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.
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.
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).
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!