Thursday, August 23, 2012


Remember when I said I hate SF weather? Of course you do, it's the last post.

I made good on my promise to go find sun. After texting the best guy friend if he had to be at work on Wednesday (he didn't), we debated whether to go hiking with the dog in Marin or go to Santa Cruz and hang on the beach/ride the famous Giant Dipper, as I still have ride coupons from years ago that don't expire. I try to do things that are cheap because I am broooke.

We ended up going with the hiking plan and, thanks to the suggestion of a Twitter follower, ended up at Lake Lagunitas/Lake Bon Tempe outside of Fairfax in the Marin Watershed.

Everyone is so fucking friendly in Marin. It's weeeeird. I'm used to the city where I barely make eye contact with anyone and avoid talking because I am an introvert and misanthrope. I only end up talking to people on my Land's End walks (which: I HIGHLY recommend Land's End) because my dog is an attention whore whose seemingly sole function is to have every stranger alive pet her and wiggles her teeny tiny butt until they do.

I pulled up to the pay station (one downside: you have to pay $8 to park at Lake Lagunitas, which really isn't that bad) and the super friendly volunteer guy tells me all about the watershed, welcomes me on my first trip there, hands me a bunch of maps, and tells me where to the winter so I can see the waterfall.

We drive along the road of the watershed to our destination a couple miles in. I had apparently missed the signs that the entire place is a 15 mph zone and on a straight away I was going maybe 30 when the park ranger guy parked on the opposite side of the road got out of his car, pointed, and pulled me over. Or pointed me over? There wasn't much pulling. Anyway. HE was super friendly too. Didn't give me a ticket, just a bit of a lecture that was barely a lecture and then told me all about the area also and to be careful of wildlife (with a full run down of all that's around) and to be sure to, as required, keep my dog on a leash so a coyote didn't get her. I keep her on a leash regardless because remember that attention whore thing? She'd follow anyone home. She does not come when called. Most disloyal animal I've ever owned. (Actually, she's the only animal I've ever owned. All other dogs were family dogs. She is definitely mine. Currently asleep on my lap. But: completely disloyal.)

We finally make it to the lake and it's a nice hour long walk around it. Not much of a hike, but pretty with a good amount of shade, nice trails. I'd go there again, probably for the bigger Bon Tempe lake but it was a good walk. Also has a great picnic area if you want to spend the day up there. These two adorable older gentlemen had a picnic table with their own table cloth, glasses of wine, and were grilling. I wanted to invite myself to join them.

We add on part of Bon Tempe lake as well for a total of close to two hours of walking. Sun on my shoulders, wearing shorts. It was fabulous! And the dog was a trooper. She would have liked a few more people to give her pats on the head but she seemed to like it. Not that most dogs don't enjoy being outside getting walked. I think that's the longest walk I've done with her though so I was glad she seemed unfazed. I'm never quite sure how being 12 pounds translates for a dog. If I walk a mile is that like 3 miles to her? (I make no bones (heh) about being a crazy dog person.)

Around the lake, the roughly 10 people we encounter, as it's midday on a Wednesday and I imagine most people have actual jobs, are all super friendly too. Hellos and head nods abound. Even from the mountain bikers who thank us for staying to the side and waive as they pass. WHAT IS THIS WEIRD UBER FRIENDLY ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?

You have to understand that us city dwellers have a natural dislike of...well, everything not "the city". I think the fog makes us cranky and naturally suspicious. Or maybe that's just me. So all this politeness is freaking me out a bit.

In case you don't know: Marin is a super wealthy enclave that prohibits BART from going there because they don't want the riffraff invading their pristine little towns. Very very white towns. Of like Lululemon stores and boutiques that the wives of rich investment bankers run as hobby. Not that they aren't fantastic towns with great farmers markets, cute restaurants, and really healthy people. Because, also at the recommendation of Twitter follower, we head to Iron Springs Brew Co for post hike lunch and a beer because we can sit outside with the dog. It's next to a bike shop that an endless stream of very fit people are walking or riding their bikes in and out of it. I imagine the East Coast equivalent is New Haven or wherever it was Emily Gilmore lived.

The food at the brew pub was decent, and other than trying to chew through her leash for kicks, the dog was again well behaved. (I've had her for almost a year and haven't taken her to a restaurant. It was a day of adventures for us. Yep. Crazy dog person.)

I was just happy to be outside, drinking, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. "CHUCK! We're outside and don't need sweaters!" San Francisco summers make me loopy.

We got back in the car to head back to the city. The thermometer indicated 81 glorious degrees. By the time we reached Mill Valley, just on the North side of the bridge, the outside temp was indicated as being 61 degrees. A 20 degree drop in a fifteen minute drive, with fog socking in the bridge. Sigh.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sold. Totally going to try out Lake Lagunitas.

    In a related story, Wife and I got sick of being cold all the time too and took the dog and trucked out to Del Valle State Park near Livermore on Saturday. Left SF (foggy, 58) and got there (bright sunshine, 78) and we were immediately happy. There's a long off-leash trail around the lake, plenty of picnicking spots, and although there were a lot of people there, it's so big that it never felt crowded. The only downside is that it's about a 1 1/2 hour drive. But I'd go back.