Entries tagged with “ocean”.


It was supposed to be a warm, sunny day.

We had slathered on the sunscreen and filled the Camelbaks up to capacity. The weather forecast said 68 and sunny throughout Marin.

But as we approached it, the bridge was wreathed in fog. And as we started up Mt. Tam to Pan Toll Ranger Station, the fog got thicker. And thicker. And then it started to drip rain in spurts. And the fog was so thick you could barely see 50 feet up the road.

(more…)

Sometimes, on a sunny early spring day, when life has been crazy and stressful, you just need to sit. and soak up the sun. and feel the grass under your fingers. and breathe the salt air as the ocean tumbles its way past the Golden Gate and into the Bay.

Sometimes it’s worth a drive across the city for the smell of Eucalyptus trees as they rustle in the wind.

To sit beneath steel girders reaching out and up and through, slicing the blue, blue sky into manageable triangles, parallelograms, and polygons less easily described.

Where the knowing, confined mind sees “art” and either admires or dismisses: what value can we find in jumbled steel? But the young, not bound into these rigid expectations, look, and wonder, and conclude: a giant structure on which to play.

diSuvero

And who doesn’t yearn to climb these beams? Is that not the power of their artistry? Not a simulation of motion, but an invitation to engage, to move, to climb, to soar.

While the young ones dash and tumble, we are content to sit, with red-painted steel a presence above and behind us, looking towards another, grander monolith of red-painted steel and the tossing, foam-tipped chasm it traverses.

The sun is bright, but the wind is biting. We huddle down into sweaters suddenly inadequate for the deceptive, mercurial breeze.

If we were children running and shouting in the long grass, we would not feel the cold. If we were birds leaping from trees along the water’s edge, we would welcome the gusts and swells of the wind.

But we are earth-bound, sedentary, confined on this day. And the brightness of the sky, the power of the water, the damp succor of the grass—it anchors us as the wind swoops and dives, but it does not keep us warm.

Mark di Suvero exhibition at Crissy Field, part of SFMOMA On the Go

The hiking book: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area
The distance: 9 miles
The CityGirls rating: 9

Our good friend TheSailor came to visit just after the new year and wanted a hike to the ocean that wasn’t too hilly. We didn’t have to think too far back for just the right trail, so off we went to Point Reyes to revisit the Bear Valley trail and Arch Rock.

20140103_map

(more…)

The hiking book: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area
The distance: 9 miles
The CityGirls rating: 8

The ocean was calling to us last month.

20131123_Point-Reyes_sun-and-sea

(more…)

Our friend S was dog-sitting for the weekend, and we joined her and her two charges for a romp at Fort Funston.

beach

The dogs were ever so excited to go to the beach. They practically bowled us over when we showed up at their house and would not sit still the whole car ride to Fort Funston. In fact, when we hit the coast and turned on to the Great Highway, both dogs started whining like the whole world was on fire. But no, they were just that excited.

down-to-the-beach

Fort Funston, for those who haven’t been, is THE doggy beach in San Francisco and it was teeming with pups on this sunny holiday. There were dogs chasing balls on the bluffs, dogs slurping water from the numerous doggy bowls that surrounded each water fountain, dogs sniffing each others’ butts… it was quite the canine social scene.

We made our way down onto the beach itself, and the two puppers could no longer contain themselves they were so excited. The little pup insisted we throw the ball for her, while the larger pup beelined for the water.

pupper-on-the-move

We picked up a couple doggy friends along the way, including a corgi who was just as excited to play fetch as the little pup. The larger pup, who isn’t really that large, decided he only wanted to hang with the big dogs (even though they were twice his size).

good-dog

After all the fun and games, we took home two tired pups.

One was completely sand-logged from running into the waves and then rolling around in the sand and both were oh so happy and exhausted.

 

Our good friend TheSailor spent the month of July sailing from Hawai’i to California aboard the tall ship Robert C. Seamans.

