Written by uncoding on 07 May, 2002
The 7.1 mile long Dipsea Trail begins on a lush and shadowy lane in Mill Valley. From Old Mill Park boardwalks lead up into the winding neighborhood. It’s an unusual start for a trail, but after a mile, a sign warns of mountain…Read More
The 7.1 mile long Dipsea Trail begins on a lush and shadowy lane in Mill Valley. From Old Mill Park boardwalks lead up into the winding neighborhood. It’s an unusual start for a trail, but after a mile, a sign warns of mountain lions and the houses are soon left behind. The whole hike is peaceful with no tough stretches good sneakers can't handle. In Muir Woods you can take a detour through the redwood groves, then continue past mossy trees that curve in odd ways until you get to Deer Park fire road where you can enjoy nice vistas of the coast. On Cardiac Hill the cool wind will mess your hair, and you might shiver in the shade, but the sun soon returns as Stinson Beach comes into view. Along the way there are stunning natural sights, like massive roots and mossy dinosaur shapes, and streams running under small bridges- all this so close to the city! While in the last stretch of hills, I felt like I was in Mongolia, and expected to see grazing yaks looking up as we approached. Soon we hiked down to the cottages and restaurants on the main road in Stinson Beach.
The Dipsea can be taken on impulse by fit hikers. Just bring sunscreen and water and dress for an easy hike up and down to the beach. We left in late afternoon and finished in less than three hours. Allow for more time to linger and head off the beaten path.
Since we parked in Mill Valley we worried about getting back, for the weekend bus does not make runs after 6PM. But getting back was easy. I just stuck out my thumb as a young woman opened her car door and she offered to drive us back along Panoramic Highway. She took every curve fast and, when we were out of breath, dropped us off at the Mill Valley Depot at 8pm. From Mill Valley it takes about 15 minutes to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and get to San Francisco.
Written by Cali4niaAl on 12 Mar, 2004
OK - Ohio - almost home! I stopped in a rest stop for food - my belly was growling and it was clearly time to get some nourishment. Except the only food in the restaurants (well, you know - the fast food semi-sorta…Read More
OK - Ohio - almost home! I stopped in a rest stop for food - my belly was growling and it was clearly time to get some nourishment. Except the only food in the restaurants (well, you know - the fast food semi-sorta kind of counters that you find along the road so often...) was fast food fare - deep fried, laden with fat - back in 1998 there wasn't much in the way of salads - none to speak of in fact for the most part...
So ok, I'm on a health-conscious road trip here right, so what to do?
Vending machines! But no, sugar, candy, no healthy alternatives of any kind... Listening to my body, I chose to drive on and see what I could find.
I started to head out, and at the last moment, felt that I'd be wise to get gas at the station, even though I'd only gone a third of a tank till that point in this leg of the journey.
I didn't second guess this, just went with it. So I filled up the tank, and as I was going to pay for the gas, that's when I saw the nuts - protein - healthy by far, in comparison to what I'd just seen! Nuts - right there, at the station, a matter of feet from the fast food joints and vending machines!
So sometimes we need to go about life, and the universe will provide what we need and want through truly unexpected means!
On the lighter side, it means I'm close to New York! This is the first rest area with a food area that I've been to this week that DIDN'T offer healthier alternatives such as fruit or veggies! "Sigh" - I'm BACK in the realm of Eastern US living... yet I don't "have" to settle for something less than what I feel is best for my well being! Are mixed nuts the ultimate healthiest choice for a well balanced meal? Heck, for this trip, they work! And besides - what's perfect anyhow?
I estimated before I left on this journey, that 3,000 miles, based on my height and stride, would be about five million steps, if I were to walk on foot! Emotionally, and spiritually, I actually am! I woke up today, in Davenport Iowa,…Read More
I estimated before I left on this journey, that 3,000 miles, based on my height and stride, would be about five million steps, if I were to walk on foot! Emotionally, and spiritually, I actually am! I woke up today, in Davenport Iowa, with both dread and a sense of excitement for my life. So, I began working on being present here and now once again.
Prayer, meditation, exercise, shower and a shave. Fill the gas tank, add washer fluid, wash up, buy a little something, send off a postcard, get some healthy basic breakfast in me, and hit the road... Do this five million times during the trip, and I'll be home!
