Unfortunately, most of the Open Space Preserves on the Peninsula are dog-free zones. Tucker and I can walk along Skyline Blvd on the “sidewalk” of foliage, but not within the vast expanses of redwood forest that are protected on either side of the highway. In my search to find a forest for Tucker and I to be in, I came across Thornewood—one I had not noticed before. The main entrance was near Skyline and LaHonda, with the trail trickling down the mountain to Woodside’s less inhabited areas. I’m not a fan of starting a hike at the top; I like to get the hard stuff out of the way, reach the pinnacle, and then have a relaxing journey down, so it didn’t seem like the perfect hike… until I found the back door.
At the bottom of the trail in Thornewood was another parking lot. The little dirt patch that looked like a turn-out for slow vehicles going up the winding mountain road was actually a place to rest my steed at the trailhead.
Exiting the vehicle, I took in the scent that brings me home: the redwood forest. The sound of water over rocks could be heard, a kind of atmospheric music to add auditory joy to the already visually stunning experience. Stepping into the forest is like stepping back in time. The soil and fallen leaves give just a little under your feet, adding a softness and warmth to every footfall. The colors green and brown radiate from all around, almost filling the air. Bits of fog still remain, and you unwittingly inhale them with each breath.