Salutations from Marin County, California. We are staying in the area for 9 days and nights but thought we would break it up a bit since we have a lot planned and I (Cheryl) will be flying to L.A. for a bridal shower next Thursday and returning on Sunday.
Since we last wrote about our travels we spent 3 wonderful days in Monterey, California at a military campground attached to the Naval Postgraduate School. It’s a small but convenient place for visiting the area. We only used the car once in the three days we were there since the area is very bike friendly with miles of trails.
When we arrived after a very short trip from King City, we biked into town for the local farmer’s market. It was a mix of fresh fruit and veggies, crafts and food vendors. We also biked along the coastline for a bit and then headed off to the Postgraduate School to visit the Trident Room. The Postgraduate School was formerly the Del Monte Hotel, a very high-end hotel that catered to the rich and famous of the early 1900’s. It was purchased by Navy in 1947 and it has served as a higher education institution for American and foreign officers since 1951. The Trident Room is where the students and faculty meet to socialize and have a few drinks. It is a tradition for students to have their own mug, which hang from the ceiling and are brought down with the use of a specialized contraption (see photos). Dennis was able to purchase one and he is now the proud owner of mug #54D. There are hundreds hanging from the ceiling and we will be back sometime in the Fall to bring it down and enjoy another libation.
On our first full day we went kayaking in Monterey Bay for 3 ½ hours. We saw hundreds of harbor seals swimming through the waters or sunning themselves on buoys or on shore. We also encountered sea otters floating amongst the kelp cracking open oyster and clamshells. We decided to dock the kayak outside a seafood restaurant in the bay, the Sandbar and Grill. We partook in some of the famous clam chowder that the area is know for and had one of our favorites, calamari.
The next day we biked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where we spent a couple of hours perusing their exhibits. If you haven’t been there, it is a “must-see”, the aquarium is a world class operation. We have been there before and didn’t have plans to visit but we were offered free passes by the campground manager so what the heck….afterwards we biked along the coastal trail to Pacific Grove and visited the Point Pinos Lighthouse. It is the oldest standing lighthouse in California and has been in continuous operation since 1855. It has been expertly restored and piqued our interest in visiting more lighthouses on this trip. On our way back we checked out a classic car show in downtown Monterey and then went out to dinner at a local restaurant.
The next day was a travel day. We drove from Monterey along Highway One all the way to our current destination. Along the way we visited our second lighthouse, Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero. At 115 feet, it is the tallest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. It is one of three built in the 1870’s and it can be seen for miles, on a clear day, as you are driving along the rugged California coast. It was the perfect place to fix lunch and enjoy the spectacular views. We arrived at our destination, Golden Gate Trailer Park, later that day and discovered that it is on an ecological reserve, the Corte Madera Marsh. It has miles of hiking and biking trails and we plan on taking full advantage of those trails.
This morning we took an hour and a half hike along the marsh and checked out the surrounding neighborhood of Paradise Point. Our original plan was to spend the day at Mount Tamalpais and the Muir Woods but apparently everyone else had the same idea so we went to plan B. We drove north on Highway One all they way to Point Reyes National Seashore and the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Words cannot describe the beauty of the drive along the way so I will let the photos do that for me. Suffice it to say, it was gorgeous and we got to visit our third lighthouse in as many days. This is definitely an area we want to visit again and spend a few weeks perusing the area….Life is Good!