Only 10 miles away from home and an entirely different world, Marin Headlands provides city dwellers with a bit of nature just across the bridge. And when San Franciscans go camping, we do it in excess: no less than six kinds of gourmet cheese, artisanal bread, fresh fruit, local salami, drip coffee, beer, wine, brandy, vodka, whiskey, tequila, smoked salmon, half and half and chocolates. And all of this carried from the city and up a 1,000 feet to the campsite by bike!
Rob and I headed north at 6:00 on Friday and made it to Hawk Hill camp before eight. A very steep uphill dirt trail for the last three miles. I set up camp while Rob biked out to pick up 5 gallons of water (no water within miles of the campsite) and our friends Jackie and Pierre from Davis.
Up early on Saturday morning with hot sun warming up our tents quickly. Breakfast of banana pancakes, coffee, oatmeal and grapes. We headed down to the valley on bike to see the Marine Mammal Center. From there to the Nike Missile site, a cold war defense site that has been restored. It's an interesting place and staffed by intimidating older gentlemen who appear a bit wistful about the threat of nuclear winter.
From there, a group of us split off to go to late lunch at Fish in Sausalito.
Crab rolls, fish tacos and salmon sandwiches before heading back to camp - another 700 foot and 3 mile climb on dirt roads. A fairly warm evening spent with tortilla soup and plenty of drinking. We caught views of early fireworks shows in Vallejo, Oakland and Daly City.
Up the next morning to another bright and sunny day. We had pancakes again, this time with fresh cherries on the side. As we were preparing to leave for Tennessee Valley beach, we saw that classic Bay Area fog rolling in quickly. Down toward sunny Sausalito instead.
We enjoyed the warm sand at Richardson beach and had an amazing lunch at Le Garage. I had eggs benedict with chorizo and a Stella - others enjoyed croque madam, smoked salmon tartine, kobe hamburgers and duck confit. We ordered every dessert on the menu and had a leisurely coffee to complete our meal. All that was left on the table after we finished were three duck bones and a sprig of rosemary! During lunch we discovered the harbor showers and took the opportunity for a bit of a clean up before heading back to camp once again. A close cayote encounter on the climb uphill.
Now, the campsite was completely socked in by blustering fog. About 30 foot visibility and "rain" dripping down from the trees. We promptly put on every piece of clothing we brought and set out for shots of Patron with fancy cheeses. Around 7:00, a huge group of bike friends from the city appeared at our campsite with homemade bread, extra water, cocktails and cheer. Unfortunately, no warm clothes, so their stay was brief before they went back to town. We scarfed down big pasta dinners in the cold and damp. Finally outdone by the weather at dusk, we packed into the biggest tent for cards, chocolates and listening to the fireworks shows. To bed early.
No respite from the fog the next morning. Everything was soaking wet and the wind was still blowing. Tea and jiffy pop for breakfast as we worked to pack up all our sopping gear while staying dry. We headed downhill at 11:00 - one last climb out of the hills, ocassionally having to push our overloaded bikes. We met up at the Dipsea Cafe for lunch together. Rob and I headed home over the Golden Gate Bridge as the rest split off by cars.
Sunny on our side of town, amazing how Bay Area weather can be so dramatic. Much needed showers and rest. Tents and sleeping bags hung to dry. Altogether - about 45 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing on fire roads, but with a massive amount of eating to counteract the exercise. A fun adventure with a great group of friends!
You can see more photos from the weekend here.