Before I could tackle Big Sur, I needed to check one more destination off the list: Big Basin. On the way up the coast, I stayed two nights in Henry Cowell near Santa Cruz, completely ignoring Big Basin. The drive was only about an hour from Spencer’s house but it took me on a winding mountain freeway deep through the forest towards the state park. I rolled up and found a perfect little campsite surround by redwoods. In fact, everywhere I looked, redwoods covered my vision. The park was full of them.
I got in early enough so I could get a nice long hike in. The route I took, wound through the forest floor, stopped by a waterfall and scaled the walls of the basin towards the very top. I even found my own redwood wizard staff on this hike. The hike itself took a couple hours but it was nice in that it allowed me to think and reflect on the time I had with my friends and family. The views didn’t hurt either.
After the long hike, I settled into my campsite for the night. I had a sturdy table and a good amount of privacy so I burned a fire and wrote in my journal all night. The things I felt in this place started pouring out of me as I wrote not of my surrounding but on everything I was feeling. It was here that I can mark the beginnings of finding myself. I wrote in my journal: “only I can determine my happiness” and no matter how many times I had heard it before, it stuck this time. To me, it was the first time I realized I didn’t need somebody else. I alone am enough and that feeling, that one thought, made me feel powerful. It made me realize that finding who you are is more like accepting who you are. Being happy with what you have and doing the best with it. That night, I sat for hours by the fire until it burned out and only the stars shone above me. I slept well that night, dreaming about the adventures I would have in the coming days….
“From here, I go to Big Sur. I am both scared and excited which are good feelings to have. This could easily be the highlight/ climax of my trip or a disaster but I am looking forward to the challenge. I need to be smart, I need to be on my game and I will have the time of my life.” – October 17, 2017, 4:25pm, Big Basin, Santa Cruz