Hiking adventures: Tanbark and Tin House Trail- Big Sur, Ca.


For Valentine’s Day I planned a day of hiking for us down in Big Sur. I’ve never really been into the whole commercial part of this holiday…this isn’t to say that I don’t like receiving flowers or going to dinner but I never expect anything on Valentine’s Day because I already know that my husband loves me all year long. Anyway, this is a hike I’ve wanted to do for a while but doubted I could do it. Because I decided that this year is the year I stop being afraid of putting myself out there, try new things and push myself more to get out of my comfort zone I made plans for this big hike. It’s not big in terms of length but it’s ALL uphill to the Tin House. This trail starts out across from the unmarked Partington Cove trail head (a neat, very short trail that takes you to a small cove that, during prohibition ,was rumored to be a favorite spot for alcohol smugglers). The Tanbark Trail is also unmarked and is located across the street. At first glance, it’s an unassuming trail but very quickly you are in a redwood canyon  filled with ferns and big boulders while heading inland. This only lasts about half a mile and then you begin your upward climb.


This photo is a perfect depiction of the upward trajectory that the trail takes for 2-3 miles. It evens out a bit but it’s still pretty upward until you get to the Tin House.

Midway through the hike we stopped and had lunch on some fallen trees. It was a pretty spectacular view for a Valentine’s Day lunch. Sun streaming through the trees, total quiet other than the small brook running though the valley and moss covered trees to sit on. It was a nice reprieve from the uphill climb we had been enduring. This may not be a very long hike but you definitely need to be in shape to get up these hills.


The trail tops out at the junction to the Tin House. The trail actually ends at a fire road but off to the left is the trail that takes you out to the Tin House. Some info about the Tin House from this website “The house has an interesting history and was built in 1944 by Lathrop Brown, a former Congressman from New York, who also built the home above McWay Falls that was finally removed in 1965. The tin sheeting and parts came from two old gas stations, and the house was fully finished inside with rich blue walls in the living room.

The story goes that when the house was completed, the Browns spent one night there and soon discovered that the tin structure made a lot of noise as it expanded and shrank with the temperature changes. They never returned.”

At this point the house is in pretty bad conditions due to weather and vandals. Nate was up there about 1 or 2 years ago and I guess it’s become even more damaged than when he saw it then. When you walk around to the ocean side of it though the views are spectacular of the coast and Partington Cove area. Standing there enjoying the view I could imagine the lawn parties they may have had here had they stayed here more than the one night. I wish I had seen the house when it was not falling apart and crumbling. I bet it was a pretty awesome sight.

The fire road that takes you back out to the highway is pretty steep but after you come out of the trees the views of the coast are amazing. The only downside of the hike is that when you take this exit out you have to walk the 1/2 a mile back to the car right on Highway 1. With all the turns and narrow road this can be a bit of an adventure. We had to cross and re-cross to keep on the bigger part of the shoulder so that we were safe.

When we got back to the car we decided to head down to Partington Cove because we hadn’t done this short hike in a couple of years. We spent a little bit of time sitting on the bench watching the waves and resting for a bit.We probably should have spent a bit more time hanging out there because by the time we got to the Point Lobos area of Highway 1 the traffic was at a standstill and stayed that way for almost an hour (just to go 5 miles) due to numerous events happening in the area. It took so long that we just stopped by Chipotle’s and picked up dinner so that we could just stay home the rest of the evening and watch movies. Happy Valentine’s Day to us!

Hike length: 5.6 miles (plus another mile for the Partington Cove trail) Elevation Gain:1600 ft.  Trail condition: Excellent and very well maintained. Trail is unmarked but obvious.

Thanks for reading!




