Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Palomarin to Wildcat

Yesterday was one of those charmed days when you get out of bed, look to the skies and see a radiant blue with the hope of a beautiful day ahead. It is the kind of a day when you can usually head safely for the beach to get in a Point Reyes walk. (ok hike).

All this is possible because I have an amazing partner, Myriam, who is holding down the fort for me as I train for the 3 day. I think she knows, when I am not walking, I am not at all balanced or as efficient.

When I reached PaloMarin Trailhead, a trailhead on the Coastal Trail, the skies were still blue. But if you looked to the coast you couldn't really see anything... it was still socked in with the "marine" layer we have come to know, love, hate and live with. I knew it would be clear on my way back from wherever I was headed.

Yes, there is an ocean beyond that cliff... if you had doubts.

Because taking pictures of the LONG views were probably going to be difficult, I opted to take come close up shots of some of the flower on the trail.

Even though the poppies of spring have faded, there are still a few
hanging around like they didn't get the memo... it's summer.

The morning glories were in their... glory.

I know you cant see it but behind this flower there was a squirrel hiding out.

Seemed to me that many of the purple and blue flowers had disappeared but there were plenty of orange,yellow, white and red flowers around.

The fog still clung to the valleys heading into the coastal mountains at about 10:00.

The trees on the trail framed a "view" of the fog beyond.

One purplish flower.

Along this trail there are a number of lakes. This one had a ton of water lilies decorating it.

I didn't bother to take a picture of the banana slug I found on the way. But I saw several lady bugs and butterflies.

Later in the day there were a ton of kids here swimming in the lake. They had to walk in a bit to get here, they deserved a swim. I had no idea people did that here!

The last time I was in Point Reyes was after a pretty big storm I think. Something like that knocked this big tree down... and even short little me had to scrunch down to walk under it.

That's some root ball!


Somewhere along here I was wondering where I was headed. Would I take a left when I got to the Alamere Falls trails or keep going. We had a listing appointment scheduled for 4 or 6 I thought... so I decided I would go a little farther.

The trail was rutted from rains and some of the trail hadn't been groomed in some while. You definitely have to watch where you are going.

Poison Oak lines the trail and you wouldn't dare walk off the trail, if you could help it.

Fog was still clinging to the coast around 11.

I looked down the trail to Alamere Falls and there was no way I was walking down that poison oak laden trail in capris!

So I kept on walking. I was thinking boy there are truly more hills to this trail than I remember.

I decided to head to Wildcat trail. There were trail markers that offered two choices, one Ocean Lakes trail and the other the Coastal Trail. I thought hey, look Ocean trail is going downhill and Coastal is going up.... that did it, I headed down.

I found out that this was one trail where it hadn't been maintained in awhile. The grass was tall and it was hard to find the trail underneath all the brush, but I kept pushing through. I got a little nervous thinking a BIG old Mountain Lion could be hiding in the grass. Then I thought about Olivia and somehow I wasn't so scared anymore. Chemo as a 2 year old, Mountain Lions as an old tough lady... I knew I could scare a Mountain Lion, I hope Olivia knows she can scare off the Cancer.

I know the trail was called Ocean Lakes. This was almost all I saw of a lake and it was the shallow end, reeded up.

Oh and this... fog.

This was really a pretty great day. It was very warm in the sun and cool but not cold in the fog. It was almost as though you could pick your temperature.

This bench will have a view in about 20 mins.

After passing this bench I started heading downhill toward Wildcat camp. Along the way I passed three guys with lawn mowers. Yup Lawn mowers.

I said "Boy this trail needs you!" and he responded, "I know we are a little late this year."

Even though they had cut all this grass I didn't really want to walk on that part. I was sure there would be some hole hiding under the grass. So I hugged the side of the trail. Then all of a sudden, I ran into some sort of sticker bush. It stung like a ...... both my arm and my leg.

I could see anything like a scratch though, but it was decidedly uncomfortable. I knew on the way home I would put on my new handy dandy compression sleeves to avoid further "surprises." Later including today, both my leg and my arm were numb, as though someone had injected lidocane. What was that bush?

Yup we are talking hills .... and this would be classified as hiking not walking.

And here I am at Wildcat Camp. this is a camping spot in easy walking distance to the beach. It is around 5.7 from PaloMarin trailhead and about 3.8 miles from Bear Valley Trail.

I walked over to the beach to find somewhere to sit down and cool off. By now even the beach had sun.

But just the beach, just off the coast the fog lingered. I ate a granola bar, and some sharkies, drank some water and planned my walk back.

Seriously how lucky are we to live in such a beautiful place?

Walking back along Coast Trail I passed more of the Ocean Lakes than I had from the Ocean Lake trail.

All along the alk back just as I predicted you could see the ocean and beyond. That equalled, sweat! I passed about 6 people who had just gotten on the trail from Alamere. They were obviously rested as I walked I heard them right behid me. I said "Hey go ahead and pass me. I think this 58 year old is getting alittle tired and I dont want to slow you up." They did, walk quickly past, then about 10 minutes later I came up on them again. They were beat. I passed them and didn't see them again. Take that whipper snappers!

Pretty Pretty Pretty...

This is near where that first FOG picture was.

It's all clear now.

Here's the map that is at the trailhead. Doesn't look too far dows it? But when I got back to the car the GPS told me I walked 11.8 miles.
And you know what it felt like 20.
How about you are you doing yours?

Have you bought your ticket to Cheers to a Cure? You wouldnt have a better time anywhere Friday July 29th.... I promise.