The sun is about to make its appearance now. It's 5:42am here. When dawn first came, the entire horizon was aglow in a line of reds. Now, just the area directly around the sun is this way and is slowly changing to…Read More
The sun is about to make its appearance now. It's 5:42am here. When dawn first came, the entire horizon was aglow in a line of reds. Now, just the area directly around the sun is this way and is slowly changing to yellows, as the sun gets ready to peak up over the horizon. The reds ever so mellow spread out further to the sides again.
As the orange yolk of the sun greets us here and reveals itself as the ever larger and brighter golden ball of light and warmth that it is, I once again feel the infinite universe moving its energy through me.
A flying insect lands on my driver side window, its back to the sun. The steady hum of the rigs goes on as it has all night here while drivers keep warm and safe.
The sun is just now fully up over the horizon, and too bright now for me to gaze directly upon it. Shadows begin to shift and move across my line of sight.
After a very uncomfortable night physically (after all, my Mustang convertible isn't exactly designed to be as roomy or comfortable as the sleeper on an 18-wheeler, now, is it?), I go for a short walk. Someone sleeps in a sleeping bag beneath a tree. Occasionally, a new car comes in for a stop.
A huge dog (they're all puppies to me, even 90lb huskies that are eight years old!) comes bounding up to me and jumps up with its front paws on my upper arm then runs off again, barking briefly in excitement.
Signs at the rest room shelter point out facts and figures. I note that I'm at the eastbound Sidney Nebraska Rest Stop, six miles west of Sidney. Omaha is 403 miles east, and New York City 1,640. I'll be there in three days time at this pace.
I drove a total 713 miles yesterday. This morning, at some time around 1am, a van with Colorado plates pulled up. A young boy of maybe 10 or 12 got out of the passenger side and loaded the USA Today bin with new papers. When he was done, he turned and looked at me for a bit, smiled, and waved to me before returning to the van.
Last night, at that truck stop, I thought about the life of a trucker, and what they might go through in life. The large truck stops all have showers and laundries, restaurant /cafe's open 24 hours, (though some are clearly more well maintained than…Read More
Last night, at that truck stop, I thought about the life of a trucker, and what they might go through in life. The large truck stops all have showers and laundries, restaurant /cafe's open 24 hours, (though some are clearly more well maintained than others, thank you Mr. beetle, very much), and big lounge areas. This one in particular had a huge lounge with immense semi-comfortable couches and a giant screen TV blaring out the World Wrestling Federation Monday Night show...
At the bottom of this television was a hand written sign read "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THE TV".
Of the lounge area in a laundry room was a videophone kiosk. For the low price of $399, a trucker, or anyone, I suppose, can buy a device with a camera that connects to the family TV and a touch-tone phone...
The trucker goes to one of these video kiosks, picks up the handset, punches in a code, and shortly, they're talking with and looking at their family eagerly awaiting a physical contact with this roaming person, male or female.
I heard on the radio last night that a couple got married and to save family and friends the expense of needing to fly thousands of miles for the wedding, sent them, instead, to Kinko's copy centers around the country and the happy couple were married via video teleconference in front of their loved ones!
I'm sure these help, though I bet life on the road can often be lonely when it's what you do all year long, year after year....
As the driving slowed for yet more construction, I saw to my right, one of the many mountains in Utah carved for skiing - it wasn't white with snow, but the carved out patches were a bright green contrasting with the darker green of the…Read More
As the driving slowed for yet more construction, I saw to my right, one of the many mountains in Utah carved for skiing - it wasn't white with snow, but the carved out patches were a bright green contrasting with the darker green of the trees. It reminded me of a golf course, except on top of the mountain, and the course was steeper than any golfer's worst nightmare, bringing back the saying, "When I was your age, I had to walk to school uphill, both ways, in the snow!"
Picture a golf pro at the tee, looking up, 1,000 feet at the green, aiming for the top lip of the mogul. . . Or the same pro on the next hole, but this time it's 1,400 feet downhill, all the way!
Well, here I am, in this European-looking, all-American location, on the journey of my life! What magical wondrous vision will appear next?
It's bittersweet to a degree as well because Sharon, my life companion, isn't here by my side to see this and share this with me, as I had always wanted a companion to be able to share with, and as we'd done so many times in the past several years. . .
I do have a swarm of gnats in the car now though, so it's time to move forward!
1st day - Wells, Nevada – DETERMINATION
All through the day, my mind drifts to Sharon, all that we'd been through together; all that I'd done or hadn't done that might have been otherwise....
