Our Journey...

Think we forgot to tell you a lil bit about what sort of vacay we're on! Last September of 2011, Dad retired. He and momzers got an RV and decided to plan a trip across the country, visiting national parks on the way to Maine (where's that?) for a family reunion. That's a long trip from northern California! Anyway, this blog is now a record of our travels across the good ole U.S. of A. and even Canada - plus all the things we get to do and see! We started our journey mid-March and hope to be back in NoCal by mid-October - yeah!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Hike Up Cataract Trail

I's incredibly happy that the county we live in is more than 75% dedicated and undeveloped Open Space, with trails for pups, horsies, cyclists and hikers. I've made several posts about these amazing lands throughout Marin. But unbelievably, I can romp on other undeveloped lands here too. Our water district (its sign, above) manages 20,000 acres with 160 miles of unpaved roads and trails. We have 7 state parks (14,000 acres), and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (45,000 acres) and finally, in western Marin, the Point Reyes National Seashore with 150 miles of trails and fireroads (33,000 acres), but I can't hike most places there. Still, I'm spoiled rotten with all the options I have and yesterday, since it's been raining so much, we decided to check out any waterfall activity happening on Mt. Tamalpais. Humans make pilgrimages to Tam in spring, when the falls are roiling and banks dotted with showy wildflowers. We didn't spot any posies, but the falls were a torrent!

The approach eventually takes us out to Alpine Lake, around which we meander. It's about 4:30 pm, and we'd like to get to the trailhead, as the canopy is dark on the brightest of summer days in the thick conifer forest everywhere here.

The trail starts at the end of the bay to the left in this above photo.

Mom hadn't been here for about six years. While Cataract Falls was full and rushing, and the wildflowers were splendid, today's experience was radically different.

C'mon Ma, stop with that box thing! Lots to investigate here... a ton of smells!

Such as something I like in these grasses.

Love this place - it's beautiful, the woods smell incredibly yumzers, but that water is very LOUD. I decide to bark at it when it comes into view.

This little side rivulet (there are many falls that are coming down from the steep canyon walls on either side of the "river") is about to empty into the main Falls. I can handle this little stream!

A nice old bridge crosses yet another side falls.

It's a very steep trail that goes for about 2 miles - lots of stone and wooden stairs - I like the old stone steps. They are treachurously slippery, we find, on the way down.

Here's a little side river that I examine - some excellent smells here and I thought I might have spied a tree rat above. Mom was too slow to get a picture!

Very loud!
And very beautiful. Mom seems meditative - there are only one or two others here today - on a typical weekend, the trail is packed.

Time to head back to the car as the woods are really starting to get dark. Pretty Alpine Lake views on the way back by trailside.

On the road home, we see several of these - some in fields, some on the chi chi Meadow Club golf course!

Eyes practically glazed over, I stare intently at these furry creatures as I know them. And like the way they move. If I could, I'd try to play with them, but they are too fast for me. I sleep all the way home, which is about 20 minutes away. I feel very lucky to have all these great places to investigate.


1000 Goldens said...

There is nothing quite as beautiful as Northern California and it's great that you can get out and appreciate it! You're a lucky girl Samantha!

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

Sammie, you are such a spoiled & lucky dog! That place is pawsome! Glad that you went and had a great time!

Sam & June

SGR said...

Woof! Woof! You're back! I am so jealous that you have such access to great park adventures. LOVE LOVE the waterfalls. Mom is familiar with the parks in CA since she used to live there many years ago ... maybe she'll take me on a road trip and visit you. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

You're a beautiful girl, Samantha! Such gorgeous scenery, too. Yes, let's get together soon. Limantour Beach would be fun--or Dillon, which is where we were last week. ;)

Martha and Bailey said...

Hi Sammie, we loved your walk, it looks beautiful.
We loved the waterfall and the sound it made on the video.
We particularly liked the pic where you are standing up against the rail beside the waterfall - that so reminded us of Martha!
We also love your cool new background.
Our mum, who is very old now, cannot actually see any of your words!
Maybe everybody else can and it is just her!!!!
Have a great weekend.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxxx

Emma Rose said...

That was a lovely day! We enjoyed your photos and video so much that we want to go camping now!

Emma Rose

Miley said...

