Day 142 – Pacific Coast Highway

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Day 142 – Pacific Coast Highway, April 18, 2011

We got a late start to the morning, leaving Nicole’s around 9.  Now that I understand how remote Highway 1 can be, I loaded up at Safeway and the Shell Station before driving across the city to the Golden Gate Bridge in a light drizzle.  The bridge was visible once I got on it!

The Reader’s Digest book called for visiting the Marin Headlands on the north side of the bridge and Muir Woods National Monument.  I had previously visited both places on a sunny day during a time when it wasn’t National Parks Week which provides free entrance to the masses.  I found two full parking lots and cars parked on the side of the road as far as I could see, so I opted to continue north to visit some less popular areas, especially since the tops of the trees were blanketed in fog.

We weaved around the hills, passed forests of redwoods, dodged countless potholes and even a few sink holes where the road was reduced to one lane, and stopped at a few ocean overlooks, and finally settled on Samuel P Taylor State Park to spend the afternoon and evening.

Samuel Taylor once owned a paper mill at this site.  To get supplies to the mill and finished product to the schooners, he built and ox trail which wound through the canyon over Bolinas Ridge to Bolinas Lagoon.  Petey wasn’t allowed on the ox trail, but he was allowed to walk down the main road past a variety of sites which also included the paper mill dam and fish ladder as well as the paper mill.

The dam was built in 1855 to help supply water to the mill.  In 1886, Marin County required that a fish ladder be built to help the salmon get over the dam to their spawning grounds.  The fish ladder may have been the first on the Pacific Coast.  I didn’t see the remnants of the dam or fish ladder, but the view was nice.

The mill, which operated from 1856 to 1893, supplied every San Francisco newspaper with newsprint.  “If the Bolinas schooner was late, so were the papers.” – Jack Mason.  A 1915 fire destroyed the building, leaving few remains.

After our stroll, we met some fellow Eurovan owners, Chris and Tish.  They had two dogs with them, Simon and Chili.  Chris is a retired carpenter and Tish is a caregiver.  They were down for the day from the Mendocino area where I plan to visit in two days.  Tish, the cook in the family, prepared homemade curry soup, broccoli and rice, and chicken.  We had a nice meal together while listening to the Giants game.  The Giants were about eight runs ahead, but given they beat my Rangers in the World Series, I didn’t listen too closely.  Chris and Tish offered me their driveway in a few days.  I’ll have to take them up on it!  ETB


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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

2 thoughts on “Day 142 – Pacific Coast Highway

  1. When I was a kid, my dad and I used to picnic at Samuel P. Taylor State Park on the way to Mt. Tamaulpias. What fun. Tomales Bay State Park was a fun place, as was anywhere at Pt. Reyes. Have a great time.

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