List 44: camp at Big Basin in Santa Cruz (#36)

IMG_3605IMG_3281 Big Basin has been on my radar for years. We did an impromptu day trip there one year but it was so busy that we couldn’t even find parking. Thankfully Nate forgot about that detail when I told him I’d reserved a campsite there for our anniversary weekend. He remembered  it as we pulled up to check in at the park but at that point it was too late;)

This is a busy, BUSY park. Fortunately the weekend we went the weather was predicting rain (which happened) and so I think this deterred some people from keeping their camping reservation and so the first night (Friday night) was very quiet. We knew we had a long hike the following morning so we didn’t want to have a late night anyway. You can’t tell by the photo but the tent we took was HUGE. Like for 8-10 people and it was just the two of us…Nate had recenlty found the tent at a second hand store and this was our first weekend trying it out. It fits our air mattress (no judging) with plenty of room for a few other people. The only thing it didn’t come with was a rain flap so Nate fashioned one out of a large tarp. He did an amazing job but unfortunately, even though the prediction was for light rain for a couple of hours, it rained from 10pm until 6am the next morning with almost no break. So the tent flooded a little bit. We were dry and we had the foresight to put all our stuff in garbage bags so overall we were good. But a cold damp tent is not what you want to wake up to. We had a long hike ahead of us though so being cold ended up being a good thing as it forced us to get up and head out as soon as possible.

One of the reasons I waited so long to plan this outing was because I wanted to be able to do the Berry Falls loop which is almost 11 miles. Last year at this time I could barely walk a mile because of my Plantar Fasciitis issues. My podiatrist had me limiting my walking to about a mile only each day. That was a tough time for me. Thankfully I healed up pretty quick (by following his advice) and a year later I am doing 11-12 miles with no pain at all. I guess giving up a couple months of my life for healing was worth it!



Anyway…the Berry Loop Falls Trail. It’s a must. It is one one of the most enchanting hikes I’ve ever been on. The amount of lushness and growth in this little valley is mind boggling. Redwoods and ferns and creeks running through it. I love the fact that when trees fall down the park just leaves them down and just cuts out enough of an area so you can walk the path. This loop features a couple of really impressive waterfalls that run year round. We took the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail and hiked uphill to the falls (usually people do the trail the opposite way) and then out to park headquarters on the Sunset trail. I think that the way we did the hike worked out better than if we had followed the directions most websitse give. All the tough hiking (ascending and descending numerous times through a gorge in the redwoods) was in the beginning so by the time I was tired, we were on Sunset trail which is pretty much a descent all the way down to the main park entrance.

It took us a little more than 5 hours to hike the trail with a short break to eat lunch after we passed the falls. Nate also took a detour up to check out the camp sites at Sunset Camp while I opted to rest:)










































By the time we finished the hike the sun was out and the day was beautiful although the chill in the air was still quite cold. We arrived back a the camp by 3:00 and just couldn’t get warm. We didn’t want to start the fire too early and run out of wood by 7:00pm so we opted to sit in the car and read for a bit until we both started to fall asleep. After much deliberation we decided to pack it all in and we packed everything and left. Seriously. We were cold and exhausted and neither of us were looking forward to another possible cold wet night. This is not the first time we’ve packed up early. Sometimes one night is enough…LOL.


My goal was to camp at Big Basin and hike the loop and both happened even if we didn’t stay the whole weekend. We ended up getting back to Monterey in time to pick up food at our favorite tacqueria and veg-out on the couch watching movies. And we enjoyed sleeping in our warm dry bed that evening too:)

Thanks for reading!







Hiking adventures: Peralta Trail- Superstition Mountains, Arizona

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One of the adventures we had planned on this trip to Arizona was a day of hiking in the Superstition Mountains. Since we’ve always gone to Arizona in the dead of summer, hiking has never been an option. Now that dad lives out in the middle of nowhere (Queen Creek) the Superstitions are just a quick drive from his new house and so we headed out one morning to tackle the Peralta Trail. It was the perfect length (almost 5 miles or so- round trip) from the trail head to the saddle view of Weaver’s Needle. According to my dad, I’ve been on this trail before when I was younger (under 12) when I backpacked in with my dad and a group of other backpackers. I didn’t remember of course. The road to the trail head is dirt but a there is a large parking lot and bathroom facilities There is no water available though to refill your containers with so plan accordingly. I read numerous sources that said there was a parking fee but when we went the parking was free. Apparently Peralta is the most popular trail in the Superstition Wilderness and can be very busy at times . We went on a Tuesday and it seemed pretty quiet to us. We passed a few people but after hiking the Pinnacle Peak Trail  just days before, this one was so quiet and peaceful. (with the exception of the guy who was hiking while blasting his music- we let him get way ahead of us so that we didn’t also have to listen to his bad music choices).

