When we returned to the Holiday Inn, we were relieved to see Tess (my blue subaru) still parked and ticketless. I leave you with a portrait of Big Purple and a silhouette of Mount Tam.
Date: July 4th, 2014
Distance: ~4.5 miles
Time: ~1.5 hrs?
I should really start being more precise with these distances/times... the time is always a complete guess, and in this case so is the distance because our destination was a red sailboat, which google maps does not capture...
For 4th of July Alice and I first decided to visit her favorite spot in Marin: Tennessee Valley. The hike takes you 1.8 miles from a parking lot through the lush valley to an open coast beach. Tennessee Cove lies between Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach - both of which we visited last year on a coastal paddle. Dark sand covers the narrow, steep beach at the end of the trail. Alice dodged crashing waves to run around a point and explore another narrow beach on the other side. Ten minutes later I began to wonder whether it was time to send out a rescue team, but she soon sprinted back around the point...
Our busy itinerary didn't allow for much beach lounging, so we hiked back and drove to Alice's adorable apartment in Mill Valley. After much putzing around, mushroom marinating, and the usual discussions, we got our butts in gear and loaded Alice's boat on my car. Our mutual boredom with launching from Seatrek in Sausalito led us to scoping out a more stealthy launch site. After a couple unsuccessful launch-searching-adventures, we found a perfect launch site at the mouth of Coyote Creek in Richardson Bay. The only catch: we had to park in the Holiday Inn Express parking lot, which was built in the middle of the marsh in 1972 and will very soon be under water thanks to sea level rise. We stealthily and speedily unloaded the boats and launched from a tiny little rocky beach next to the walkway over Coyote Creek. The time was 7:15pm.
With 1 hour of sunshine remaining, we kept the paddle short and sweet. We headed south under the 101 bridge, visited the seals, and peered into some floating boat houses. A river of fog poured gently over the Marin Headlands, disappearing on its way down the hill.
On the way back, Big Purple and White Lightning posted for a photo shoot. These boats are going to miss each other! Luckily they'll have one last float together in the Mendocino sea caves in a couple weeks!
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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Click the "Read More" link at the bottom of each summary for more photos, to see an interactive map of the route, and to read about the adventure.
Maps in each blog post: Click the icons to learn more about the launch site (amenities) and destinations. Click the square in the bottom-left corner to see an aerial photo behind the route.