So my new friend Marissa, this super cool artistic gal from New Jersey, invited me yesterday to hike Mount Tam.
Mount Tamalpais, located in the lovely and luscious Marin County, standz 2,571 feet tall above the coastal range and is a peak in Marin Hills that not many East Bay residents know about.
Well, they may know about it, but apparently, they've never been.
Which is something I should be surprised about, but I'm finding that with any local in their native land, there's places and things that they haven't yet experienced.
I'm guilty of that! I lived in Alaska and I've probably explored only 90% of the state at best. I guess when you live someplace, you take it for granted and put aside places and things you imagine you'll "eventually" get to.
Well, I wasn't about to wait around to hike Mount Tam like the rest of these lazy locals, for each day is an opportunity for adventure. Plus, both of us were desperate for some fresh mountain air.
So we hopped in the Sub and wound our way up the mountain to Pantoll Campground, where we parked the car and started our journey on the Dipsea Trail.
Something to mention about Mount Tam: it's massive. Not technically in size, but the peak itself is over 6300 acres and has over 60 miles of various trails.
The Dipsea Trail, home to the oldest running race in the United States (1905) is a 7.4 mile trail that winds out of Muir Woods, and through multiple microclimates.
Which is another factor into why it also makes the mountain feel massive. Walking a mere 7 miles takes you through multiple temperatures, due to factors like height, directional faces, and closeness to the Bay.
So when we started, it was 85 degrees, hot and dry, with foggy views over the ocean, then shade once we got thick into the forest, and finally, we ended at the summit where it was hella breezy and cool.
Best part of the trip?
Marissa apparently thought the Dipsea Trail was a 4 mile loop, which we eventually found not to be true. We ended up at the Muir Woods Visitor Center and after getting the wrong directions from the so called "help" (same guy who eyed me up and down like meat and called me "crazy tight"), we found we were miles away from the Pantoll Campground, at the summit without cell service and desperately turning the map upside down trying to find our way back.
It. Was. Awesome. Granted, at the time we were starving, tired, and in dire need of rescue, but it was all part of the grand adventure.
Annnnnnnnd we got ourselves out. By the blessing of one bar of cell service, we called an uber, took shelter on the grass overlooking the foggy Bay below and were eventually returned to our car, safe and sound.
(plus there was the best dinner at Joe's Taco's, where we replenished all our lost weight with burritos and quesadillas and then some)
It felt good to get back together with nature. Not that there isn't nature here in Walnut Creek, but there aren't the abundance of trees that I'm used to, and it's hard to go anywhere here and not run into people.
Me and Mother Nature are connected (thank you Alaska).
One could say we have chemis-tree...