Big Trees Winterim

Day 1 of Big Trees (Sun, Mar. 19th).
High winds in San Francisco delayed our departure from Denver, but we eventually got underway and arrived under cloudy skies in the City by the Bay.  We didn't waste any time, and once we were settled into our hotel, we headed off to the Marin Headlands to touch the raucous Pacific Ocean and watch some determined surfers battle it out on the foamy breakers coming ashore.
Curving our way to the top of the headlands, we were afforded views of the Golden Gate bridge as it dodged in and out of the fog rolling and were buffeted by wind and rain driving in from the Pacific.  We got lucky and saw the iconic towers rising out of the Pacific while the US1 disappeared into the mists.
Everyone is heading to bed as I type this, tired after a busy day of traveling, well-sated from excellent Italian food at Tampalpie in Sausalito, and ready to head out exploring the coast and hiking up into the Coastal Redwoods tomorrow. 

Big Trees California Day 2
We started the day early and headed out to Point Reyes to begin our exploration of the big trees of California and get started on our nature journaling.  The first stop was the Tunnel of Trees —planted around 1930, the Monterey cypress has now formed a tunnel that is a signature landscape feature of the historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station.  We spent time getting used to nature journaling as the sun began to break through the clouds and the mists rose on the impressive landscape.
Then it was off to Chimney Rock at the far end of Point Reyes and seemingly endless views across the Pacific (next stop Japan).  Walking across the windswept point, we were greeted by the noises of harbor and elephant seals far below beckoning to each other and protecting their territory.
The next stop after lunch (if you're ever in the area, the market at Point Reyes Station has some of the best sandwiches around) was Mt. Tamalpais, where we began a 5-mile loop hike to the top winding our way through some of the stands of cypress, firs, and our first look at Coastal California Redwoods.  Three hours later, it was definitely time for a good, very-filling Mexican dinner!