Tulip Time

It’s tulip time in my backyard! Ever since visiting Monet’s Giverny outside of Paris and also Crystal Hermitage in the Sierra Foothills and having my Tulip mind blown I have wanted to plant some of my own. I kind of went nuts last fall and planted an enormous amount. Here is one of my favorites for spring. Sending you sunshine and light from sunny California.

Yountville Public Art

Spring is springing in Northern California. It was time to get out of the house for some fresh air and street art in Yountville, California. Yountville is a lovely alternative to some of the busy wineries and shopping districts of its neighbor Napa, Saint Helena or Calistoga. It was also the perfect place to get outdoors safely masked in public.

Wherever you are today, whether its still snowy or tropical and warm or somewhere in between, I would like to send you some California sunshine from one of the most famous regions on the planet, for good reason.

Cheers.

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes

The weather did one of those things it does in the winter that is nothing short of miraculous. It was 74 degrees (23 degrees Celsius or so) in January on the coast of California. So I did what it seems every single other person in the Bay area did and hit the beach. Because I am obsessed with Point Reyes National Seashore right now I visited a beach I had never been to and wasn’t disappointed, Kehoe Beach. It’s a bit of a drive on a rough road to get there. A good parking lot connects to a trail where one walks on a well maintained trail for over a mile to be rewarded with crashing waves and an estuary next to a great set of sand dunes. (All make for safe and fun play for my little one.) I know this might seen ironic to some of my friends who aren’t from around here but many, if not most, of the beaches in this area are not safe to get in the water. The undertows are so strong it will suck you out and you will never be seen again…We played in the sand and water from the estuary for hours. My son asked if we could move our house to the beach so I think it was a successful day.

On the way home we made a quick drive to Drake’s Beach in order to see the lounging Elephant Seals. What a lovely reminder of how massive and amazing these creatures are.

For more posts from the Point Reyes National Seashore area I invite you to click here.

Lake Clementine

A quarantine hike is/was good for the soul. This time of year the trails down by the American River and the Foresthill bridge aren’t so overrun with crowds. The cool weather is refreshing and walking under the bridge is exhilarating. I’ll admit I had never actually seen the Lake Clementine damn, not sure how that is possible but CHECK it’s done now. I decided to go further and see where the lakeside trail went. I was rewarded with a peaceful and serine lake with a few boaters and paddleboarders who gave me some entertainment. I saw and enjoyed this view for a very long time. The trail was not at all maintained and at times I had to scramble so keep that in mind should you find yourself exploring.

Tomales Bay Shipwreck – Point Reyes

This will be my last installment for Tomales Bay until I have the opportunity to visit again which I suspect will be sooner rather than later. 😉 Driving through Inverness on my way to the Tomales Point Trail Hike I HAD TO STOP when I saw this grounded ship. Google tells me that this ship was wrecked and the owner always intended on fixing it but it soon became a roadside attraction. I was there at the right time because the lighting, the sun, and the reflection were ideal. This was the first photo of the day, which as many photographers know, makes the rest of the day icing on the cake. I am often terribly critical of the photos I take and this one is no exception taken only with my iPhone and not my “good camera.” However, I love this photo and can’t stop looking at it. I hope you enjoy it too.

“Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar.” -Don Bamford

Mormon Island Wetlands State Park

There are many trails and parks which surround Folsom Lake in Northern California. I have driven by this one a million times, and to be honest, had never even noticed it was a park before. Last fall I drove by and noticed some pretty glorious fall foliage and ever since then I had wanted to check it out. It’s winter here and it’s been raining in NorCal finally. So, when we had a break from the rain, the boy and I brought our rain boots and checked it out. The park is pretty basic and has only a small trail where mountain bikers seem to enjoy. No wildlife was out so the puddles were the star of the show for my son. I couldn’t help but think of Ireland seeing what would surely be called a Fairy Tree in that part of the world.

For some other posts from the Folsom area click here.

Tomales Bay State Park – Heart’s Desire Beach

While headed to Tomales Point Trail I saw a sign and a dot on the map for “Heart’s Desire Beach.” Well friends, the gimmick worked. I had to check it out and boy am I glad I did. This beach is on the Tomales Bay side of the peninsula not the ocean side so the waters were calm and quiet and serene. The cove was lovely and the stair stepped walk to the picnic overlook was stunning. I came for the ocean waves and was pleasantly surprised by this lovely little beach. I can’t wait to take my son to play here away from the dangers of the breaking waves and the shifting tides. As I was leaving people were dropping in their paddle boards to check out the quiet coast…

Check out my other posts on Tomales Bay and my posts on Point Reyes National Seashore.

Tomales Point Trail Dairy – Pierce Point

As a follow up to my Tomales Point Trail – End of the Earth | Bulldog Travels post I wanted to share photos of the initial part of the hike called Pierce Point Dairy. Much of the area is or was historic dairy land. I must admit I am jealous of the view the cows in the area get for sure. Historic dairies dot the park in both Tomales Bay State Park and Point Reyes National Sea Shore including this old dairy where the buildings have been maintained or restored. It’s a fun spot to start the hike and a welcome vision on the return trip. While there are cows all over the park and the national seashore there were none present at this dairy likely having something to do with the Elk Preserve. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the rustic buildings. #HAPPYCOWS

Tomales Point Trail – End of the Earth

On New Year’s Eve I bid 2020 adieu by hiking the Tomales Point trail in Tomales Bay State Park. This spectacular hike is about 9.5 miles round trip. (It felt like a lot longer truth be told.) Most of the hike is very easy and reasonably level. However, the trail gets a bit fast and lose at the end likely because many don’t hike the entire thing. And be ready for the wind sailors because there is plenty of it.

Much of the trail is in a Tule Elk preserve. I was hoping to maybe see one Elk. Well, I saw upwards towards fifty as well as a happy, fluffy, and comfortable coyote. The Elk were not even the slightest bit concerned with the many hikers paying them attention. Although While standing trying to take photos I saw a few who were pretty brazen getting a little too close for comfort if you ask me.

One needs to travel to Tomales Bay State park which is just outside of Inverness, Point Reyes and drive to the end of the earth. From there you hike about five miles to get literally to the end of the earth. You will be rewarded with a gorgeous ocean view, a view across the Bay to Dillon’s Beach (Bodega Bay), and a look down the gorgeous Tomales Bay.

The only question is why I haven’t done this any sooner.

Happy New Year everyone.