9 July 2008

We left the hotel and picked up the rental car from Avis just a couple of blocks from the hotel.  Then we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County.  Our plan was to visit Muir Woods first.

We arrived at Muir Woods around 10:30 a.m.  Parking is always iffy there, but we managed to get a spot very close to the entrance by circling the lot a few times.  Admission was $5 apiece.

We decided to do a 3-mile hike with an 800-foot climb.  That would leave plenty of time to do more exploring in Marin County.  We took the Ocean View Trail up to the Lost Trail, then to Fern Creek Trail.  That brought us back to the main trail.  As we climbed up in elevation, the trees changed from redwoods to Douglas firs, and then back to redwoods on the way down.  The varied lighting on the redwoods brought out different colors which looked interesting.  The trees really have to be experienced in person to have any idea what they are like.  Pictures alone really don’t convey their majesty.  Being amongst the redwoods is a really unique experience.

We ate lunch in the cafe next to the gift shop.  Teagan bought a shot glass in the gift shop after we took pictures of each other standing next to a wood carving of John Muir.

We left Muir Woods and headed to Highway 1 to follow it to Stinson Beach.  Once the highway reached the ocean, we stopped at several turnouts to take pictures.  The neatest stop we made was Muir Beach Overlook.

We continued until we got to Stinson Beach where we stopped at the park.  It was an unusually warm day, so the beach was packed.  We walked out to the water to check it out.  There was a large group of surfers at the south end, but the others in the water were just wading or boogie boarding.  Most were just hanging out on the beach.

After we left Stinson Beach, we headed to Sausalito.  We stopped at a market/deli to pick up some sandwiches to take up to the Marin Headlands.

After we crossed under Highway 101, we followed Conzelman Rd. which has the pullouts that give good views of the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background.  The usual summer haze was in the air, but we still could see the city pretty well.  We couldn’t make out much of the Bay Bridge or the East Bay from there, though.  Some fog started rolling in by the time we got to the third pullout.  We ate our sandwiches there and enjoyed the view.

We continued all the way to Bonita Lighthouse and to the end of the road.  We returned along an inland road since Conzelman Rd. is one-way.  We saw a covey of California Quail.  It was around 6:30 p.m., so they were becoming more active.  We saw two more coveys along the road on the way out.  We also saw a cayote on the same road earlier.

We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge ($5, thank you) back to San Francisco and drove around for a while.  Then we headed to the hotel to drop the car off.  We unloaded some things in the room and headed out to walk around the Fisherman’s Wharf area.

Teagan found a shot glass she like in one of the shops.  We listened to some street music and looked in a few more stores before we headed back to the hotel.

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