The hills are alive...with the sound of BiG's blisters popping...
Point Reyes Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
It was still dark when i locked my door ands and headed into the city, a thick, THICK layer of fog hovering over the ground. The visibility was down to about 50 feet...could barely see the red lights of the car in front rolling along on the freeway doing 45mph...its a good thing im prepared for this sort of occasion. I have a driving mix specifically designed for driving thru the fog in the morning ^^ once i reach the San Mateo bridge the fog clears to open up to a beautifully clear day emerging from its evening slumble. Awesome start to an awesome day.
We rendezvous at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but not before a small pitstop for coffee hahaha...Kelly needs to refresh and refuel herself before a hike by pouring rich hot coffee directly into her veins.
Our meandering goes for a bit until we are convinced we missed a turn somewhere, so we stop off at a local bakery for a pitstop and to ask for directions. This hike has been on the wish-list of our hike leader for some time, so he has not been on it himself and isnt familiar with the terrain at all ^^ bonus!! The bakery proves to be quite a delight though. Many people mention that its actually quite famous in the hiking circles as THE place to stop before and after hikes. I must say this little place blew me away when i saw the front counter. The pastries are big BiG BIG!!! Gooey sticky buns toppling with walnuts, giant round sweet breads with creamy fillings.
Our second rendezvous is the Point Reyes Hostel International, deeply embedded into the forrest overlooking the ocean. Im surprised its so far from anywhere out there...the twisting turns on the road peppered with 15-20 mph turns.
The trailhead itself is not impressive in itself, very low laying hills and cows greet us as we park, lock and load. Once we finally begin, we end up walking down the wrong trail...the first of many missteps today hahaha...should have been a portent when we missed the freeway exit. The first half hour is spent traversing back and forth along the seashore, tracking and back tracking, as the hike leader has no clue where the trail leads, which is good for me so i can use the time to get better acclimated to the environment.
There are a lot of cows out here on the hillsides, and they are runners...at least the little ones are. Once the smaller young calfs start to take off (away from our approach) the lot of them start to tear away into the hills...at least they are heading away from us hahaha...no need to get trampled today...no need to get trampled today. They are also quite vocal. We take every oppertunity to answer back ^^ For such an experianced group, im surprised that so many people showed up to the hike.
The rolling hills opens up to an expanse of calm water, a mini-delta of shallow water and mud. The water closer to the green vegetation at the edge of the water is nice and clear, almost like a moving mountain stream...by the time we hit the beach the shallows are still clear all the way to the ocean.
The second leg of the trail proves to be the most beautiful, as well as the most painful for me hahahaha!! Rolling now on top of the bluffs overlooking the ocean, we come to a series of viewpoints (after having "jumped" another barbed wire fence of course, of course). SPirits are still high as the early afternoon sun glances off the shallows, the waves lightly licking the cliffs. Good time for the taking of mental images and a few more snacks. The giant sand bars underneath the cliffs calm and sooth the lapping surf as they rush themselves onto the shore. There are now many hikers stopped for a break here, smaller groups of 2's and 3's coming and going.
Thirty minutes after we walk away from the cliffs we hit the forrest again, probably the last 5 miles of the hike...a big probably hahaha!! Its about this time though that the giant blister on my left foot decides to pop, and with a loud thudding pop too. Alls i can do is to slap a bandage over the now exposed skin and hobble the rest of the way home.
After a few more twists and turns through the woods, including a [Trail Closed] sign leading us to a deadend hahaha, we finally make it back to the hostel where our shuttle car is parked. We barely make it back before the sun turned the skies from a rich red to an ashy darkness. The last rays of the day ducking behind the hills to the west, shadows of the trees extending the long shadows. Another hour to pick up the cars and return to the hostel to sweep up the crew and we are heaed back to civilization.
Upon our return to the city we stop in at our favorite local indian buffet by 19th ave and i hobble and dance around the restaurant in utter and complete pain, but happy to be filling my stomach with hot food after the grueling last leg of the hike. After a pit stop to Walmart for some Second Skin, i manage to pop and drain all remaining blisters...and slowly and sadly call to cancel my Grand Canyon adventure for the following weekend. Theres no way 1) my blisters will have closed up and healed by then 2) my feet will have recovered from jogging on a limp 3) i could possibly start a 4 day backpacking trip with already fresh blisters.
To anyone going to Estero Lakes, it is a nice stroll through the coastal forrest of Point Reyes, in contrast to the northern end of Point Reyes where it opens up more to the ocean beaches and offers greater elevation gain. There was practically no elevation on this hike and although we ended up going 19 miles, there no reason it couldnt have been done in half the time that we took hahaha. The mudflats along the return to the hostel were pretty cool...i enjoy the free forming patterns of natural ecosystems and environments, and the cows are a lively bunch.