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The views on this hike are amazing. The saddle with the view of Weaver’s Needle was awesome but I think almost every view on the hike was breathtaking. It’s so different from what we usually see on the Central Coast and it was a welcome change. It’s a pretty easy hike even with the noticeable elevation gain. It’s gradual for the most part and didn’t give me any problems at all. I think the biggest hindrance of the day was the weather. Cool weather in Arizona is like hot weather where we live and so by the end of the hike we were exhausted and had both run out of water. I can’t believe there are people who would do this hike in the dead of summer. Even in January it was almost 80 degrees midday. I would suggest doubling the amount of water you think you might need. I had also misjudged the amount of time it would take to do the hike and didn’t bring lunch food with me and so the last half an hour of the hike was pretty rough on both of us (me because I was so cranky and Nate… because I was so cranky) If you find yourself in this part of Arizona I highly recommend that you explore this trail. You don’t have to be in amazing shape to do this hike but you should be, at the least, at an average fitness level. Beginner hikers may find parts of the trail tough. There are some narrow parts and the trail is not marked in any recognizable way but is still pretty easy to maneuver. Nate is a natural with hiking and he always seems to know exactly where the trail is even when it’s not obvious to me. After we got to the top of the saddle we explored a bit around the area (adding another mile or two to our final total) as Nate was hoping to get closer to Weaver’s needle. It’s much further than you think it is though and after walking an additional mile or so we decided to turn around( due to my lack of food).

Hike length: 4.9 miles to the Fremont Saddle view (round trip)  Elevation gain: 1380  Trail condition: excellent even though it is not marked in any wayProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIMG_3226.

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Hiking adventures: Pinnacle Peaks Trail- Scottsdale, Arizona


