scott has actually fallen back to sleep. This is my time, first thing in the morning. I crawl out of the tent at about 6:30am, my sore back making it impossible for me to sleep any longer. I make my morning cup of coffee and read my book in peace as the campground around me begins to awaken.
I was worried about how I would sleep in the tent. It turns out I actually had one of the best nights sleep since the last round of chemo. The fresh air certainly helps, but also, with the air mattress and thermarest combo that I use, I was actually able to sleep part of the night on my stomach, something that I haven’t done in a long time.
As I write, the pretty jays are harassing each other around the campsite (you can see a couple in the tree on the right side of the picture). The make an awful noise and they are true pests. They eat the eggs and babies of the endangered marbled murrelets which nest in the area. The campsite is “crumb clean” and leaving any garbage or food out can get you an $850 fine! This year they started handing out fines and increasing the awareness campaign – but it may already be too late. There are a lot of these pesky Jays around.
In addition to the jays, and screaming children, you can hear the occasional woodpecker pecking at nearby trees.
What we didn’t see last night, a pleasant surprise, was raccoons. Last time we camped up here they were real pests (if you leave your car door unlatched, they will open it! Fortunately, we had our dinner before dusk and all food was safely stored before racoon time.
Next to the picnic table is a ring of ancient redwoods (a fairy circle). The ring is formed when an old tree dies and feeds a series of new growth. These younger trees are likely over 1000 years old themselves. It is pure magic and exactly what I needed in this moment.
And of course I need to include the requisite morning selfie.