Playing bachelor for a few weeks while Amy and Miles spend time in Minnesota and I return to CA to get back to work. Taking the opportunity to do things I never get to do with family… like spend an entire day hiking rather than just a couple hours. Yesterday decided to geocache the entire rim of Tomales Bay. Knew it would have to be a combined drive/hike thing. Ended up driving almost 200 miles total, and hiking 15.
Day got off to a bad start with horrendous Bay Area July 4th exodus traffic, overcast skies, and a starter string of three DNFs (Did Not Finds). But things quickly turned around – everything turned gorgeous when the sun came out, the caches kept getting better, and the hikes got longer. Favorite cache of the day was Crivens! – on a peninsula half-mile off the road. Trekking through walls of blackberry taller than me, out toward a perfect blue bay, with amazing views. While most caches are filled with forgettable geo-crap, this one had an excellent Mullet-scented air freshener (yes, that kind of mullet) and a USB “humping dog.”
The west side of the bay was quite a bit trickier, since most of the rim is in State Park area. Access to caches much harder than it appeared on a map. Decided to hike to Johnstone rather than pay the $6 parking fee. So glad I did – descended through deep dark woods with bluebirds and chipmunks, got some major heart pumping action on the way back up. Dropped off some travel bugs I had carried home from Minnesota.
The scene changed completely for the last cache of the day as I headed toward the Pacific side for Kehoe Beach earthcache. Suddenly it was about salt mist and jellyfish, sand and dense fog. Reminded me of Morro Bay. This one was a major geology lesson – needed to photograph quartz veins running through granite cliffs and read about five pages of text on the local geological forces to answer the questions needed to log the find. If I nail it, will be my first verified earthcache find.
Getting very close to hitting the elusive 300-cache mark… but I’d much rather spend two hours on a great hike for a single well-placed cache than do 15 parking lot drive-bys in the same amount of time. The key is to remain process-oriented, rather than goal-oriented, and never let the drive for numbers outweigh the joy of the great outdoors and honest exercise.
Wrapped day with a well-earned dinner of Full Sail and raw / BBQ’d oysters at Tony’s. BBQ’d is nice, but IMO the only way to show an oyster your full respect and attention is to eat it raw. Heaven.
Completely fried by end of day. Showered, fell onto couch, and watched the fantastic but campy 1971 eco-disaster sci-fi flick Silent Running ’till I passed out.
Animated route from GPS (combined driving/hiking):
(click Replay to view)