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Now that we’ve pretty much stopped drinking we find that we are often filling that time with hiking. (Actually, friends have also noticed this and pointed it out to us too , which is pretty funny) When I plan trips now, I no longer look for breweries or drinking establishments, I look for hiking spots. It’s our new favorite way to spend time together. There is no doubt, in either of our minds, that this is a much better way to spend our time together. I feel so much better and being outdoors and active is so much better for us as a couple. Traveling has changed a bit because of this lifestyle change though. We normally make it out to Arizona at least once a year to see my family but in the past it’s always been in the summer ,mostly because of Alex and school, and because my dad had a pool. Not a fancy pool by any means but a pool that I have enjoyed on and off for the past 25+ years of my life. He sold that house though and opted for a new house, in a new housing community, where the pool is a community pool. Now, I don’t have anything against community pools per se but the convenience of rolling out of bed, donning my swimsuit and jumping into the pool by 9:00am is gone. I am a little heartbroken about this still, btw. Anyway, because of his residence change, we opted to travel to Arizona in January this time. This worked out better with our current lifestyle too. IMG_1613In the past we would spend our time in Arizona visiting breweries and hanging at the pool because in Arizona, in the dead of summer, there isn’t much else to do. We stayed with my sister in Scottsdale for the first few days (my dad moved out to the middle of nowhere) so that meant our first hike needed to be near or around Scottsdale. Nate had already done Camelback Mountain years ago so I was looking for a hike neither of us had done before. Pinnacle Peak seemed like the perfect hike to start with. Not too long. Not to far from my sister’s house. (Nate hates how spread out everything is in Arizona). I read a few things about the hike and it seemed like it would work for us. Even though the weather in Arizona this time of year is wonderful it’s still 10 degrees more than we are used to. IMG_1632I had read that this hike was busy on weekends but I was not prepared for this kind of busy. It was almost like a conveyor belt of people. There was always someone right behind you or right in front of you. The hike itself was great. It’s been referred to as the “stairmaster” hike and that name fits it. It’s a steady climb up to the peak (1300 ft elevation gain) and the trail itself is only 3.5 miles round trip but the views of the Valley are great. The houses out there are amazing too. We spent some of our time discussing which house we would live in if we had that kind of money. It’s a fun  hike but if you are looking for a one without tons of other hikers, this is not the trail for you.  Can’t beat the view though. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs I’ve grown older I’ve begun to appreciate the landscape of Arizona much more than when I was younger. I disliked everything about the desert when I was growing up here and couldn’t wait to leave it. Looking back now though I’m sure it was just that I was looking for a change. Looking at the familiar landscape now just makes me feel nostalgic and I appreciate the beauty of the desert. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We invited our friend Ian along for the hike and it is always fun to hang out with him. He and Nate have been friends since elementary school and I’ve always appreciated that when we’re in Arizona that Nate has someone he can also connect up with. Arizona trips are often filled with seeing my high school friends so it can be a bit boring for Nate when I’m off having lunch or shopping with girlfriends. Or dragging him to happy hour reunions filled with people he doesn’t know. Neither of us are good in new social situations so I can understand his anxiety when I drag him places like that. I appreciated that Ian came out and hiked with us. His wife and kids were out of town and he had a BBQ to go to but still he made time for us. We were rewarded with a special treat at the end of the hike too. One of the animal rehab organizations (Wild at Heart) had brought out a variety of birds/raptors for people to see. They had a Great Horned Owl, a Red Tailed Hawk, a Peregrine Falcon and an amazing Bald Eagle. I’ve never seen an eagle up close like this. It was a wonderful way to end our morning of hiking.Even though I wasn’t allowed to hug(or even touch) the hawk like I wanted to;)


Hike length: 1.75 miles each way. (3.5 total)  Elevation gain: 1300ft   Trail condition: excellent

List 44: do my first 5K AND run The Color Run (#13 and #14)

Before the mayhem started

Before the mayhem started

Two bucket list items done in one event!

Item 1: I’ve always wanted to run (aka jog) a 5K. This particular item has shown up on my yearly “bucket list” since I was 38 . I just thought I should try it, at least once. I’m not a runner though. In fact, I don’t even like running. It hurts my knees and right hip. My breasts already sag enough, they don’t need more help. Seriously. Even when I was younger the act of running never appealed to me. I wish it did. Nate ran a 5K years ago and that snowballed in to him training for the Big Sur marathon. And my friend Martha started with a 5K and now she runs all types of races, of all different distances,  all the time. It’s just too hard on my body. I already have to be careful of what shoes I wear and I have to make sure I stretch my feet often because my feet, I discovered last year, have issues. Or so my podiatrist says. They have some mechanical defects that make things like running a bad idea.  Despite their issues though I wanted to attempt at least one 5K in my lifetime.

Item 2: My interest in doing this particular 5K came about from seeing a friend of mine, Nicole and her Instagram photos. Those photos immediately made me want to participate in one of these fun runs. For me, if I’m going to go out and run… there better be fun involved because I… will never be a serious runner. Never. And this one was colorful and ended in a big party at the finish line. Who wouldn’t enjoy that kind of fun!

