Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mount Tamalpais, Muir Woods National Monument

1a

Today we headed a bit inland to get a “view” from Mount Tamalpais.  What you see below is Stinson Beach, which is both a town, and one of the cleanest beaches in California.  Beyond the beach is a break and there is a gap of water which leads to Bolinas Lagoon which is behind the beach. 

1b

On the way to the turn off to Mount Tamalpais we passed Bolinas Lagoon  and saw these harbor seals taking in the sun.  Just three hours later there was no sandbar, and no seals in sight!

1c

On the other side of Mount Tamalpais we get a good look of the northern end of San Francisco Bay.  To the far right, way out there, is the Oakland Bay Bridge.

1d

A shout-out to my oldest son Michael who just started his studies at University of California Berkley.  Yes, a fuzzy picture, but that is as close as we got to Oakland/Berkley area.  He is in the grad school getting a degree in Public Policy.  Just talked to him the other day and he is doing well…doing better than our 49ers are doing, that’s for sure.

2a

With Mount Tamalpais being a bust, we moved on to Muir Woods.  “A Bust” you say???  Well, after we got up to the entrance to Mount Tamalpais, we found that Pan Toll Road was closed due to a high fire danger.  Not sure when the closed it, but with what happened over at Mount Diablo about ten days ago, you can’t blame them, that’s for sure.  But it kept us from getting even better shots.  But Muir Woods is a very nice, yet busy, place to go to see….yes, even more REDWOODS!  And this is a National Monument, so our National Park Pass means it was free, err, already paid for with our senior pass.  (I tell Marcia that I married her for her senior pass.)

2b

To get the full picture of this, you have to click on it and look at the much larger picture….It gives you a time table of the life of this tree from 900 AD when they estimate it was born, to 1930 when they knew it had fallen.  It is hard to count the rings in person, let alone try and get a picture of them.

2c

For the most part, the path was easy….you can see way down there Marcia racing along admiring the beauty.  There were a few bumpy areas, but nothing she could not handle in the GoGo.  We did a mile, but it was a much easier mile than I did yesterday going out to the lighthouse, that’s for sure.

2d

There were a lot of people there, and we were told that the road construction had made the crowd smaller than normal.  All of the other Redwood Forests we have been too did not have nearly the number of people as we saw today.  

2e

But this is only about 30 minutes away from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge….how many large cities in the world are so close to big Redwoods like this?  Well, all you have to do is go to western edge of Golden Gate Park and you will see Redwoods…not many people know that.

3a    3b
3c    3d

Yep, these trees are big too…like the others ones we have seen in the past.  But until you have stood under a big coastal Redwood…and smell the aroma that the trees, the ferns, the undergrowth put out, you have not lived a full life.

4a

On our way back to the campground, we tried to see Muir Beach, but it was closed…but above is a place called Muir Beach overlook.  Nope, we did not walk out to the point on this one today….

4b

Because I was able to see a shot of “The City” from this view.  San Francisco, a great place to visit, but I sure would not live there….

4c

And as we got down the road just a bit more, a better shot of the city appears.  If you look close to the mid-right, you can see the Golden Gate….no, not the bridge, the entrance to San Francisco Bay.  I see this and I think of my ancestors who arrived to California via ship in the 1848-1850 time period.  No Golden Gate Bridge to see….very few buildings to see.  But this glorious view of the shoreline opening up and there is this wonderful bay….what a thrill they must have felt.  And that large tower to the right?  Well, that is the TV tower that our motorhome just can’t pick up a signal from….

5a

So we have come to the finish line…. time to go back to Sacramento area.  Only time will tell what our next adventure will be.

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