Today, the ship sailed into San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. We packed a picnic and some warm clothes and went to watch the ship come in.

sailing-ship

 

Such a fancy, pretty ship. Just don’t run into the bridge now! (Yes, it’s foggy, but not that foggy.)

sailing-ship-2

The coastline in front of our condo on Kaua’i was rough bluffs and pounding waves. Clearly not good for swimming. And yet, there were all these warning signs on the path along the bluffs enumerating the reasons why swimming was not a good idea.

(more…)

The hiking book: The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook
The distance:  about 1/4 mile down to the beach, then maybe another 1/4 mile to the lava pools
The CityGirls rating:
9

All along the north coast of Kauai are lava rock beaches where the tides and waves have worn large water-filled craters into the lava rock. These hollowed-out lava pools fill with fresh ocean water when the tide is high, and when the waves die down, they become lovely ocean-side swimming pools.

20130621_secret-beach-lava-pools-3

And what’s better than paddling around an ocean-side lava rock swimming pool? Having it all to ourselves, of course.

(more…)

We went to Hawaii!

After let’s-not-even-count-how-many-years, we took a week-long vacation all by our selves and went to Kauai. (Can you see our huge grins through the interwebs and your computer screen? Cuz, yeah, they’re that big.)

20130621_ocean-through-trees

Let’s start with the obvious: Kauai is beautiful. It’s got your stereotypical tropic island beauty: Clear blue ocean? check. Expansive sandy beaches? check. Palm trees waving in the wind? Sun and achingly blue skys? Lush greenery? Check, check and check.

20130617_resort-and-hills

But Kauai also has a wild, rugged beauty. The mountains and ridges that section off the island are sharp, jagged and lush. Between the sandy beaches are miles of rocky shoreline where the surf pounds into the rocks, creating sprays and blowholes.

20130617_plants-rocks-ocean

On the western side of the island, Waimea Canyon is so vast and deep that it’s called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” It’s verdant with greenery and rich red soil and has branching fingers of rivers and crevasses that make the comparison all but impossible.

20130617_waimea-canyon

And let us tell you; the birds are great. We had just arrived on Kauai and were walking in to the rental car office when T-Bell stopped dead for a moment. “They’re not crows, are they?” she said. A couple dark birds were waddling around by the door, and city girls that we are, we just assumed they were the ubiquitous crows we see everywhere. But these weren’t crows. Ubiquitous, yes, but some other, much more interesting sort of bird.

20130617_chickenInstead of pigeons, we’ve got the Common Myna, a dark brown bird with yellow legs and beak and thick white stripes on the wing. They don’t fly too well, and they do this silly awkward bob when they hop along the ground.

Instead of crows, there are chickens. Chickens and roosters everywhere. On the side of the road, wandering through the parking lot, in any green space that is regularly mowed (i.e. pretty much everywhere in resort-land). Most of the roosters are gorgeous, with lush feathers, vibrant colors, and plumed tails.

The third ubiquitous bird is the Cattle Egret, an elegant white egret with a peach-colored patch on the back. These egrets hang out on the side of the road with the chickens.

Stay tuned for more tales of our adventures on the Garden Island!

 

The hiking book: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area (Falcon Guides)
The distance: 4.3 miles (full trail is listed as 8.1 miles)
The CityGirls rating: 8 for the coastal trail, 2 for the trail towards Montara Mountain
Craving ocean and fresh air, we drove down to Montara and Gray Whale Cove State Beaches, just south of Devil’s Slide.

20130407_coast2
The ocean and cliffs are good for the soul.

The new tunnels on Highway 1 bypassing Devil’s Slide had just recently opened after years of construction, and while we were sad to miss out on the beauty of the rocks around the promontory at Devil’s Slide, we didn’t miss the precarious nature of that stretch of road.

20130407_tunnels
Hey look! A tunnel! That’s much better than having rocks fall on you while driving around Devil’s Slide.

The Grey Whale Cove trail along the coast was beautiful. In fact, it was extra beautiful because it was wildflower season, and the blooms were both abundant and varied.

(more…)