Scratching these items off my list,  in the past few years though, just wasn’t working out. Scheduling issues normally. We just never seemed to be available the weekends that a Color Run was happening. Or I found out about it too late and they were sold out for that run. Or they were happening during hot months in very hot areas and I don’t even like walking around in really hot weather let alone attempting to run in it. I felt like the universe was working against me. I thought “It’s not going to happen AGAIN this year”

Back in November 2014, I was planning our vacation to Arizona in January, and was still undecided what week we were going to be out there when on a whim I decided to check the Color Run website.  I couldn’t believe it. There was a run happening in Tempe during the same time period!  And just like that it all fell into place. Nate even agreed to run it with me! It was meant to be this year:)



We could not have asked for a better day to do this run. The weather in Arizona, in January, is amazing. It really is one of the best times to visit this area. This would probably not have been as popular inthe dead of summer. There were so many people participating in this race. It’s a popular race with young people (aka college kids). Just look at the wave of people behind me in the above photo. And we didn’t leave in one of the early waves. We’re probably in the 10th or 11th wave at this point (the line to the bathroom was ridiculous and the reason we weren’t in an earlier wave). “Runners” as far back as the eye can see. It was totally crazy!

 Even with my recent 50lb weight loss this was still tough on my knees and feet. I told Nate to go off and run it at his speed and we would catch up with each other at the finish line. Awesome husband that he is though, he finished and then turned around, found me and ran the final leg of it with me. He really is such a great guy. I’ve lucked out on so many level with him as a husband. And this race…it really does end in a big party. They hand you more color packets (you get colored corn starch thrown on you during the race) as you cross the finish line and this year they’d added a “sparkle” to the color lineup and so everyone starts throwing the colored cornstarch in the air on & on their friends and it’s just everywhere. It is crazy. Nate and I were finding glitter for weeks after this run, on everything. Even items we didn’t have with us on the trip.

























I was thrilled to get two items off my list accomplished on this trip. 44 items doesn’t sound like a ton but you’d be surprised at how much your regular, everyday life gets in the way of accomplishing things (even easy items).  And this is exactly the kind of items I want to accomplish. One that takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me try something I’ve been scared to attempt before. Looking forward to even more adventures this year. Jen

List 45

I was totally a slacker and never updated this blog with how I was doing on my list 44. I actually got almost half the items done this time! As I’ve mentioned before, I normally only get about 10 items done out the of the 40+ things on the list but this year I really worked hard to get as many done as I could. The list keeps getting bigger each year which means I have to motivate myself more and more to get shit done:) I will be posting about some of the stuff I did over the next few weeks but in the meantime I turned 45 so…time for this year’s list.

1. volunteer at local animal shelter

2. stay in a Fernwood adventure tent one night

3. learn to surf

4. take a 2nd annual sister trip with Kristy (we’re thinking Austin)

5. try standup paddleboarding

6. make my first quilt

7. attend a roller derby game*

8. take a 10 year anniversary trip to Mexico (Isla Mujeres to be exact)- This trip is already booked!!

9. make homemade carnitas

10. learn letterpress (San Francisco Center for the Book has classes)

11. bake a rainbow cake

12. get my hair colored- FINALLY

13. join a book club (or start one possibly…)

14. send out one handwritten letter/note each month*

15. eat at Burma Superstar in San Francisco*

16. read “The Life-Changing Art of Tidying up” and purge the house (already have the book,just need to read it and put it to work)

17. go to the shooting range/learn to shoot a gun

18. eat a burrito from the Mission District SF

19. Take a class at MPC

20. swim with whale sharks

21. visit the turtle farm on Isla Mujeres

22. see the ruins and do the cliff walk at Punta Sur on Isla Mujeres

23. hike Wilder Ranch

24. see the monarchs at Natural Bridges Park

25. go on a backpacking (overnight) trip with Nate

26. get together with Nate’s parents at least once a month

27. go body boarding in Southern California

28. spend a weekend exploring Golden Gate Park, SF (deYoung, tulips, buffalo, ride bikes)

29. have breakfast at Deetjen’s in Big Sur*

30. organize my necklaces finally

31. host a Cinco de Mayo party

32. participate in “Dance for the Rescue” again

33. learn conversational Spanish

34. prepare a 5 course dinner for friends

35. visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

36. see Tulum Ruins in Cancun

37. Hike Griffith Park in Los Angeles

38. camp at Limekiln State Park

39. take dance lessons with Nate

40. make Jay’s buffalo wings*

41. plan a bonfire on Carmel Beach*

42. visit the The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)*

43. zipline into the ocean

44. have a breakfast pizza at the Big Sur Bakery*

45. visit Mercer caverns in Murphy, CA.

