Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Owls of Acadia

While wandering along a boardwalk in the Wild Gardens of Acadia in Acadia National Park during his recent visit to Maine, Dick Jordan and his wife spotted three Barred Owls "hanging out" just a short distance away.

Here's a short film Dick made (and which should air on MarinTV sometime in July) of the owls and their habitat.

(Click here if the YouTube video player does not display)

Acadia National Park is located on the coast of Maine, a little less than five hours driving time north from Boston's Logan International Airport, which has non-stop flights from and to San Francisco.

(Maine Coast Near Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse)
From Boston, you can fly to Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in a little over an hour. Either way, you'll probably have to overnight in or near Boston after flying in from the Bay Area.

Connecting flights from San Francisco to Bangor, Maine will put you about an hour-plus drive west of Acadia, although flight schedules aren't very convenient and you'll probably have to bunk in Bangor for the night before driving to the park the next day.

(Dick's trip involved flying into Boston at late afternoon, then driving a rental car to Providence, Rhode Island, one hour or so to the south. After a few days there, he and his wife drove about three hours north to Portland, Maine for a three-night stay, then north to Rockland, Maine to overnight before heading to Acadia.)

(Bar Harbor Inn)
There are no accommodations within the boundaries of Acadia National park, so you'll likely be staying in one of three communities on Mount Desert Island: Bar Harbor (think of a smaller Sausalito), Northeast Harbor (where the "swells" have homes), or sleepy little Southwest Harbor (more like Point Reyes Station).

Monday, June 27, 2016

Watch July 4th Fireworks From Angel Island

Want to see the Fourth of July fireworks display over San Francisco Bay from a great seat?

(Joey Gannon Flickr Photo)

The California Parks Company has just announced this package deal:
"Special Fireworks Ferries will be transporting spectators to Angel Island State Park from Tiburon and San Francisco (Blue and Gold ferry terminal at Pier 41) departing at 5 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Cost is $120/adult and $85/child (5 – 12). Children under 5 are free.
"The price includes: round-trip ferry service, a BBQ dinner prepared by the Angel Island Cafe, on-island shuttle buses to the fireworks viewing area overlooking San Francisco Bay and back, and live music performed by Jinx Jones and Vintage Grass. Craft beer, wine and garlic fries will also be available, separately, at Angel Island’s July 4th Beer Garden. Spectators may carry blankets and compact folding chairs for fireworks viewing. 

"Following the fireworks show, shuttle buses will carry spectators back to Ayala Cove for their return ferry ride to Tiburon or San Francisco. 
"Tickets are limited and sell out quickly. They can be purchased at angelisland.com and blueandgoldfleet.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Coming to Mount Tam in September: "Sound Summit"

The Mountain Play will not be the only event to take place in Mount Tam's Mountain Theater this year.

(Sound Summit Photo)
On Saturday, September 17, "Sound Summit," held back in 2015, returns with another musical extravaganza.

Here's filmmaker Gary Yost's "teaster" for the event.

Sound Summit 2016 from Gary Yost on Vimeo.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Muddy Hollow Loop (6/28) Hike Preview

Uplands, Limantour Estero This week we return to Point Reyes National Seashore to do a loop hike from the Muddy Hollow Trailhead.

Here's Wendy's description of our upcoming hike: "Great views and, we hope, some birds including American Goldfinches and Northern Harriers. Some years we see Tule Elk on this hike. There may be ripe thimbleberrries and salmon berries." (Note: this hike is longer than we usually do (about 7 miles), so sometimes we make it back on time but sometimes we get back late).

Directions to the trailhead: Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard west to Olema. Turn right on Route 1, then make an immediate left onto Bear Valley Road.

Continue past Park Headquarters (turn in if you need a restroom, there are none at the trailhead) and go left on Limantour Road.

When you see a paved road to the Hostel on the left, turn right on the dirt road to Muddy Hollow parking lot.

Click here for a Mapquest map showing the trailhead. Click on the teardrop icon to get driving times and directions from your location.

Carpool from St. Rita at 9:05 am.

Weather forecast: As of Thursday, June 23rd, the National Weather Service forecast for this area at the time of our hike was sunny, with a high near 64. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: The Martins' book, Hiking Marin, was lasted updated in 2006, so it does not show the current trail which now only loops back to the Muddy Hollow Trailhead and no longer has an offshoot that goes to the Limantour Beach parking lot as shown on the Martins’ map. But their hike "G8 Muddy Hollow Rd - Estero Trail" does show the area where we'll be hiking.

However, the Point Reyes National Seashore's North District Hiking Map includes the new loop trail and pegs the distance at exactly 7.0 miles. The following Google Earth image shows the area (click on it to open a larger picture in your Web browser).