- Seven days in Point Reyes National Seashore (five of them with Stephanie and two with Emmett)
- Two eight-hour days on the road with Emmett getting to and from Point Reyes
- 1,255 miles driven in Mine (more than 300 of them in the park)
- 19 different trails hiked for a total of 54.9 miles (32.6 of those miles with Stephanie and 22.3 miles with Emmett)
- three vodka-lemonades consumed by Stephanie the first night
- at least one mama-and-calf gray whale sighting every day (12 on one day alone!)
- one naked hiker (not any of us!)
And the Big Picture is easy to paint:
But it's all the little stuff in between the layers of tangible information and within the tiny cracks throughout a day that are hard capture in words or photos. Sometimes, you just have to be there. But I can tell you this much...
We were lucky with the weather (sunny and warm every day), to be there during wildflower season, to catch the last of the migrating gray whales heading north with their calves, to have stayed at the same lovely cottage Emmett and I stayed at three years ago, to be in great physical health to take on whatever trails or activities we wanted to, to have the park almost to ourselves.
Our daily routine never got old: breakfast, hike, trail lunch, hike, happy hour, dance to music while making dinner, eat dinner, crash. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And yet, every day was a new adventure. Happy hour could have been on the beach at Limantour Spit (with beer and chips and salsa), on the side of the road at the top of Mt. Vision (with wine and nuts), or simply on our cottage deck (with vodka-lemonades and pickled okra and pepita paté). Every hike had a surprise for us: clusters of butterflies, watching a Cooper's Hawk hunt and score a mouse for lunch, a young man (with no tan lines) hiking the Palomarin Trail with nothing more than hiking boots and a small backpack on, an abundance of banana slugs, Tule Elk, stumbling upon a secret beach right before high tide, a group of white pelicans feeding on a school of fish they rounded up on Drakes Bay.
This is the third time I've been to Point Reyes National Seashore and it, once again, did not disappoint. This is why I love living in California. Or, perhaps more accurately, this is why I love living.
To pause the slideshow below and advance through photos manually, hover your cursor over a photo. Click on the solid square that appears between the two arrows and that will stop the slideshow. Click on the arrows to advance the photos at your leisure.