THE pepper EXPRESS: August 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hiking in Mount Tamalpais State Park

If you would spontaneously ask me to go on a hike with you I would definitely say Yes! My friends Alicia and Jessica invited me to go on the Matt Davis Trail, which ventures from Stinson Beach all the way to the Muir Woods visitor center. Our original plan was to stay on the Matt Davis Trail. But we also wanted to see the lush forest along the Dipsea and Steep Ravine trails. We planned the detour and it was worth it. Our hike went through many different climates. There was the morning fog that lifted up form the ocean. The cool breeze under the canopy of redwoods. And the harsh grass terrain among the Mount Tamalpais hills. When I recommend this hike I only encourage people to start earlier than we did. We commuted in from the valley to go on this glorious hike and I think that put a damper on our time frame. We started in the parking lot of Stinson Beach at 10 am and didn't finish until Dinner at the Sand Dollar at 4 pm.
Planning our hike:
The beginning was fairly easy except for the moderate incline:
I have a problem of turning my out door photos into black & white photos. Maybe it's because my husband is a huge Ansel Adams fan and we have several prints around our house. This one is my favorite.
Each tree has their own characteristics and would sometimes sway back and forth.
An honest question I am still trying to answer.
One of the twelve bridges we crossed.
Researching the Matt Davis trail on google, led me to many photos of this ladder. It was where I wanted to go and can actually be found in the Steep Ravine Trail. This alone was worth the entire trip.
While being a fool I tried to climb the rock beside the ladder and ended up sliding down the slick limestone. There were a few people who were able to scale the boulder before. And I wanted to be like them. But instead I looked like the klutz that I am and made it pretty entertaining for all of the bystanders who were climbing the ladder. You can see the play by play within the couple of photos:
With hiking the the Dipsea Trail and the Steep Ravine Trail, We found ourselves at the ranger station and decided to head back down to the beach. We knew this is where are half way point was. And we were weighing our energy. All of us were looking forward to a fat cheese burger to celebrate with. 
This is the part of the trail where you have to bare with the heat:
Great views along the way:
Best recommendations when hiking in Mount Tamalpais: bring a camelbak full of cool water, beef jerky, moon cheese, CLIF Bars, Cutie Mandarins, carrots,  ball cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, and get there really early. Maybe some hiking boots with ankle support. There were a few times we could have hurt ourselves on some of the root systems. 
When you exit the trail you are in the city limits of Stinson Beach and the Sand Dollar Restaurant is right around the corner on Highway 1. We walked in ordered our burgers and beer. I might have cried a little but it was the perfect way to celebrate our victory of walking over 9 miles that day. 
Another plus side is you can rest your toes in the beautiful Pacific Ocean when your done!!

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