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!
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.