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Throwback Thursday: Life in West Marin County

California has been on my mind since yesterday’s announcement of mandatory water rationing in the state. I wrote this post on Blogspot just under four years ago… and can’t believe that much time has passed!

I’m highly enjoying my current (temporary) routine of making a visit toWest Marin County at least once per week. This mini-region of Marin (it does feel like a character of its own) has been my favorite part of the County since I began to get to know it better in early 2009. (Hmm, that is a very long sentence.)

I am going to West Marin regularly to ride at Halleck Creek Ranch in Nicasio, a local stable specializing in offering opportunities for individuals with varying physical abilities. The farm is at the end of a 2.5 mile long dirt/gravel road, so getting there is an adventure in itself. Last week I got a flat tire soon after my visit there. This week I was more cautious about staying under the speed limit. The hills of Halleck Creek were an addictive shade of green that day, as you can see in the image on the right side of the text.

I’ve been extending each visit to West Marin with a stop in Point Reyes Station, an artsy one-horse, yet character filled town that is the center of the region. It’s also home to the Bovine Bakery, the best bakery in all of Marin County, where I am often tempted by a cookie or other treat they will offer.

Yesterday I took the trip one step further and headed south to Bolinas, a remote town that is so far out, it’s on another geologic plate. (No, really – the San Andreas Fault separates Bolinas and the Point Reyes Peninsula from the rest of California.) As Wikipedia says, “The community is perhaps best known for its reclusive residents. Historically, it is only accessible via unmarked roads; any road sign along nearby Highway One that points the way into town has been torn down by residents.” The town is very difficult to access, with just one road in and out, and two curvaceous roads giving connections to that aforementioned one road.

I’ve found the place to be highly intriguing ever since my first visit there in March of 2009. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of spending some time as a resident there, even going so far (last fall) as to apply for a live-in childcare position. But nothing came of that job, and I ultimately decided that the town is a little too far out for it to work for me. Not to mention that with the current high gas prices, I would be spending a lot of time and money at the pump.

It’s clear when I am in Bolinas that the people who are there WANT to be there, and value their local privacy. The town is so distinct that it stands out from anywhere else, with the ocean surrounding it on three sides and a high area (“The Mesa”) just a short distance away. It would be interesting to stay out there… just for a night … sometime, so I hope to get that opportunity.

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Throwback Thursday: Theatre Commute

In early 2009 I commuted for a few weeks in “figure 8s” around the Bay Area from the East Bay into San Francisco and down to San Jose, then back to the East Bay. I compiled a few highlights for LiveJournal on several of the days, and here’s one of them.

I resumed my temporary routine of (total) 125 miles driving and travel from Richmond to San Francisco to San Jose and back today, a geographic figure eight around the Bay Area. Things were pretty smooth today, though here are some episodic highlights:

10:45am: Leave the house. No traffic on 580 East.
11:03am: Pass the Bay Bridge toll. Am surprised by the fact that the metering lights are on and the traffic is backed up after the morning commute.
11:25am: Am detoured from my usual parking spot by today being a “street cleaning” day. Instead I go to a completely different neighborhood where I know parking will be free and non-stickered.
12:00pm: My MUNI trip inbound from Noe Valley is free when the conductor waves passengers past the non-working ticket machine.
12:05pm: During the MUNI trip, I see an intense panoramic view from the top of Dolores Park that I had never seen before.
4:05pm: Near the end of my work shift, I step outside for a few minutes and have an experience out of an action movie. I’ve arranged to give a black suitcase filled with laundry to the show’s costume designer. Instead of stopping, she pulls up to the curb and wordlessly gestures for me to drop the suitcase in the open bed of her truck. I do, and feel like it should have contained lots of money, or we should have been filmed, especially since it is right on Market Street.
4:50pm: During the MUNI trip back to the parking spot, two high schoolers near me decide that they will make the biggest PDA possible while jointly blowing smelly bubble gum.
6:05pm: Arrive at the theatre in San Jose and am pleased that there was no traffic going south on 280.
11:20pm: Leave theatre and begin the trip home on 880.
12:00am: A CHP car suddenly begins to weave across the highway just a few cars ahead of me. Turns out there’s been a minor accident, and that was this officer’s way of alerting the drivers.
12:25am: Arrive home.