Big Basin, Hakone Gardens, and the end of the trip Dec 1, 2009
Yesterday was my last day in California. We got up early and grabbed some McDonalds breakfast before heading to Big Basin Redwoods National Park. The road there was cool, full of scenic views of the Santa Cruz mountains and treacherous paths. When I say that last bit I mean it, as we got towards it the road became a single narrow lane for both directions with cliffs on one side and the curving mountain on the other (which made determining if anyone is coming in the opposite direction impossible at times). Regardless we made it fine, and we rewarded by the best outdoor experience so far.
Not only were there many fewer people at Big Basin that at Muir Woods, but the trees seemed to be much large and there were many paths leading in all sorts of directions. We touched only a fraction of the park as it is enormous.
After taking lots of pictures, we headed back, stopping at Hakone Japanese Gardens on the way. This was a very calming and relaxing area full of traditional Japanese tea houses, ponds w/ waterfalls, bamboo forests, etc. Though not large, it is a very chill place to go and just relax.
We drove back to my friend’s place where I finished packing after which we headed out to eat. Finally my friend dropped me off at the BART train station in Fremont and after our goodbyes, I took the train to San Fran International Airport and flew home. (all flights were on time though my luggage has yet to make it).
Make sure to check back for one final post on my thoughts of the trip and the locations I visited as well as a select set of the many pictures I took.