mt tamalpais

A panoramic contrast – Mt. Tamalpais State Park

The stark difference between the sweeping beauty of a landscape and the droves of aloof city-dwelling hikers is amazing.

I tend to avoid overly popular areas. Sure, I get the appeal. Mt. Tamalpais, nestled in Marin County, is nearby to countless major urban areas. A close hike for the day, a way for urbanites to escape the grid and suck in fresh air. The only problem is this isn’t isolation. It’s a playground. It becomes hard to enjoy any amount of trail when you’re trying to pass group, after group of inconsiderate fellow hikers, who may not give you even the simplest of acknowledgement. No gesture to pass, no ‘hello’, not even a thanks. Like ships passing in the night, these people, staring at their feet, trudge on, leaving you feel bitter for being on the trail.

That being said, as mentioned before, the panorama and variety are refreshing. My girlfriend and I started at the mountain theater (free parking, hooray!) and worked our way down to the coast. Being above the clouds first and not having to work for it is almost cheating, I know. The view had charm and loads of it.

Working down the Steep Ravine / Dipsea Trail, I couldn’t help but marvel how this didn’t feel like California. Cool, moist air clung to our clothes, moss on branches; the place felt like a rainforest. It if weren’t for the slippery rocks and narrow trail, all whilst trying to dodge tourists, I may have enjoyed this bit all the more. I suppose you can’t have everything. Unfortunately, this was the highlight. The moody dream, spoiled. It was a down and back up. At least the ‘back up’ was worth it. Being above the clouds yet again surely made my day. Now if I only I could come back during sunset.

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