*- This means they have shown up on a list before and I still have not done it. Most of these are from List 44.

I’m excited this year because I have some fun trips planned. We’ve already booked the flight and hotel to Isla Mujeres/Cancun area and now I just have to get through the next 3 months which seems sooo far away. I know it’s not though so I’m in planning mode BIG TIME. I also have a friend that made a “40 things in my 40th year” list and I’m hoping to do some of her items/goals with her. So this year, my 45th, is looking to be a fun adventurous one. I’m ALL in this year.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller




List 44: Weekend trip to San Diego #9

My sister turned 40 this year and what she wanted was to NOT be in Arizona for it. After bouncing different ideas off each other over the past year we decided a 4  day weekend in San Diego was the plan. Kristy just started a new job with the State of Arizona last year and so her vacation hours were limited. No 2 week jaunt to Australia for us at this time.  This was the best option for us though because it would also allow my sister to bring her dog, Jax, with us. IMG_9378 I flew out to Arizona after work on Wednesday evening so we could leave early Thursday morning. San Diego is about 6 hours from Scottsdale and we wanted to be able to get as much time as possible in San Diego and also get out of the inferno that is Arizona in July. I was surprised, by my own realization, that I had not been to San Diego in over 20 years. I think it’s a misconception for a lot of people (me included)  that if you live in California its a short jump, skip, hop to all of California. But California…it’s a very large state. It’s 10-12 hours to San Diego. That is much farther than I want to go for a weekend. Therefore, I’ve not been to San Diego since I moved here. Let me tell you…it’s changed. A lot. It was almost like visiting a city I’ve never been to. I wasn’t familiar with anything on the drive over, the city, how close it actually gets to the border. Nothing seemed familiar. IMG_9406 Kristy and I rented a little bungalow from AirBNB and  this was the best idea ever. The place had a tiki theme and had a small yard for Jax. And the host, Mike was awesome. I’m definitely planning a trip back (if I can drag Nate down there) and hope to stay at this little rental again.

Some of my favorite highlights/memories from the trip:

1. The sunset cliffs at sunset. Spectacular.

2. Watching Jax, over the course of 3 days, go from hating the beach to loving it. He made some friends too!

3. Ranchos Cocina. At Point Loma. Seriously, Kristy and I would move to San Diego just to be near this little treasure. Love that we found a place with vegan and regular mexican food and a patio for Jax. Food highlight of our trip. We ate at the North Park one also but it lacked something and was a big disappointment. I can’t recommend the Point Loma one enough though.

4. Sitting on the patio, sharing a bottle of cold white wine , coming up with the idea of a sister adventure every year. (Next year: Austin!)

5. 70-75 degree weather. Arizona is too effing hot. Except in December. And Monterey is too freaking cold usually. I liked how mellow this weather was and how much better my joints felt in a slightly drier climate. I texted Nate mid trip and said I wasn’t coming home & that we were moving to San Diego. He wasn’t amused;)

6. Four days of uninterrupted time with my sister.

With regards to that last one. It’s hard living a state away from family. I was estranged from my family for years (still am from my mom) and now that we are sort of over the hump of bad feelings toward each other and like each other again it’s hard not to be around them all the time. My sister is one of my favorite people to hang out with. My favorite shopping buddy. I never feel like I get enough time with her. This trip, with 4 uninterrupted days together, was something I needed. When we visit Arizona there are just so many people to see, that I lose lots of time with her.


Photo story: We decided to walk to the North Park area from where we were staying because it was just over 1.5 miles to the restaurant. That was the longest, hardest 1.5 miles I’ve ever walked. It took us so long and we were already tired. It felt more like 11 miles than just over 1 mile. My beer & burger never tasted so good. Even Jax looked worn out and tired. Suffice to say…we took a taxi home:)

IMG_9440IMG_9479IMG_9464IMG_9460IMG_2722The look on Jax’s face here says it all about the trip. Great trip. Can’t wait for our next sister adventure!

