Over multiple weekends in May, I’ve been on multiple Bay Area outings.
A 95 Mile Bike Ride to Petaluma and Back
On the sunny second Saturday of May, J and I rented road bikes to join her friend for a 95 mile ride to Petaluma and back.
Shunning specialized gear, I wore commuter jeans rolled up into shorts, a normal shirt, and carried a backpack. While the bike had pedal cages, I wore an elfish pair of red TOMS.
A large group of riders congregated at Crissy Field. They were training for an SF to LA ride, and it was the final group training ride.
The route took us across the bridge, into Fairfax, Nicasio, and then across to Petaluma. It was 91 miles total, with a few scheduled stops, and 11 significant hills.
I did better than I expected. By Fairfax, I wanted to keep going, then by Nicasio I had fully committed.
The day was sunny but mild, not too windy. Wild flowers were in full bloom and the country roads were lush with beautiful scenery and wild turkeys.
As expected, the hill climbs sucked. A dreaded one mile steep incline wasn’t nearly as annoying as a longer more gradual incline on the return trip. Many of the hills on the return I had to take small breaks for.
By the end of the ride I wasn’t saddle sore, but my arms felt stiff from bracing on the more aggressive posture of the bike. My backpack, helmet, and clothes sparkled with salt.
I didn’t bring my camera, so sadly there are no photos except for this one.
Stopping for a photo after the steepest hill.
Devil’s Slide Trail
Devil’s Slide Trail is a 1.3-mile multi-use trail, converted from a former segment of Highway 1. This section of road is prone to rock slides and road collapse, so now the highway department only has to worry about hikers and bicyclists plummeting into the ocean.
The paved trail is pristine, and the sprawling views of the ocean and jagged coast are beautiful.
What is this California, France?
Prime Echium candicans.
Formerly Highway 1, now the Devil’s Slide Trail.
Someone forgot to antialias these rocks.
A view of the ocean.
Looking back on the trail.
The ruins of an abandoned building, with small people for scale.
Yellow versus blue.
A bend through the rock.
2. Pescadero, Goats, San Gregorio State Beach
After the hike, we went to the small town of Pescadero for our traditional meal of warm artichoke bread, salami, and cheese.
Since we had never continued past the town on Pescadero Creek Road, we turned left and went east. Almost immediately, we slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop in front of a goat dairy.
A pen of hungry kids was there for the petting. We missed the tour of the barns and milking area, so we watched the group getting head butted by big-teated goats.
Above the goat products store was a dining hall with a massive wooden table and high-backed chairs that would have fit perfectly in Game of Thrones.
We backtracked to San Gregorio State Beach, paid the parking fee, and crossed a stream to an enchanting world of mostly unoccupied beach driftwood beach shanties.
We found a perfect shanty and sat in the shade while watching the waves crash.
Curious goats facing freedom.
A hungry kid.
J in a shelter.
Biker walking between shelters.
Looking out from the shadows of our temporary dwelling.
Making chicken tacos.
A life hack.
A Presidio porch on Sunday.
Our small staghorn fern. Its larger brother was taking a shower.
A Botanical Picnic
The next Saturday, we walked through Golden Gate Park to meet a friend and his baby for a picnic.
J in the stairwell.
Used frisbee golf frisbees for sale.
An unofficial-looking truck.
J and the trippy red wall.
Me and the same wall, tripping.
OUNTY FAIR BLD.
Even more complex seed pods, textured like peach skin.
Blackberries and flowers competing for space by the lake.
Nature’s nut sack.
A gardener’s puppy.
On Sunday, after getting cleared from having to work, J and I drove the scooter up to Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands. As usual, the view was epic.
We took the scenic way home, and I braced against the massive eastward winds when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
May is coming to and end, but there is one more post to go.
Spoiler alert: Irish Beach house.