Beautiful pics, Samantha!!! That waterfall would have definitely put me over the edge, but it sure is spectacular!!! Thx for sharing!!

lotsa licks,

The Thundering Herd said...

You are blessed with lots of parks like we are (including one where we can not hike, either - the Great Smoky Mountain National Park). Your hike was really beautiful

The OP Pack said...

You are so very fortunate to have such wonderful places to go that both you and your parents can enjoy. We loved seeing all the falls. The pics of you on the bridge are so nice, but so aren't all the others. So where are you off to this weekend?

Woos and happy weekend, Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kari in WeHo said...

I really miss that part of living in NorCal

Paco,Milo, Maya and mommy Simona said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Sammi...
you live such in a wonderful place..
We would love visit all tose wonderful parks with you and your sweet humans!!!
We love love love all your pics and you look sooooo happy and beautiful!!!!
Thanks for taking us along with you!!!!
And the videos are great...we love the silence and the sound of waterfall!!!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!!
Sweet kisses and licks to all of you!!!!

houndstooth said...

That is one gorgeous place to hike! You are so lucky to have a place like that to go!


~Kim~ said...

Hi Sammie!! While I love the wide open space of the country where we live, I have to say that it is not nearly as beautiful as where you walked yesterday--Thanks for taking us along!!! Enjoy your weekend!!

caboval said...

I Sammie!! You posed beautifully by the waterfalls! And they were loud!!! Wow just gorgeous pictures!!! Wish we were there! Hugs Joey and Kealani

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Sammie,
GReat hiking adventure post. Love the falls video and all the cool photos. Looks like you had a grooming/brush out before going to Mt Tam.

Sierra Rose said...

Wow Sammie! Those falls are a flowin'! How beautiful. What a great trail and amazing spot. Will have to hike up there sometime.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What a great place fur a hike!

Thanks fur sharing the trail with us - AND fur telling us about your khounty's plan!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Anonymous said...

Wow - gorgeous!

Dog Clothing said...

Beautiful pictures! I bet you LOVE living there!

Huffle Mawson said...

It looks so wonderful there Sammie!

The Musketeers said...

Wow that's such a lovely spot to go !
How we which we were there ! We do not have much beautiful spot in our country. and not all spot are pet friendly. sigh !

Lovely photos ;) Thanks fur sharing Sammie !

Maggie and Mitch said...

Wow! You live in such a gorgeous spot, Sammie! You are one lucky girl!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Bruce said...

BEAUTIFUL Sammy, so so beautiful! Thank you for sharing one of your special places with us and yes, you are one lucky doggie!
your cat pal,

Scout 'n Freyja said...

We think that you have some of the most prettiest places to visit with your momma and dadda. We like it when you share your adventures with us because if we can't be there - it's nice to see there☺

KB said...

What a great day! Did you get to swim at all? It looked wet and deeply forested. It must have smelled amazing!

We used to go to some beaches at Pt. Reyes out near the lighthouse (can't remember the names). Often, no one but us would be there, and our dogs would play in the shallows of the waves. When we all visit CA again, our labs want to see the ocean. Our current ones have never seen it!

Thanks for a great tour!

The Army of Four said...

Oh, wow! Samantha! What a GORGEOUS place for a hike! We would love it there - I just know it!
Thank you for taking us with you via the camera!

Thor said...

You're so lucky to go to that beautiful place!
Great pictures and video!
Thanks for sharing!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Great trail, Samantha -- reminds me of some of my favorite hikes back east!

Lorenza said...

Hi, Sammie!
I agree with our friends. I wish we had places like those you have to go on nice walkies!
You look very happy in the pictures!
Kisses and hugs

Whimpurr said...

WOW! That looks like paradise! What a lucky girl you are .... and so beautiful too! *woof*

Scout 'n Freyja said...

We were just here this morning and the blog looked so different. We see that you have expanded!

Sam said...

We actually contemplated moving there! How beautiful! The wife of our archeologist used to work at Point Reyes until last month! I'd love to be able to explore some of those trails.


Dory and the Mama said...

SO beautiful Samanths!!


Life With Dogs said...

That 75% figure tells the story - and explains why your posts are so pleasing to the eye. And I'd kill to have a week out there with Sola and a mountain bike...

Ben said...

Oh you lucky girl. Momma tells us about Mt Tam all the time - maybe we will make it there one day.