List 44: See the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer (#33)

IMG_8581The first time I saw this bridge I was smitten. That was 18 years ago at least. And all these years later she still takes my breath away every time  I catch site of her. I’ve seen her from every possible side now. From Baker beach, from Land’s End, from Chrissy Field and from the visitor center. This was the first time seeing her from this angle and I think this may be my favorite. A few years ago I actually walked across her during an impromptu trip to the city (another one of those “life list” items completed) and despite my absolute fear of heights I made it all the way across. And back again.

I headed up to the viewpoint by myself while Nate parked the car. I wanted the extra time this would afford me to just stand and take in the view without worrying about Nate or if he was having a good time. After 13 years we travel well together, he the driver and me the navigator + planner, but there are always going to be letdowns and stress involved with traveling and this was one of those days. Initially I’d planned for us to bike the Marin Headlands area and take in the views but upon reading through stories and reviews of the ride the night before, I came to the conclusion that there was no way my foot or I was going to be able to handle the hills. So heading into the day we were both already disappointed. I consider myself a pretty healthy person but this injury has sidelined me quite a bit this year. It’s healing but I’m still only about 35-40% better and the wrong move could take it back to zero again. So I appreciated this few minutes to myself to allow some quiet reflection on the day and how it was not going according to my plan. And for a few minutes I did forget my disappointment with the day. I stopped worrying about Nate and the 2+ hour car drive home and my stupid foot injury and I just took in the view. You could see everything. The city, The Cliff House over in Lands End Park, Alcatraz, Sausalito waterfront. The bay had cleared up from earlier and you could now see a 180 degree view of all of San Francisco and the bay. And it was breathtaking. And no matter what Nate was feeling, I was suddenly okay with how the day had unfolded because this is what I came for. This had been my only real goal of the day and I was there. It’s good I had this extra time because Nate arrived, took a photo with his phone and then said “you ready to go”.  Shaking my head at him I said “sure” and onward we went.

2 down, 42 more to go:)

List 44: Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse (#22)


Back a few months ago I saw a photo posted on Instagram of this lighthouse and I immediately sent the photo to my husband and told him “I want to go here”. On the list it went. When I decided to plan a birthday weekend out of town I had a different destination in mind but then I remembered this lighthouse. Neither Nate or I have ever seen this part of California before. San Francisco to L.A., we’ve seen most of the coast. And up farther near Humboldt area too. But there is a whole section of unexplored coastline that I needed/wanted to see. So off to the Point Reyes area we headed for a weekend. I’ve lived in California now for 20 years and I can tell you that I’m always still amazed at the awesomeness that is the Pacific Ocean and the coastline running along it. I can sit and stare at it for hours. I also have accumulated quite a stash of  photos of coastal scenery.

This reminds me that as a kid my dad would come back from these big backpacking trips and he would sit us down for a slide show (yes…a slide show) of all the photos he took on his trip and I can remember being completely bored by all his scenery shots. I’d ask him “Why do you have so many photos of the scenery? They aren’t very interesting” These mountains/rocks/desert fauna must be like, for him, what the ocean is for me.




If you’ve never been to this lighthouse, it’s definitely worth it. You have to want to see it though because it’s a 45 minutes drive just to the parking lot and then another 1/3 of a mile walk to it which included 308 steps down (and back up) just to get to it. Even with my foot issue I was determined to get down to it. It was actually much easier than it looks. but oh my gosh it was SO freaking windy.

Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent.” – nps.gov

Nathan, being the show-off that he is practically ran back up the stairs, came back down to meet me, and then raced up them again. Whatever. I did it and can cross it off my list despite my slow crawl back to the top.

I was rewarded for all this stair-climbing with some locally made sourdough and some Marin French cheese (both of which were absolutely delicious!)  That was really the highlight of the day. (jk)


1 down, 43 to go.