Rather than figuring out the details of this trip, where I…Read More
1st day - Wells, Nevada – DETERMINATION
All through the day, my mind drifts to Sharon, all that we'd been through together; all that I'd done or hadn't done that might have been otherwise....
Rather than figuring out the details of this trip, where I should be, which hotel I should call in advance to arrange a room, I've given each step so far to God, then just showed up to do what I feel is best with the path of resistance being the flag that I'm in the wrong direction. Resistance = wrong direction.
As such, I was able to drive 536 miles today in nine hours, a new single day record. When I started getting tired, I acknowledged right away it's time to rest. Within five or ten minutes of feeling tired, I got to Wells, Nevada, and easily found a motel. Just ONE motel here, but it's a motel! Bed... Sleep... Rest...
Well, it turned out that the entire hotel was booked! Except a whole group of people didn't show, so rooms were still available at 11:30pm! I got a ground floor room with a queen-sized bed. The bed is GREAT. The room is clean, in very excellent condition - all for $50 plus tax! Not bad for being "led" to where I need to be for the night.
I've had Sharon's 8x10 photo next to me on the console in the car the whole time today. Now, it's here with me in the room, giving me something tangible to hold onto in my hopes of saving my marriage.
DAY 2 - Wells, Nevada – PATIENCE
I prayed, exercised, meditated and showered this morning to start my day. Exercising in a motel room isn't so bad. Take a clean towel and lay it on the floor, do some push-ups and sit-ups, stretching and bends... Just enough to get the blood circulating and the mind focused. I also spoke with Sara this morning - just to wish her a Happy Birthday. I hope to bust out to Cheyenne or further today!
I went to check out this morning and nobody was at the desk. I was antsy, wanting to get on the road, and here I was, waylaid for an indeterminate amount of time! Impatience flairs as the clock ticks on...
I found the cleaning crew out back and one of the women said maybe the clerk would be back in ten minutes. I thanked her… Patience...
So I went back to my room to practice patience. Fifteen minutes of staring at walls later, I went back to the desk, and still, no clerk, no manager! Instantly, my impatience was back, like it had never left...
Inside though, I heard that voice - "It's just an opportunity to relax!" A few minutes passed before I reached that relaxed space...
As I was standing outside the manager's office, and as the relaxation washed over me, I suddenly noticed a snow covered mountain, that I'd not seen in the middle of the night and all morning hadn't been aware of! BINGO - NOW I felt good. And in that moment, the manager showed up! What a coincidence.
After I checked out I went for gas and the attendant wasn't anywhere to be seen! Ah, but this time I knew the deal - I focused on relaxing, and BINGO, the attendant appeared. What a coincidence.
On the way out of town I took a side trip to the post office to send a postcard to Sharon... I got there via the town loop, and I saw a sign "SHARON MOTEL - BEST VALUE IN TOWN"...
Had I not second guessed last night, and continued on the first exit I'd gotten off of, I'd have seen that sign and hotel... Ironic.
It's not what you look at but how you look at it - perspective. Last night driving toward Wells, I saw on the horizon, rising up out of the pitch black night, a great cruise ship, all aglow in bright white light! It appeared to be very large indeed, with two stacks rising up from toward the center of the ship. But how could that be?
As I came parallel to it, though still quite far off in the distance, this "cruise ship" transformed into a massively huge jet in take-off position all lit up like a Christmas Tree!
As I passed some distance later and looked back, it appeared to be an oil tanker out on the water, and that made sense, given how bright and glowing they are! But no, in fact, it turned out to be the largest power plant I'd ever encountered!
Each person I've met so far, I've opened myself up to express kind words with - looking, listening for the words to be ones that person would identify with while allowing the realness of Alan to come through. It's a fun process, especially on the road where you encounter any number of people from all walks of life, never knowing where they're from, where they're going or why...
Doing this requires a subtle awareness, and most importantly, being focused in the moment. Quite a great exercise of the mind given the length and circumstance of this particular trip!
A dog appeared at my room as I was standing at the door eating my breakfast (consisting of one fresh nectarine, straight from the farmers market that my sister had given me the day before!)...
The dog had no collar visible, and was scruffy yet adorable nonetheless! He or She came and sat, looking expectantly at me, and raised a paw, asking for food apparently. Now here I was, with my lone nectarine as my only nourishment for the morning, and thinking - whose dog could this be? (If anyone's)...
