Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bootjack Trail - Mt. Tam

As I mentioned, yesterday, I was looking through photos and saw pictures of a hike I didn't remember immediately. Cam wrote about our hike along Bootjack trail on Mt. Tam in February.

He touched on highlights and compiled a Flickr photo album of the day. He has done a wonderful job of sharing our photos via Flickr. But I like being able to see the pictures when I scroll through my blog and there were some really good ones I wanted to make sure to post along with my memories of the hike before they fade away.

This picture isn't from the beginning of the hike but it is one of my favorites so I decided to put it at the top.

Toward the beginning of our hike, for some reason, this view reminded me of our family honeymoon at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It reminded me of a particular spot on the scenic drive.

We weren't blogging then but here's a picture from that spot. I guess it seemed familiar because in both places we were above the water looking out at it through the trees.

When we started our hike up Bootjack trail towards the Mountain Theater on Mt. Tam, it was cool in the shade.

But the incline helped get our blood pumping.

It was almost balmy in the sun. We reflected gleefully about the weather, especially for mid-February. This has been the first non-frigid winter of my life. I'm good with it.

Sam ventured across a fallen tree they had set up as a bridge across this chasm.

Cautiously and bravely...

Before long, we had arrived at the Mountain Theater. Sam explored the pit at the base. I headed for the tree in the upper left middle of the seats where we relaxed and soaked up the sun.

Cam got this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge peeking out above the mountain to greet us.

Sam found a tree to climb.

When we were done enjoying the theater area, we headed out towards the downhill portion of the loop.

Around a bend, we came upon this spectacular view.

Cam was so inspired, he climbed to the top of this boulder to better appreciate it.

Sam looks like he is stalking Cam rather than climbing up to join him.

We passed the camera back and forth.

I was happy to stay on the ground this time.

A bit later, I got this sweet shot of Sam...

Perched on yet another tree.

Later, he took a picture of Cam and I together.

Thanks, Kid.

Then, Cam got a picture of us in front of the lush ferns.

Before we dashed off down the trail.

At the bottom of the trail, we found this sunny clearing...

With fun rocks to climb and play on.

The boulder was Sam's stage.

He broke out into a dance that rivaled Napoleon Dynamite.

Maybe some day I'll learn to use the video function.

Cam and I relaxed on the blanket after enjoying the show.

When we left the clearing, we found more rocks to play in and on and around.

And trees to hug.

Time to get off the computer.

There are mountains to climb.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stories Cam Told

Cam just asked me to read his latest blog post to see if it made sense.

He is reflecting on how his updates have been happening less frequently these days.

While I loved it when he would post daily, I'm just happy he is still writing. As he was writing his post, I was compiling photos I wanted to share from stories he's already told about from events we lived months ago.

While Cam wishes he were posting more frequently, his blog is still the place to go for our family's breaking news. Mine is more about nostalgia.

And as I was working on my post, I saw pictures of another hike I hadn't written about yet and had momentarily forgotten about already. Without writing about it, it took me a few minutes to remember which hike it was.

Our blogs aren't perfect, but I love the way they let us share, document and preserve our memories and experiences.

So, here goes...

Awhile ago, we bought scooters for both boys.

One day, Cam and I walked along the bike path from Cam's office into Sausalito while Sam rode his new scooter.

On the way there, we stopped for lunch at Avatar's Punjabi restaurant. The food was wonderful. The owner waited on us and was incredibly friendly and welcoming. And it was a beautiful, glorious day.

After lunch, our plan was to check out a local museum. The San Francisco Bay and Delta Model has a football-sized model of the Bay. I was intrigued by the opportunity to be able to visualize the whole area and watch the tides change. One lunar day passes in under 15 minutes.

But, when we got to the museum, we learned they had drained all of the water from the model for repairs.

Oh well. It was still educational and we had fun anyway.

Another time, a long lost friend from Cameron's childhood, Tucker paid us a visit. Apparently, these two were inseparable from 3rd-6th grade. Then, Tucker moved to Venezuela. Including this visit, they have only seen each other twice since then. Each time, it had been several years since the time before. It was nice to meet Tucker and listen to the two of them catch up and reminisce.

More recently, another of Cameron's closest friends, Anthony spent a few days with us. He was in town for an English Professor's conference which just so happened to be the week before a comic book convention. Who could ask for more?

I'm so glad the two of them had time together in person. Sam and I were happy to be able to take share the view from the top of Mt. Tam with Anthony as Cam finishing up his work week.

Another time, we took the ferry to Angel Island.

The harbor seals seemed to be waving to us as we passed by.

Sam's friend, Cameron came with us.

We hiked almost to the top of the mountain.

Viewing Tiburon from the bay instead of the bay from Tiburon was delightful.

Oh, and I talked Cam into buying a second car.
I was convinced that the freedom, self sufficiency and independence having one would afford us would be well worth the $2500 I was willing to spend on one.

Cam didn't think we could find anything decent for that amount. We ended up buying this old Volvo from the West Coast Charity for the Children. Hopefully, the investment will be worthwhile for all of us.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another Waterfall Hike

The day after we hiked to Tennessee Valley Beach in the rain, the sun came out. We decided to reap the rewards of all that rain by hiking to see a waterfall.

Cam wrote about our hike to Carson Falls in February but I hadn't shared my perspective on the experience yet.

This hike was on the north side of Mt. Tam, near where we'd hiked to our first Marin waterfall, in December.

The hills are gorgeous here.

The rain left the trails a muddy mess.

Cam had said the hike was only four miles. He hadn't mentioned the 800 foot change in elevation.

Living in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, that was never an important statistic. But, it is one I'm learning to ask about here.

Despite these obstacles, we greatly enjoyed the trek.

Sam requested we stop and rest around this impressive boulder.

Finally, it was time to begin our assent.

We weren't sure if this little trickle of water running down the hill was really our path or not.

But, we followed it to see where it would take us.

Sam scouted ahead.

And decided it was time for a snack.

On top of another enormous boulder.

Just around the bend, we found it.

Carson Falls.

It made a nice place to pose for pictures.

And to share a laugh.

I was intrigued by these seeds.

They were larger than a walnut and were scattered around all over the place.

Many were sprouting.

After a nice picnic near the falls and exploring the area around it, we were ready to climb back up to the summit of the trail.

Sam and Cam made it to the top of the trail first.

The clouds and Mt. Tam behind them provided another impressive setting.

Such a handsome man.

Such a lovely day.