February 20, 2012, San Francisco, CA: We take the high road, the Sun Trail, at its intersection with the Dipsea, winding our way to the wide wooden porch of the Tourist Club along the slopes of Mt. Tam. I gravitate towards the narrow dirt paths that weave through the landscape north of San Francisco, especially this one that ends at such a special place. Open to the public just a few short weekend hours, this place is a place to breathe deeply, to inhale the pine, to soak it all in. Some are here for snacks and beers and board games with friends in celebration of a 25th birthday; others have hiked in with their children for an afternoon picnic. It’s just as easy to imagine ourselves here years from now as it is to remember being here many times before.
It was from the slopes of Mt. Tam, not within the city itself, that I first felt the pull of this sliver of west.
November 3, 2011, Washington, DC: There is a trail in the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, that always reminds me of racing daylight. It dead ends at Tennessee Beach facing west-southwest at the Pacific Ocean. If you squint hard enough, you think you just might see the Farrallon Islands. The Tennessee Valley Trail is one of my favorite spots in the country, and it’s the spot I’d once hurry to after work, to race out and back to the beach in the bottom right corner of the photo pictured above.
If I planned it right, I’d return to my car just in time to realize it was suddenly dark and very cold there in that valley. It’s that time of year again when I’m racing daylight.
August 14, 2011, Washington, DC: In the early summer of 2001, I arrived in Marin County, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, to begin my summer job. The company was based on a narrow stretch of land on the border of Mill Valley and Sausalito, wedged between the freeway and the water’s edge. Just behind the building was a row of adorable houseboats, and it was there that I fell head over heels in love with the idea of a floating home.
Imagine my delight then to take a tour of DC’s houseboats Saturday at Gangplank Marina.