Do I feed you? I'm not sure - if I feed you, are you going to stick with me here and not return to wherever you've come from, abandoning some ten-year-old child? I paused, took one step back, and the dog, startled, bounded away! As the dog trotted off, he turned back to me, looking truly afraid that I'd attack. I looked lovingly at him, and said " I can not take you along on this journey, it's not the responsible thing to do at this time! All I have is just this fruit, my only food for the morning! This dog looked me in the eye - and I said, "Be good - be safe, have peace inside..." The dog moved on, and so it was time for me to do the same.
I reached Wendover after slow going thanks to road construction and rain... Nothing like rain and road construction to ensure drivers pay attention to the moment! I saw a sign along the way "FEEL LUCKY?" referring to a casino in Wendover. I pulled off at the exit and went into a food mart.
After getting snacks for the road, I got on line at the cashier. A burly, cheerful man joined the line behind me. His hands were full with purchases, so I said, "Go ahead - you've got your hands full and what I have is a QUESTION much lighter in exchange!" He laughed and said, "Maybe I can help you." Well," I said, "I heard Power ball is in twenty States and it's now at $250,000,000. So I was wondering if there were a place to get a ticket!"
After a moment, he said "Not Arizona, not Utah, or Wyoming... Colorado has their own lottery - Idaho has it, but you'd need to drive north..."
I said "Well, it IS $250,000,000, but for me, it's not that important to drive that far for a $1 investment!"
We laughed, I thanked him and headed out to my car.
When I approached my car, (my beautiful Mustang - the first brand new car I've ever owned), a man in a pickup truck next to me was admiring it. He said "She's great isn't she?" Thinking of Sharon and not my car, I said "Yes - I worked very hard in my life to find her and had a window of opportunity a while back so I went for it!"
We talked a while about the Mustang then I said "I don't know if I can still have her in my life, cause things change, (again, my mind was on Sharon, not the car!) but seeing this was a man who'd worked hard all his life, I said "I guess I just need to work hard, disciplined, and stay focused - I get to drive back to New York now and not get into an accident!"
He laughed and said "Yes, hard work. That's a long way to drive." I said "Done it three times with my Wife, now it's just me, God, the open road and people like you to help make it fun!" He laughed hard at that and said, "I guess so!"
Written by gosusan on 11 Aug, 2002
This journal contains only a partial listing of day trip activities within Marin County. For a longer visit and more ideas, please visit some of my other journals exploring points in Marin and just-over-the-border Sonoma. Marin makes a marvelous weekend for those who…Read More
This journal contains only a partial listing of day trip activities within Marin County. For a longer visit and more ideas, please visit some of my other journals exploring points in Marin and just-over-the-border Sonoma. Marin makes a marvelous weekend for those who would rather get away from the big-city life of San Francisco (Although I'm sure you NYC and LA folks think us a sleepy little village.)
For a visit to Point Reyes, especially for biking and exploring the lighthouse and Drake's Bay attractions, see Don't Miss the Point.
For more information (including meals and accomodations) in the area, as well as a description of kayaking on Tomales Bay, see Civilization on Tomales Bay.
Sonoma County is just north of Marin. Some nearby attractions worth visiting are the town of Occidental. The Russian River is a relatively close wine region to visit.
If you'd like to compare the charms of some of the region's towns, check here. Bolinas is in Marin, and Bodega and Bodega Bay just over the border.
Finally, if you are looking for a fun little waterfront community to explore (and paddle or cycle around), check out Sausalito.
Leaving Pennsylvania I was truly excited to be so close to home finally! For all the journey, and no matter how much my heart knows that I'll one day return to California, just being this close to New York I can't help feel a…Read More
Leaving Pennsylvania I was truly excited to be so close to home finally! For all the journey, and no matter how much my heart knows that I'll one day return to California, just being this close to New York I can't help feel a sense of joy. Except I got ahead of myself in my joy. . .
I was so caught up in my thoughts that the next thing I know, a Pennsylvania State Trooper is on the median, I see him just as I'm passing, and UT OH -- look at the speedometer -- and I see, to my shock, that I'm in the fast lane, whizzing by cars at over 85 miles an hour in a 65mph zone! Instantly, I know the officer needs her or his job, and how it relates to me here in the moment! At the same instant, the officer hits the lights and pulls out from the median.
By now, I've returned focus to being present, slow to below 65, carefully work my way to the right shoulder, and before the officer gets within six or eight cars, I pull over and shut the car down. I know this is the only course of action appropriate for me to do.
