Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Sunday Drive on Friday Morning

The paper said it was going to be 93 today, not my cup of tea. Give me 75 and light breeze and I'm a happy camper.

The gardens are still moist from the rains at the end of June and the pasture's been mowed. No chores? After breakfast and cribbage we decide on a local field trip. We'll head to Armstrong Redwoods for a hike in the shade, and if that doesn't do the trick we'll head for Walk On Beach up the coast and post our butts next to the ocean for a few hours and stay cool.

We pack a picnic and head for the woods about 11. Hungry by the time we get there, we eat first and then head up towards Armstrong Tree with the idea of doing the Pool Ridge Trail Loop (about 2.3 miles).

Fungus on a dead fall - Rod called them Turkey Tails

What we had forgotten (we did this hike about 20 years ago - 20 years younger ago) was the 500 foot climb with lots of switch backs. It was like walking up our 45 degree sloped road. Can you spell shin splints? And of course the temperature and humidity climbed as we did. About 1/2 a mile up the trail we looked at each other and shook our heads - not working, so back down the trail we go and head out to the coast.

Hwy 116 has just been repaved, the temperature falls into the 60s as we head west and there is no traffic - the trifecta of awesome. The drive up Hwy 1 is gorgeous. Even though it's July there are copious amounts of spring wildflowers and the hills still show a hint of green. We do have to watch out for the occasional sidehill salmon ~ grazing cattle to you city dwellers. Flights of pelicans are cruising gracefully up the coastline and then drop out of the sky, like wayward missiles, diving for food.

Walk On Beach is just south of Gualala and the trail allows you to walk along the cliffs at Sea Ranch. Fortunately for us part of the agreement for allowing development of the area was public access.

Walk on Beach trail view

After a walk of about 2 miles we decide it's time for a snack so we head north to Gualala. Here we discover Bones Roadhouse (BBQ, brews and blues music) and split a delicious seafood sampler. In answer to your question ~ no we haven't fallen off the Vegan wagon ~ we are now what Rod calls Flexitarians and occasionally we allow ourselves chicken or seafood. After dining we hit the local bakery for a few cookies for the ride home.

The return trip just as gorgeous and cool, as we head inland towards home the temperature rises, but by the time we hit the driveway it's a reasonable 80 degrees. We read on the porch until dark and then called it a day. A good day!