Monday in Marin

California poppy and artemesia near Muir Beach

California poppy and artemesia near Muir Beach

We had a tourist day, across the Golden Gate, to the Marin County highlands. Emily was the tour guide for the day! We headed first for Muir Woods, home of the magnificent coast redwood grove–alas, the place was packed and as we drove and drove and drove, looking for a place to park, we started to ponder on a plan B. We parked the car, looked at a map, and decided to find the Redwood Creek trail and follow it. As we looked around to see where we were, we realized we had parked right next to the trail. We had a lovely ramble, checking out various woodland wildflowers, coming across an enormous Banana Slug, and checking out a (relatively small, but impressive non the less) random redwood tree along the trail.

John and Mary with Sequoia sempervivens along the Redwood Creek Trail

John and Mary with Sequoia sempervivens along the Redwood Creek Trail


John and Emily on Redwood Creek trail

John and Emily on Redwood Creek trail


Redwwod Creek trail

Redwwod Creek trail


Emily with Banana Slug, (Ariolimax californicus)

Emily with Banana Slug, (Ariolimax californicus)


John and Mary on Redwood Creek Trail

John and Mary on Redwood Creek Trail


Coastal manroot, cucumber gourd, (Marah oreganus)

Coastal manroot, cucumber gourd,
(Marah oreganus)


Columbine, (Aquilegia formosa)

Columbine,
(Aquilegia formosa)


Coastal manroot, cucumber gourd, (Marah oreganus)

Coastal manroot, cucumber gourd,
(Marah oreganus)


California Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

California Live Oak
(Quercus agrifolia)


California Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

California Live Oak
(Quercus agrifolia)

Our next adventure of the day took us along California Route 1 (clearly the place a lot of car commercials are filmed). We don’t have roads like this in the state of Maine!! We stopped for another trail adventure, this time along the beautiful Steep Ravine trail. We encountered many more redwoods, including a classic trunk that had fallen across the stream and was sprouting new trunks from the burls.

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervivens), sprouting new trees from burls Steep Ravine Trail

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervivens), sprouting new trees from burls
Steep Ravine Trail


Mary with Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervivens) along Steep Ravine Trail

Mary with Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervivens)
along Steep Ravine Trail


Along CA 1, near Steep Ravine Trail

Along CA 1, near Steep Ravine Trail


View from California Route 1

View from California Route 1


Our final destination of the day was Muir Beach and another delicious picnic lunch made by Emily. We encountered a particularly friendly dog (at lunch time, of course), saw a lot of interesting rock formations and beach flotsam, and studied a very impressive dune restoration (with native plants) project. Redwood Creek, which empties into the Pacific Ocean at Muir Beach, is the same creek we had hiked along earlier in the day (and higher in the hills).
Muir Beach

Muir Beach


flotsam on Muir Beach (kelp float, crab shell and the remains of "by-the-wind sailors" (Velella velella), a jellyfish

flotsam on Muir Beach (kelp float, crab shell and the remains of “by-the-wind sailors” (Velella velella), a jellyfish


Muir Beach

Muir Beach


California poppy (Escholzia californica) and artemesia near Muir Beach

California poppy (Escholzia californica) and artemesia near Muir Beach


Silver dune lupine (Lupinus chamissonis)

Silver dune lupine
(Lupinus chamissonis)


Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)

Poison oak
(Toxicodendron diversilobum)


We finished up the day back in San Francisco checking out some beautiful views of the Golden Gate and Ocean Beach. What a great trip!
View of Golden Gate

View of Golden Gate


Sutro Baths

Sutro Baths

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