McClures Beach, Point Reyes

Yesterday, I went on an adventure to Point Reyes with my friend Mara.  We stopped at the visitor’s center and the guide recommended heading 19 miles north in the park towards the Tule Elk Preserve.  She advised us against going if we could see that it was foggy past the first bend, and it was, but we didn’t care–we were committed.  We decided to head to McClures Beach first, which is just down a hill from the trail head for the Tule Elk Preserve.  It’s a very short hike to the beach.  When we got there, it was white out–you could barely differentiate the sky from the water.  We watched the waves crash as did the birds, who squawked every time the tide came near their feet.  We walked to the south end of the beach, climbed through the rocks and discovered a second beach, where we climbed up onto some rocks and ate lunch.  When we came back through the narrow opening, the sun had appeared.

© Sarah Milstein 2015

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Fourth of July

Below are some photographs from hanging out on the beach in Lake Tahoe on the Fourth of July.  The sky was rumbling in the morning, and it rained briefly, but then despite the dismal weather report, it cleared up enough to hang out on the beach, eat hot dogs, and go kayaking!*

* Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera or phone on the kayak in the event either chose to go for a swim.

© Sarah Milstein 2015

Lake Tahoe, California

Jen and I left San Francisco on Thursday after work to spend the Fourth of July in Lake Tahoe.  Even though it took over 5 hours to get there, we went on an awesome boat ride with friends on Friday that made leaving the night before totally worth it.  We went from Lake Forest Road in Tahoe City to Emerald Bay State Park in South Lake Tahoe, where we got off the boat for a bit and got our toes wet.  The water was freezing, I wasn’t nearly as brave as the kids jumping off the side of the island.  But it was a great day for looking at clouds–Tahoe was definitely showing us some love!

© Sarah Milstein 2015

Carmel, California

On our way to Carmel, we stopped at Point Lobos and wandered through the trees and along the coastline.  We were told there would be whales, but they were apparently gone for the day.  We did however see a deer, which prompted the singing of “Do a deer, a female deer. . .”  So that happened.

In Carmel, we walked along the beach towards one of the golf courses at Pebble Beach, and also drove along 17-mile drive.  Although there are 21 “points of interest,” I was really only interested in Point 16—“The Lone Cyprus,” where I took a bunch of photographs.

© Sarah Milstein 2015

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur

Greg and I “hiked” in Big Sur, both to McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and to Pfeiffer Falls in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  McWay Falls is beautiful, and easy to get to without even breaking a sweat.  I’d recommend parking on the street, and not in the parking lot, which is practically the same width as the trail.  Pfeiffer Falls 11 miles to the north isn’t nearly as majestic (at least during a drought), but it’s a good 2-mile round trip hike through redwood trees.

© Sarah Milstein 2015

San Simeon to Big Sur

Greg and I went on a road trip up Highway 1, passing through San Simeon, where we saw elephant seals, including some newborn pups (as in born that day!), and we made it to Nepenthe in Big Sur just in time to see the sunset.

Due to the large amount of photographs I took, I’m going to split our road trip into several posts.  Photographs of McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, redwood trees in Big Sur State Park, Carmel and Pebble Beach to follow.

© Sarah Milstein 2015

San Francisco Flower Mart

Sunflowers, hydrangeas, orchids, dahlias, tulips, tuberose, lilies, succulents, and mystery plants galore.  I recently discovered that San Francisco has the “best flower market in the country” according to their website and Martha Stewart Living, and have been wanting to check it out ever since.  Street parking was fairly easy (although it is a Tuesday), and they also have a parking lot.  For a list of over 50 vendors, click here.

The San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart is located at 640 Brannon Street, San Francisco, California 94107, and is open to the general public Mondays through Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Wholesale hours for badge holders begin at 2:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

© Sarah Milstein 2014

Point Reyes, California

And now, my favorite part of the road trip to Point Reyes Lighthouse: The cows!

Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard for what feels like an eternity.  Once you arrive at the Lighthouse parking lot, walk 0.4 miles up the hill.  There’s another sign at the top warning visitors that the climb to the Lighthouse is the equivalent of a 30-story building.  I thought that was an exaggeration until I had to climb back up it.  Bring a bottle of water and a jacket, it was windy!

© Sarah Milstein 2014

Highway 1, California

I left San Francisco this morning intending to head to Tomales Bay to take photographs, eat oysters, and maybe hike, but I got sidetracked after seeing a sign for the Point Reyes Lighthouse, which took me on a 22 mile detour.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for lighthouses.

I clearly took the least efficient route to get to Tomales (err, Point Reyes).  I drove on Highway 1, which has breathtaking views.  (Pay attention to the road though, or you’ll end up driving off a cliff.)  The winding highway takes you through fragrant eucalyptus trees, past Stinson Beach, and through Bolinas Lagoon Nature Preserve where if you’re lucky, you’ll see seals, hawks, crows, and other birds I can’t name.  I also saw a dead skunk on the road.  And then I smelled him for some time thereafter.

The 22 mile drive to the Lighthouse was quite beautiful and I’ve never seen so many happy cows.  Point Reyes Lighthouse and cow photos are forthcoming.

© Sarah Milstein 2014

Muir Woods, California

Jude and I went to Muir Woods on our way back from Napa.  There are signs not to talk in the forest, you know, because trees can be so testy when woken.

According to this website, the giant Redwoods there are between 600 and 800 years old.  One of the trees had been splayed open for visitors, so that you could count the rings.  A little girl standing next to us counted the thicker white rings and said, “Mommy, that tree is only four years old!”  Clearly, a future arborist.

For more information about planning a visit to Muir Woods, click here.

By the way, while I did edit these photos slightly, the trees really were that green!

Muir Woods National Monument, 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley, California 94941

© Sarah Milstein 2014