Point Reyes Station, CA
time: feb 14, 2007 11:14am
|~~ lba ~~||
It was sun and shine when I left San Francisco. A great morning. No clouds. Inspiring even. I had my complimentary bagel, cream cheese and vat of coffee. I then caught a bus over to the bridge. Upon exiting the bus on the SF side i noticed a Marin County Bus blow past. Damn. Had I done more research i could've been on that bus and in Sausalito. Whatever. I walked the bridge for a third time.
On the otherside there is a tunnel that the highway goes through. A dead route if ever i saw one. So i looked around to see how the bicycles were getting to Sausalito. A path lead down and under the bridge so i got on it and wound around the base of the footings. It is an enourmous super-structure. The golden gate that is. It must be an endless task keeping it painted and rust free.
I walked through an old fort on the other side of the bridge. It has been there since the days when San Fran was the best defended port on the west coast. They had tonnes of guns pointed at the Golden Gate. I walked past some barracks reinforced with earth on the water side. They are old and deserted. look like caves.
The Bay road took me around the pennisula and into Sausalito. I stopped at a market for some supplies and information. The lady behind the counter gave me some ridiculous directions, which i took to mean just head straight. So i did. Around that point a bunch of heavy black clouds came over the hills straight at me. I stopped to batten down the hatches. Tying my blue tarp over my Backpack, and putting on the Raincoat that Matt had given me. Within no time the clouds had dispersed without dropping anything.
I left the tarp on my pack and half an hour. The rain came on. With vengance. As if it had known that i have had it light. So i dived into a restaurant and had some lunch. The rain didn't let up. So i went back out into it. I found highway one a little furthur down the road. It wasn't far really. There was an enormous bridge that i was able to hide under for a spell.
a sunny break
The rain stopped again. I started walking again. Highway 1 is at its thinnest leaving Marin City. Barely any room 6 inches of shoulder at its best. It was deadly close to the heavy traffic. But on I went. through another town and then up into the hills. It rained off and on. Not persistent enough to warrant a hunker. A truck stopped on one of the curves and offered me a lift. I threw my pack in the back and hopped in. Sam the dog licked my face in its entirity. I had to subdue it with a bit of a headlock, but it was wriggly and squirmed out. The Gentleman driving said he knew where this Mythical coast trail was. Finally someone in the know!
He dropped me off in a rather desolate area. I say desolate because of the sky. A forboding black out over the ocean. It wasn't raining at that point but it was easy to see that it was about to. There was no shelter along the road. The closest trees were up a steep slope along the trail. I cruised up the hill as fast as I could. The rain came. It was harsh coming in. Flying at a 60 degree angle. I pulled the tarp over my head in a manner that made me look like a blue hooded hunchback. Full length strides up the hill.
The trees hardly kept the rain at bay. They cut the wind out nicely, but that was it. I hunkered in a crosslegged position under a tree. My jeans were soaked. Boots were soup. but my upper body was dryish. Remarkable really. I waited for a half hour. The storm grew in intensity. Lightning. Then nothing. just mist. I bid haste at that point. Got the hell off the mountain. Fearing that water would be headed my way once more before the night was out.
There were signs telling me that there was a ranger station 2 miles up the trail. Long legs in full effect, i nearly ran the two miles. Getting to the station just as the twilight was setting. There was a light on in the Ranger Cabin. I didn't knock. Instead i just curled up in the woodshed and slept the rest of the brutish night away.
there was a cat living in the wood
I woke during the night to the sound of a compressor coming on. It was a mere 3 feet from my head and was incredibly loud. It came on another 3 times. In the morning the ranger came out but didn't notice me. So i packed up my stuff as quietly as possible. On my way out i passed infront of the shop and waved to the ranger. He waved back and seemed undisturbed by my presence.
It was a sunny morning. All the forest was loud with the sounds of water. Waterfalls every few feet or so. The trail was muddy, but soft on my bruised foot. It was 4 miles or so to the town of Stinson Beach. And quite the hill to go down. 2 miles of the trail was switchbacks down a cliff. I arrived at stinson beach at 10:00 am. I stopped at the Market for some food stuffs, and the local cafe for some breakfast stuff. Expensive breaky. $11 without coffee.
where is that beach?
I didn't feel particularly inclined to go back up the switchbacks to the trail. So i followed the narrow highway around the Lagoon. Just past Dogtown another trail opened up next to the road. It was tempting but i didn't know where it went. The highway was so narrow though that i felt it absolutely nessecary to get off it.
There was a river flowing down the trail. there was plenty of shoulder though. Wet grass. A little ways off the highway i came across a creek wholely swollen from the previous days rain. I had to build a little ford to cross it. Thankfully there were plenty of rocks around.
I came across another Ranger station just up the trail. I pestered some rangers and they gave me a map of the trails in the area. A very useful thing. Its bad to follow paths blindly. The trail took me through some excellent oak forests mixed with redwood and cypress. Mostly oak. I saw many deer. 3 types by my reckoning. Some spotted ones, which were almost white. Dark close to black ones. And the common white tail.
I stopped and talked to a birder for a while. He showed me his bird book and we talked about observations. I told him how i saw a sparrow hawk catch a small finch. His eyes lit up, and he said he had never seen that before.
I got to Olema at 4:00pm. I stopped for a burger and salad there and asked where the hostel was. The bartender pointed it out to me on my map. It was 5 miles off the main route. She told me that it was an easy hitch. I didn't tell her that i am trying to avoid sticking my thumb out. I walked down the road to the turn off and debated sticking out my thumb. One car passed. I decided to let 3 cars pass then i would camp out in the field next. 5 minutes went by and i gave up. Deciding that it was completely unreasonable to go 10 miles out of my way to stay in a bed.
It was a clear night as i rolled out my sleeping bag. Worrisome to a degree. Clear is cold, and the mist in the morning was sure to soak. I hid my computer in a garbage back and tarped the rest of my stuff. I myself slept in the open-faced sandwich position. exposed to whatever moisture was headed my way.
Sure enough i woke to mist. My sleeping bag was damp on the outside, but no hint of moisture on the inside. Shivering i packed my tarped dry goods. No moisture on the compy, excellent. It was a mere 2 miles to coffee. I have found it at an old Purina Feeds terminal. It still smells like horses in here but i think they are more a fruit/coffee stand now and less about the farms.
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