Hiking & birding around Marin Headlands

Sarah & I had a lovely pair of mini-hikes on Dec 16 in the Marin Headlands, ahead of an incoming storm.

Tennessee Valley Trail

Our first hike was to Tennessee Valley, a lovely short hike that we hadn’t done in over a year, despite the trailhead being only a 15-minute drive over the Golden Gate. Brewer’s Blackbirds and Golden-crowned Sparrows foraged in the parking lot, but it was otherwise pretty quiet. The first quarter-mile of the trail was rather blustery, but things calmed down once we descended into the valley proper.

Point Lobos, another photo essay

(I’m rather behind on editing photos, reviewing restaurants, etc etc., so I’m going with minimal text on my birding reports for the time being!)

Sarah & I visited Point Lobos State Reserve, one of our favorite places on the planet, last Sunday, 11/18, and as always, had a lovely time, even though conditions didn’t permit much in the way of great photography.

View from our hotel room (w/a 420mm lens, anyways!)

A lovely day in Princeton-by-the-Sea

Oh dear, this report is so late as to be useless, but here goes anyways…. About a month(!!) ago, Sarah & I had a lovely walk on the bluffs above Pillar Point near Princeton-by-the-Sea, a small fishing community about an hour south of San Francisco.

We stopped for lunch at the take-out counter at Barbara’s Fish Trap, which had the longest line I’ve ever seen them have – by the time we got to the window, there were 25 people lined up behind us!  After some yummy fish & chips, we drove south to Half Moon Bay to get some pumpkins.  By drove, I mean “sat in a car at a snail’s pace.”  Unbeknownst to us, this was the Pumpkin Festival weekend, and everyone in the bay area seemed to be on Half Moon Bay’s roads.

Farmer Bob’s Pumpkin Farm

Oregon Road Trip – Day 9 – Eureka, CA to San Francisco

We woke at 8:15, checked out of our hotel, then had some tasty breakfast bagels in downtown Eureka at Los Bagels, which had an interesting mix of Jewish and Mexican decor, as befitted the name. While downtown we drove by the Carson Mansion again, since, although its best lighting is near sunset, across the street is a lovely and more modest (only by comparison) Victorian dubbed “the Pink Lady” that Carson built for his daughter.

“The Pink Lady,” Eureka, California

Oregon Road Trip – Day 5 – Portland, OR to Pacific City, OR

Sarah & I woke up early, had a quick breakfast, said our goodbyes, and were on the road at 8:30, heading west toward Tillamook. The drive was only about 90 minutes, and was very pretty as well as traffic-free once we cleared the Portland metro area.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
A tourist-trap for cheese addicts like myself

(warning, this is a lonnnnng post with many pictures!)

Hiking from Wright’s Lake to Twin Lake (Desolation Wilderness, California)

Unlike most camping trips, we decided to do only one hike during our recent visit to Wright’s Lake, partly because we wanted to relax, and partly because our friends Deb & Terry were planning on 7 days of backpacking right after we finished camping, and they understandably didn’t want to start tired!

Since this is a long post with a lot of photos….