Thursday, September 13, 2012

TK's Day Trips: Top of Mt. Tamalpais

Mount Tamalpais is that big thing you can see in Marin on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was formed by geological stuff and volcanoes in 1953. It's 18,000 feet tall and is made of solid lead.

This past Sunday I decided it was time for another day trip. I'm not drinking right now, like you needed to hear me say that again for the 1,000,000th time, so I'm all bright-eyed and full of energy on Sundays instead of laying on the couch and softly moaning and drinking ginger ale so I dragged my wife out of the house against her will and forced her to come with me.

Mt. Tam State Park features some pretty great trails if you're into hiking and snakes. We skipped all that bullshit and drove straight up to the top. It's kind of a long drive because it's a really narrow, twisty road. Not a good idea if you're hungover or you'll surely barf. Especially if you're in the backseat. Don't question this; it actually happened to a passenger of mine in the mid-90's. Pulled over and they yakked. True story.

(Also, true story: I got married once on Mt. Tam. Not this time, a different time. I'll tell you all about it some day.)

Anyway so you drive up and up and wind around and around and then you pop out at a parking lot at the East Peak. You have to pay to park there but it's cool, it's worth it. There's a snack bar and restrooms and usually a European or two smoking even though smoking is technically illegal in the park.

So then you hike up to the top. (Oh, brief interjection: every time I go to the top of Mt. Tam it is significantly warmer than ground level. This is because the top is closer to the sun or something. No, not that, but all kidding aside, it's always weirdly warm up there. Something about temperature inversions or something. I'm sure one of you Junior Scientists will be on this.)

The first part of the hike up is this pleasant wooden plankway or whatever you call it, but then that ends and it's just a dirt/rock path for most of the way. Still, it's not a bad hike. Maybe 15 minutes to the top. Then you get up there and BWWWAAAAAAAHHHHHH look at that view.

Kinda hard to make out, I know, but on the left there you can see Angel Island and Belvedere and Tiburon and in the middle is Sausalito and in the distance is Our Great City. Here's a closeup on that:

Looking more to the left we can see more of Marin and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and also some dude who was chilling on the rocks and journaling or something annoying like that.

It was hot up there. HOT. So we hung out for a while and then we had to leave and drive back so I could see the second half of the 49ers game.


GG said...

Ok, you hit one of my pet peeves. I don't drink but I don't make a big deal about it and it is THE WORST when I am at some networking event and there's a pregnant lady or someone on a "cleanse" or something who WILL NOT SHUT UP about how they can't drink and it's so hard not to drink and blah blah blah, and it takes all my will to not just say, "Suck it up, pussy." It's similar to somebody who seems to want praise because they "trained for" a 5K (I'm a long distance runner. ANYONE who is healthy can run 3 miles. Give me a break.) Obviously this is not about you and I always enjoy your writing. :) Thanks for letting me vent in your comments section...

TK said...

GG -

I know! I'm even annoying myself. Seriously.

Quick question - did you used to drink and quit, or did you never drink? And if you used to drink and quit, was there a particular reason? And if this is too personal, you can email me and TELL ME EVERYTHING. Bonus points if there's an embarrassing story involved.

Tamagosan said...

I think that guy's also doing yoga.

At the risk of hitting pet peeves, I'll say that after my random 8-month dry spell, I'm back on the sauce. It's not that great actually; I wasn't missing much. BUT one thing to watch out for, TK, when you're boozing again, is that you kind of forget how to order a drink at a regular bar. Happened to me the other night at the Buck and I walked out with a gin and juice since that was the song on the stereo. Just saying.