Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Round-Up: Backpacking

Backpacking this weekend was a fun adventure! You can see all the photos from our trip here. Rob and I left the city at 5:30, with the sun shining and Neil Diamond (my latest obsession) blaring.











Rob and I made it to Olema around 6:30 and stopped for dinner at the Farmhouse. As with all of California, it was loaded with European families on holiday. I sincerely doubt that there is anyone left in France this summer. At 8:00, we were all loaded up and on the Bear Valley Trail. I'm so excited in this photo.











That excitement didn't last very long once it got dark, about a half hour into the hike. I have a fairly well documented aversion to hiking at night. There was an incident in Costa Rica involving a dark country road, poisonous frogs and capri pants. I don't even particularly like walking in my own apartment in the dark.

This night hike was no exception. I tried my best to stay brave...even in the face of two incidents where my headlamp spotted glowing eyes (two deer and then one raccoon or bobcat) staring at me from the bushes. Four miles later, we arrived at Glen Camp unscathed and set up for the night.

The next morning, we awoke to a bright and sunny day...not what we expected from this normally foggy area. Our campsite was very nice. We were under the shade of a big oak tree next to a bubbling creek. Rob made coffee and delicious blueberry pancakes for our breakfast.









After our start, we decided to hike to the beach, about a 6 mile trek round-trip. We saw so much flora and fauna on this hike, including: rabbits, red tailed hawks, lizards, a million variations of finches, seals, squirrels and chipmunks. At Wildcat Beach, we snacked and walked down to Alemere Falls. The hike back to camp was a little strenuous and hot but alleviated a bit by finding wild blackberries.











Lunch and a nap at the campsite. A herd of probably 100 quail live in the camp, complete with a "preschool" of 30 chicks and 4 minders. Fun to watch! We went for another hike around 5pm, this time up the hill to Fir Top, about three miles. All these trails are so lush, covered in four foot ferns and lots of wildflowers. By now, Rob and I were both getting very sore legs. Back at camp, we played cards and made dinner of smoked salmon pasta. Yum! We turned in to read once it got dark.

Sunday morning, we slept in despite the best efforts of a few naughty blue jays. The whole camp had become soaked with fog overnight. This is the weather you would expect for Point Reyes. More coffee and more excellent pancakes (I'll share our recipes later).









We packed up our camp and headed out around 10:00. Really sore by this point, but the lovely sights along the trail during daylight kept me going. The hike ends with you popping out of the dark woods into a lovely California scene. Rob was excited to be done:











We drove back to the city and hit a wall of fog in Sausalito. We carried our gear inside, had hot showers and got pizza delivery from down the street to recover. Laundry, grocery shopping, dishes and other chores before turning into our soft bed at 10:30 pm.

Overall, our first backpacking trip was a big success. Point Reyes was as fine as ever (I'm always surprised that more people from San Francisco don't go up there), our campsite was ideal and our packs weren't too heavy. We did about 20 miles of hiking in all and were even a little "homesick" for our camp.

4 comments:

Gail said...

Your pics make me want to go camping! Unfortunately there nothing nearly as gorgeous close to Houston, TX! :)

stella g. said...

we're camping in two weeks and you've gotten my heart all atwitter. i love the picture of your fiance at the table relaxing with a book early in the morning - that's my favorite part about being outdoors. no agenda. thanks for sharing all the pics!

Liz said...

looks like fun! i haven't backpacked in ages.

if you ever get a chance to head out for a long weekend, you should hike Havasupai, which is just off the Grand Canyon. It's like Hawaii down there!!

MissEm said...

Coincidence! We're doing Havasupai at the end of our honeymoon.