I’m obsessed with the forest. I grew up in one, and I make sure to get myself to the woods every so often to feed my soul and regain my sanity.
Located just a few hours outside Los Angeles in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains is Sequoia National Forest, my most recent choice for a remote getaway. Best known for its namesake giant trees, the area covers more than 1 million acres and has the greatest concentration of sequoia groves in the world. This national forest, as opposed to Sequoia National Park to which it’s adjacent, has slightly less restrictions and regulations — pets can go on trails, camping is permitted nearly anywhere, biking is allowed on some trails — and just as much beauty.
And that beauty? It was all breathtaking: the giant sequoias, the freshly fallen snow, the murmur of streams and the occasional sighting of a skittish woodland critter. But it was the stillness that drew me in the most; when I closed my eyes, I heard everything and nothing, and I savored every second. I knew that when I returned home, I would hear sirens and honking and shouting and almost forget that such quiet exists.