Monday, June 8, 2015

Backpacking at Pt. Reyes

Oh, glorious trip!  Perfect weather, gorgeous terrain, and all of us feeling strong.  We spent one night car camping in Olema so that we were close to the trail, then got our permits and drove to Palomarin, near Bolinas to start.  The trail was six miles, which has felt like a full day before with the kids, elevation, and steep terrain, but today it felt relatively easy.  It helps to have just one day's worth of food and no bear box!

We wandered close to the coast the whole way, with the fog teasing us with views of the Pacific.  We were in and out of eucalyptus forests, past quiet inland lakes, and overgrown marshy sections.

Our campsite was very near the beach, which itself was nearly empty of people as far as we could see in either direction.  We saw deer, elk, birds, carrion, rabbits, snakes, several ticks, and more.  One cool sight was washed up Velella velella, which are apparently little known jellyfish like sea creatures washing up all over California beaches.

When we woke up, we were fogged in completely, but as I got up, I watched the sun break through and shine down through the fog on our lovely little valley.  The effect was of a golden paradise, foggy on the edges and bright with the sunshine on the wild mustard.  Fabulous! 

We camped with friends, but had to get back sooner so that I could teach and so the girls and I walked out alone.  They tend to complain less when their friends are around, so I was a little nervous - especially considering we didn't have much time to spare before I had to get to class.  But they were awesome.  The return trip was great scenically too, with views that were not as fog-obscured as we had been the previous day and we realized how close we had come to steep cliffs overlooking the ocean. 

Marvelous trip, marvelous friends, marvelous girls.  Hey! Marvelous sea creatures and insects, too!

Love these lakes, just inland from the sea.  Peaceful and full of life.

Velella velella

Velella velella (I like saying that) everywhere!

Morning view of the tent

Golden morning paradise

This is always the view I love the most!

Really cool, almost square-shaped green bug on K.  Later identified as a buffalo treehopper.

Tough mountain girls!

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