Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Berkeley, CA to Inverness Park, CA
40 miles (4360 total miles)

Sorry for blowing off yesterday. We spent most of the day working on our route for the next week and napping (Shane kept us up late every night!). The only interesting thing we did all day was go out to dinner and ice cream with Shane, Sky and Becca and I managed to forget to bring the camera. So we didn't have any pictures, but we were going to put up a page anyway and then go to bed early for a change, except that we got immersed in watching the presidential candidates' speeches and ended up staying up late after all. So we decided to bag it and get some sleep.

Today we got up bright and early and packed up all our stuff. We had a major problem of how to get from Befkeley to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco without biking over the Bay Bridges (very bad to do on a bike). Shane resolved the problem by borrowing a van and hauling us and the bike over to the Presidio area near the Golden Gate in it. Then we rode through the Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge. There was a statue of the man who was the chief engineer on the bridge building project at the foot of the bridge, as well as a sample bit of the cable that holds it up. Very impressive looking. With all the extra fussing of loading the bike in the van, getting driven over and unloading, then riding to the bridge and taking pictures there, we didn't start heading over the bridge until about 9:30. There was a lot of car traffic on the bridge, but not too much bike and foot traffic on the walkway so we had a pretty easy ride. I was a little nervious starting out because the bridge was so high up over the water, but it didn't seem too bad after all. There are two walkways, one on each side of the bridge, but one on the ocean side was closed because of painting, and we actually saw two guys up in a little bucket working on the wires. That's definitely not a job I'd like!

Once we were off the bridge in Marin, we got some help from another bicyclist as to how to proceed (it was a little confusing there and we wanted to make sure we didn't get on the freeway), and headed off toward Sausalito. Sausalito is another cute shore town with very chi-chi stores and nice parks and marinas. We took pictures of the San Francisco skyline, which we could still see although it was a little fuzzy and the islands in the bay. We started climbing and saw some neat valleys full of houses. We went by Mill Valley, but I don't think we saw it. We did go through a number of nice small towns - Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, and Fairfax - one blending into the other. Then we got into the woodsier areas and started seeing lots of trees, some redwoods, but many others, too - eucalyptus and oak predominantly. We also got into a steep climb as well. Couldn't tell if we had gotten "soft" from our week off, but it seemed to go on forever. We got to the town of Lagunitas on the downhill slope and stopped for a pick-me-up. We liked the milkshakes we had so much that we decided we ought to get something for dinner there as well. Good thing we did, because there was nothing else from there to the end of our day, except for a little deli. After Lagunitas, we got onto a bike trail through the Samuel P. Taylor State Park, which was gorgeous - crammed full of trees, mostly redwoods, and with the Lagunitas Creek running through it. The trail surface was better than the road we'd been on before that, too!

After the bike trail, we went over Olema Creek and through the tiny town of Olema, then up a small road called Bear Valley which followed the creek and came up to the point of Tomales Bay, in the heart of the Point Reyes National Seashore. This area is a pristine, protected area with lots of marine life and birds and trees. We weren't near enough to the shore to see the ocean, but the part we were in was heavily wooded and quite beautiful. We turned onto Vallejo Road where the inn at which we would be staying was located. The inn looked almost like a huge tree house, nestled in the woods as it was. We dismantled the stuff on the bike and took it all up to our room and left the bike parked outside the main level of the inn. The place was practically deserted tonight, only one other couple was there and they kept out of sight. So we had the living room and kitchen area of the inn to ourselves as we had our dinner and worked on our website. We can't wait to get into that cushy bed up in our room, though! We ended the day at 3:45, with 40 miles in about 4-1/2 hours of bike time. Tomorrow should be a little easier although about 5 miles longer, and we'll be starting out late because we'll be having breakfast here, which doesn't start until 9:30. But we wouldn't want to miss it!

The San Francisco skyline, coming over the Bay Bridge

Shane drops us off in the Presidio..

and takes our picture before she heads back

Buildings in the Presidio

Our first peek at the Golden Gate Bridge

The San Francisco National Cemetery

At the foot of the bridge, a statue of Joseph B. Strauss,
the chief engineer of the bridge from 1929-1937

A sample of the cable strung along the bridge...

specifics of the cable's composition,...

and a cross-section of the cable wires

Coming onto the bridge walkway

A view of San Francisco's skyline from the bridge

A barge passes in front of Angel Island, the Ellis Island of the West Coast

Nearing land (Marin) at the end of the bridge

A close-up of the bridge structure

Two men preparing the wires for new paint

Looking back from the Marin end of the bridge

A little harbor at the foot of the bridge

Another view of San Francisco from the far end of the bridge

Pat patiently waiting for me to stop taking pictures

Houses covering the hill and over the water in Sausalito

You can see Alcatraz (island on the right) and the Bay Bridges in the background

And more houses crammed on the hillside at the other end of Sausalito

Closer view of Sausalito houses

Just when you think they can't fit one more house in...

it turns out they can

One of the kitschy stores in Sausalito

A beautiful fountain in a park

Even the marina is crammed full

A sea plane on the mud flats of Richardson Bay outside of Sausalito

Houses in a valley near Mill Valley

City Hall in Larkspur

Flags along Larkspur's streets commemorating 100 years of...

the Lark Theater

Horses grazing on the hills

Forests start getting denser

The redwood trees are too tall to photograph

Forests along the road near Lagunitas

The entrance to the Samuel P. Taylor State Park...

and the redwoods there

Trees along Lagunitas Creek in the park

Entering the Point Reyes National Seashore area

The Olema Creek

Marsh lands and hills in the distance

The corner where we turned off for the Blackthorn Inn

Tree houses seem appropriate here

The narrow wooded road to the inn

Our bike rests at the top of...

the inn's very steep driveway

And there are more steps up to the inn itself...

which is way up here...

in the tree tops

And here's our cozy room...

and bathroom...

and the back entrance to it