I breathe, utter thanks to God for helping me focus, and remain alive that I may continue safely on my way!
The officer pulls up behind me, gets out of his car, approaches slowly, and just as he leans down to speak I say, "Thank you for stopping me officer. . . I know exactly why you did, I know that you needed to, and I'm grateful."
He asks for my license, registration, and insurance, which I've already got in my hand... No emotion.
I say, "I just drove 2500 miles on the way back home, and in my excitement on the last leg of the trip, I forgot to stay focused on all aspects of my driving, so I understand the importance of this moment."
He says, "Do you know how fast you were going?" I said, "As soon as I saw you, I realized that I'd lost focus of my speed, looked down at my speedometer only long enough to see that I was well over 80, and then focused on slowing down, and pulling over safely." He said he'd be right back. . .
I sat, both thanking God and being at peace, as well as thinking about the situation. Depending on his perspective, he had some choices. 1. Let me go completely -- for me, I didn't have to have that. I was perfectly accepting the ticket and fine for my actions, appropriate for my behavior, which was clearly unacceptable and extremely dangerous.
2. He could have issued a ticket for speeding. How much? Well, if Pennsylvania is like New York, 25 miles an hour over the speed limit is (or was back then) an instant, and automatic suspension of your license! So, exactly how fast was I going before I looked down at my speedometer? OH BOY. . . I wasn't SURE!
OK, CALM, focus. Scenario: what if I WAS going over 25 more than the limit? Either the officer would have heard my situation, seen the car full of stuff, California plates, license and insurance, and let me go, or he would also have the right to cuff me, haul me in and take my license!
OK, NO PANIC, relax into it! But. . . NO, life is OK. But. . . It WILL be OK. Relax, enjoy the view, be grateful, be patient.
The officer returns with a ticket in hand. "Officer, thank you so much for doing your job -- I really needed to slow down, and by your doing your job, I get to do that, and just maybe one or more lives were saved today" is what comes out of my mouth.
He says, "You're welcome -- it's important to do this and I'm glad that you understand!"
I reply, "I'm sure not too many people have acted this way or said this to you officer." He says, "It's amazing how many people get upset and annoyed and say that this is just a real inconvenience!"
Wow -- what a rip. I took the ticket, EIGHTY NINE IN A SIXTY FIVE (24 miles an hour over the limit!) and thanked him again and shook his hand. Finally, I said, "I hope that this stop helped make a positive note in your day and helps you to know that what you are doing in your job really is important and makes a difference!" And with that I was off.
And so it helps that one time, many years ago, I was in the Military Police, and for a short while before I moved up to a Crime Prevention post, I'd been a traffic cop too. No, I didn't bring that up with him, never felt it would be worth mentioning, just that I understand the cop's perspective a bit more than most. . . And besides, after all I've realized on THIS journey, how could I have handled it any other way?
Alive, that’s what I am today because, perhaps, that State Trooper was just doing his job!
I stopped at a station in Illinois today. A young guy was sitting out front with a well-used gas powered weed eater. He said, "I hate weed eaters!" I went into the store, and when I came back out, he said, "It…Read More
I stopped at a station in Illinois today. A young guy was sitting out front with a well-used gas powered weed eater. He said, "I hate weed eaters!" I went into the store, and when I came back out, he said, "It just isn’t working." He kept pulling on the cable, and it wouldn’t start. I said, "Perhaps the sparkplug needs cleaning." We looked and saw the plug: old, rusty, and with carbon built up on the contacts.
I suggested cleaning the contacts. He got out a brush and half-heartedly brushed them however, he didn’t take the time to do a thorough job or simply remove the plug and check the other end either. Again, he pulled the cord and it wouldn’t start. He said, "I guess it just isn’t going to start."
Without looking at each possibility as to what may be needed to bring it back to life, he gave up, resigned to not dealing with it. Just stared at it and thought about the lousy broken weed eater.
Perhaps it would have needed just a bit more patience, one more step to replace the problem with a solution, and accomplish his goal of not being stuck at the same time.
I HAVE A GOAL
I have a goal to be truly present, like never before, in my own life. This road trip is showing me this more and more each day, with each experience along the way. The writing was on the wall months ago. I was looking for it, but not truly listening for it.
Through the years, I’ve been growing slowly, by using my vision – my biggest leaps have come when I’ve stopped long enough to really hear the message.