May. 8th, 2017

rebeccmeister: (Default)
I dragged [personal profile] scrottie on a bike camping expedition over the weekend, up to Samuel P Taylor State Park. For miscellaneous reasons, we didn't really get underway until around 2 pm, departing from campus, so we wound up catching a 3:30 pm ferry at Jack London Square in Oakland. We then set out from the San Francisco Ferry Building at 4 pm. After dodging tourists through San Francisco, up over the Golden Gate Bridge, and through Sausalito, we headed up and over Camino Alto and finally reached the stage of the ride where we could relax a bit.

We reached the campground at about 6:30 pm and then were finally able to learn how the park manages bike campers. I think it's a good and fair system, and suspect there are similar arrangements for other campgrounds in the region. Basically, they have a single hiker-biker campsite, it's capped at 15 people total, you can only stay one night, and it's first-come, first-served with no reservations. The campground opens at 2 pm each day, so as you can imagine, things were full by the time we arrived. Fortunately, the ranger was incredibly gracious and let us camp in a secret overflow location, so long as we packed up and left by 9 am the next morning.

The secret overflow location wound up being much nicer for my purposes because it put us across the river from the remaining campers, nestled in among some redwoods. There was a wedding reception across the river from us, including what sounded like live swing-jazz music, but even that quieted down before 9 pm.

We got up around 7 am Sunday morning, and were packed up and ready to depart by 9 am, as promised. We first headed over to a fire trail access gate, thinking we'd do a little bit of mountain bike touring. When we reached the gate, we discovered the fire road was a wee bit too steep for fully loaded touring bikes. Just a wee bit. So we parked and locked up and went on a hike instead, to explore Devil's Gulch. It was a peaceful morning and we mostly had the trails to ourselves.

After that, we headed back towards Fairfax to check out the Marin Museum of Bicycling, where I took a bajillionty-eleven pictures, and then we retraced our route back to the Ferry Building/etc.

It was 6:30 pm before I made it back to campus to sort crickets. When I went to swap my sunglasses for my glasses, my poor old, tired glasses snapped at the bridge. Sigh. New ones are now on order.

Photos later in the week. This was already blogged on borrowed time.

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