We last found our intrepid traveler and tree-climber staying with a college friend in Palo Alto, CA. This is his last week in California and, in fact, it is the last week of his trip. Starting with a flight to NYC, some trips to Boston and western Mass, then the long train ride across the country to Porland, OR, then down the coast through the Redwoods to the Bay Area. It’s been quite fun for the author to revisit and post his pictures and memories from this adventure over a year ago.
El Palo Alto. The redwood that the city is named for. It is a massive tree with two distinctive trunks. It was the landmark used by a large expedition of 63 men and 200 horses on their way from San Diego to Monterey in 1769.
I would like to tell you that I climbed that one. But I didn’t. I climbed another, single-trunked redwood just meters away. Ben stood nearby to watch as I ascended almost 100 feet into the very top of the tree. The branches angled downward and became thinner and bendier as I got near the top. I did my best to stay secure to take the pictures.
Then, once plenty of shots were taken, and the view thoroughly taken in, I climbed down before my arms got too fatigued. My highest climb to date!
A fun day. A drive through more redwoods to a beach with two dogs and one of Ben’s co-workers.
Then back to Palo Alto to see De La Soul on the Stanford campus for a free (and substance free) concert. In which, we brought mini Mickey’s malt liquor bottles and did our best to conceal till we were tattled on and bolted from the scene.
On our walk out we stopped at the perfect tree for a group climb. Strangely, and without planning, there were a lot of hands in this shot.
Then we went out that night to eat and drink and be stupid and at some point this happened:
Took a long walk that night and found an empty parking lot with a nice row of pine trees along the edge. It was peaceful and quiet and I remember being very aware of every little sound.
Back to Stanford for a nice midday walk. I ambled off the promenade looking for an Eucalyptus tree to climb. One of the 3 tallest trees in the world, next to Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. They were a transplant from Australia to California back in the early 20th Century. They grew fast and tall and were planted as wind breaks in the blustery valleys and hills. They can grow up to 10 feet a year.
I finally found one and took special care to brush all the hanging loose bark away so I wouldn’t slip. This Eucalyptus was rare since it offered me a path up high. Most trees I surveyed had massive trunks but no limbs for many feet.
After climbing down, I walked further through the arboretum to a small patch of rare dessert plants. some cacti had a beautiful flowers on the tops.
Then from there found another massive Eucalyptus to climb up just about 15 feet to write some postcards. Practiced some parkour on an outdoor workout area, then back to Ben’s apartment. Stanford has a very extensive and beautiful campus.
On my last full day in California I went on a long walk with Ben and his girlfriend. Ben joined me in this sprawling tree. The rest of the walk was spent talking about my art career and ways in which I may expand into other markets and increase my marketing practice. It’s nice to have such supportive and helpful friends.
Rain. I packed up my bags and walked to the train station. I picked a tree just past the footpath under the tracks. As I walked up the leafy hill to the tree I fell from the weight of my pack right as someone was walking by. Ugh! The shame.
I threw my pack into the tree and then climbed in after it. I spent my time in the tree reflecting on my whole trip and looking ahead to my life back in Louisville. Then I jumped back down, got on my train onto San Jose Airport, transferred in Las Vegas and then was back home.
What would the future bring? Well, an end to the streak…but more to come on that soon.