Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Surf is Calling Part Deux ~ April 17-18, 2014

Wednesday morning we're again up at dawn and on the bluff with our morning coffee. We decide to take the day off, put a picnic together and head to Muir Woods: Rod to read and rest his knee, me to wander about with my camera. 

Instead of taking the usual route up Mt. Tam and down to Muir Woods we took the coastal route south on Shoreline Hwy. The view is stunning. En route we pass the venerable Slide Ranch. The Miwok once fished and foraged for food at the site and in the late 19th century Portuguese dairy farmers purchased the land and produced milk and butter for the residents of San Francisco. The Nature Conservancy purchased 134 acres in 1969 to rescue the area from commercial development. The Slide Ranch non profit was established in 1970. It's open to the public for hiking and picnicking and to teach students and families about a healthy food systems and sustainability. We put it on our exploration list for the next time we're at Stinson. For now we continue south. 

visit http://slideranch.org/

On a whim we decide to check out the Muir Beach Overlook. Besides being one of the best viewpoints in the area, it has a fascinating history. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor four "base end fire control stationsthe were constructed to house soldiers assigned to watch the water for enemy ships with powerful spotting scopes. If they saw anything they could relay coordinates to nearby command centers so batteries could take aim at targets. Ships, thank goodness, were never sighted and the "gopher holes" were decommissioned after the war. 

We ate our picnic lunch with a guest looking on and then walked around a bit, checking out the breathtaking views from Bolinas to San Francisco. 

Off we go to Muir Woods, or so we thought. Granted it was a Thursday afternoon, but we were stunned by the crowds. There were cars parked all the way up the six mile route to the park. Fortunately there is a path across the road so pedestrians weren't in the road. We looked at each other and decided we'd do this another time, like 9 am on a Monday morning! Starting to think about the last time we were there, it was probably 30 years ago. Funny how things change. The biggest population group on the paths was our generation. Rats they're all retired and on the road! Good grief Em-R-Us.

Back to Stinson for a walk, a thorough housecleaning, and a lite supper. Friday morning we decide to pack up and have breakfast at the Parkside in Stinson so we don't have to clean up the kitchen again. It was an "excellent" choice. We head out about 9 got home by 11.