Wednesday, April 9, 2008
We caught up with friends Al, Cheryl, their daughter Elise, Theo, Trisa, Chris, and Julia at the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach after work on Thursday. The Pelican was built in 1978, but carefully modeled after an Old English road house/Inn. It has the exterior you would expect, but the interior is even more authentic with low ceilings, exposed, hand hewn beams, and a walk-in fireplace mounted with all the suitable instruments you'd need to roast a leg of lamb or boil up a hearty stew. The managers let us park our camper in the lot while our friends all stayed in the rooms inside - each with its own rustic character (but private baths!). The rest of the crew had hiked all day Thursday from San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, up into the Golden Gate recreation area's folded terrain ending up at Muir Beach, one of the first sizable indentations in the California coast north of the gate. After dinner we all retired to "The Snug" a cozy sitting room with fireplace and soft stuffed chairs. Here is a link to the Inn in case you are interested in paying them a visit.
The Pelican Inn
In the morning we shared a true English breakfast of eggs, bangers, and potatoes($24 for two) - actually Diane and I just had Oatmeal...but GOOD oatmeal and were on the trail by 10:00 am. We hiked up to Muir woods - a stand of giant redwood trees preserved from the loggers all this time, just a short trip north of the City. We strolled at a leisurely pace through the big trees, then picked up the pace as we left the crowded big trees areas and began the climb 1,400 feet up Mt. Tam's ridge to the Pan Toll Ranger station. We arrived there by 12:30 and had a sunny lunch at an abandoned campground picnic table. After a short break, we followed the Matt Davis Trail another 4 miles to the village of Stinson beach where Al had stashed a car two days earlier. We used that for the shuttle to go get the camper and another car, and then we all rendezvoused at Al & Chyerl's house in Bolinas. The hike was loaded with wildflowers, soaring buzzards, a pair of amorous alligator lizards, and lots of poison oak.
With the warming sun and longer days, the wild flowers are blooming along the bike path near our home. On this one hillside sandwiched between Lake Temescal, the park's corporation yard, the bike path and the drone of the southbound lane of Rt. 13, this crazy collection of yellow hybrid corn flowers bloom every year during this season. On the day we went by, the temperatures had dropped and the sun was just beginning to dip into the western ocean. You can tell by the curl of the flower pedals that the flowers are getting ready for a cold clear night.