Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 2012: San Francisco and Santa Cruz

Matt was graduating from med school at UCSF, so we decided to take a quick LMIC trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. We stayed at an RV park in South San Francisco just a few hundred yards from Matt's apartment, which was an amazing coincidence. The RV park wasn't wonderful – just a suburban parking lot – but tremendously convenient. 

 May 13: After looking at Matt and Greg's lovely new house in the Oakland Hills, we took a hike in Redwood Park, just up the hill from their house. This is a huge park with excellent hiking trails and lots of shade – here we are with Haydn the wonder dog:

(As always, click on a picture to enlarge, and then click "back.)

May 14: Matt's graduation ceremony was very moving. The high point was when Matt approached the front of the stage for "hooding:" we stood on the left side of the stage and watched him walk to the right side! The situation was quickly remedied -- Felice is shaking the Dean's hand, and he is saying (in a British accent), "My goodness, you nearly had to put the hood onto someone else's son!"

 The rest of the day, we strolled around San Francisco, eating phenomenal dim sum and generally enjoying the cool, sunny, breezy weather. 

 May 15: We towed the LMIC to the Santa Cruz area. We stayed at an RV park in Felton, just across the river from Henry Cowell State Park. That afternoon, we had time for a bike ride through the park – the irises were in bloom along the trail:

 May 16: We took one of our favorite "bike and hike trails" in Big Basin State Park, on the "Skyline to the Sea" trail. We started at Waddell Beach. The trail is very gentle, winding through ferns and redwoods alongside the creek. This photo makes it look like Felice was really speeding – in fact, it is a long exposure with a tight f-stop: 

After 6 miles of riding, we locked the bikes, changed into our hiking clothes, and headed upstream toward Berry Falls: 

This is a view of Berry Falls from a couple of hundred yards away, on another trail:

Further upstream, we came to Gold Falls: 

And on the way down, we scrambled into the stream bed below Silver Falls, where Felice saluted the waterfall in her customary style: 

 The trail is Felice's favorite type for a mountain bike ride – softly carpeted in leaves and well-shaded:

 May 17: We took a long, strenuous ride through the Forest of Nisene Marks, roughly 11 miles each way with about 1800 feet of climbing. The bottom portion of the trail was through redwoods, and the top of it was through a mixed oak forest. 

May 18: We hiked through the Fall Creek area of Henry Cowell State Park, mostly alongside the stream. That evening, we visited with my cousin Sol, Brooke, Marlon, and Mose, and my Aunt Norma and Uncle Fred. We presented the boys with a desk made in the mid-1960s by my grandfather (their great-grandfather); the desk was made for Katie (Sol's sister) and was then used by William, by Sol, by Ben, and by Matt.  After all of that hard use (including a broken leg), I repaired it and restored it.  Sol, Mose, Brooke, and Norma posed with us; Marlon and Fred were both camera-shy: