This child of mine loves mountains and I love taking him to the top of them. Cam had talked about going to Angel Island last Sunday but when I was driving to the store on Saturday, there was Mt. Tam calling to me.
As we drive around Marin, we are constantly quizzing Sam, "What's that mountain?" "Where's Ring Mountain?" "What is the tiny island with the building on it in the middle of the bay?" "Where's the Golden Gate Bridge." "Where do we live from here?" He's learning quickly.
You may recall, my first visit to the top of Mt. Tam was enjoyable but not one of my favorite outdoor Marin adventures. Despite that, I wanted to take Sam to the top of the largest mountain in our area sooner rather than later. There is something cool about being able to look up at a mountain and see a tiny landmark, like this tower, on top and know you stood right there.
Sam was really impressed with the views and kept asking for the camera.
Cam said I looked like the intrepid explorer in this one. It was nice of him to say but I don't know that it is true. Sometimes tepid. Sometimes intrepid?
Originally, Cam had considered leaving Sam and me at the Visitor's Center on top of the mountain to explore the area at our own pace while he branched off on a trail that leads down the mountain from the trail that loops around the top. Initially, it sounded like a good idea but when we came to the trail, we saw that it was in total sunlight and that the climb back up the mountain would be brutal. We didn't think Sam and I were up for it and Cam decided that rather than go on his own he would come back by himself another time.
We a picnic in the shade then started driving down the mountain. We stopped at a cross-roads and Cam suggested we check out one of the trails there. This one was less rugged and closer to the Pacific. So while our time at the top of Mt. Tam had been remarkably more comfortable already than our first trip out, the weather on this trail with the ocean breeze was lovely.
Cam saw this shot of Sam forging ahead, surrounded by the golden grasses and I took it. Talk about "amber waves of grain." We followed it out to this rock wall which is named someone's bench. Sitting on the bench under an interesting and unusual looking tree, it was almost chilly.
Cam asked what we wanted to do and while I wished we had an afternoon of energy left, after three hours, Sam and I were ready for a rest. We talked about dropping Cam off on a trail that leads down to a the beach and picking him up there later but we only had one cell phone with us and he decided he would save it for another day. I am conflicted sometimes about days like this one. I love sharing the experience with him but he hikes substantially more distance when we are gone. When we were in Myrtle Beach, he hiked 14 miles up and down hills one day. He's talking about taking a 20 mile solo hike this Sunday. We'll see what he decides. I'm happy either way.