Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dick Jordan's Cuba Film at Book Passage and on MarinTV.

Dick Jordan's feature-length documentary film, Cuba, Libre?, which traces the history of travel to Cuba by Americans from the early decades of the 20th century to the present day, will be shown in the Event Room of Book Passage Bookstore & Cafe on Monday, December 5th, at 7:00 p.m.

Left Coast Writers is hosting the event as part of its monthly salon meeting.

Dick and travel writers who appear in the film will be present to answer questions after the screening.

Refreshments will be served. This free event is open to the public. 

 Click here for details, and click here to watch the film's trailer.

Last January, Cuba, Libre? aired on MarinTV, the non-commercial public access station in San Rafael that serves cable TV subscribers in Central and Southern Marin County.

The station is re-running the film on Comcast Channel 26 on these dates and times in December:
  • Friday            12/02/2016    10:30AM    
  • Wednesday    12/07/2016    11:00 AM    
  • Friday            12/09/2016      3:00 PM
  • Friday            12/23/2016    11:00 PM
  • Saturday        12/24/2016      5:00 PM 
Cuba, Libre? is also tentatively scheduled to be shown on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at an event to raise funds to cover the costs of renovating and restoring the historic downtown Novato Theater.

With luck, the theater reconstruction will be completed by then and Dick's film will be shown there. (If not, the screening will be held in another Novato location.)

Dick plans to return from his new home in Eugene, Oregon (where he'll be moving in mid-January) to attend the event.

Muir Woods (Dipsea to Ben Johnson) Hike (12/6) Preview

Having It Both Ways On the Hillside Trail This week we head south in the County and back into the federal parklands.  Here's Wendy's description of the hike: "Instead of racing up the Dipsea, we’ll stop to admire ancient redwoods, beautiful views, and hopefully early mushrooms."  (Click here to read the recap of our 2/10/09 hike on these trails. You can view photos taken on previous hikes.)

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 101 take the Stinson Beach exit, turn left (west) onto Shoreline Highway (Highway 1). At the junction with Loring Avenue, turn left again to continue on Shoreline Highway instead of heading into Mill Valley.

Turn right onto Panoramic Highway and left onto Muir Woods Road. Meet at Muir Woods Parking Lot #2 (overflow parking).

Click here for a Google Maps map that shows the location of the parking lot. Click on teardrop icon to get driving directions and time from your location.

Time: 35 minutes from College of Marin. Restrooms at trailhead.

Carpoolers can meet at the Greenbrae Parking & Ride lot at 9:00 a.m. (Click here for a Google Maps map showing the parking lot on Drakes Landing Road; click on the teardrop icon to get driving time and directions from your location.)

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, November 30th, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was sunny, with a high near 52. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: We'll hike up the Dipsea Trail, then descend back to the floor of Muir Woods on the Ben Johnson Trail. (Click here to view and download the park trail map).

If you have Tracy Salcedo-Chourre's book, Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, you'll see that she proposes hiking this route in the reverse direction (up the Ben Johnson, down the Dipsea) from our plan, but her book will at least give you an idea of what our hike will be like.

This Google Earth image shows our route and distance.

Here's the hike's elevation profile.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sky Oaks MMWD Hike (11/29) Preview

This week we'll in the MMWD watershed near Fairfax. Here's Wendy's description of the hike:

"This loop starts out in oak/bay/madrone habitat, but we'll also see redwoods and some grassland. This is a good mushroom hike with Boletes, Amanitas, Waxy Caps, Milky Caps and more if we've had some rain."

(Click here for a recap of our 2010 hike. Click here for photos from past hikes.)

Directions to trailhead: Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard into Fairfax. Jog left and make an immediate right in front of the movie theater. The first left puts you on Bolinas Avenue. Follow this until you see the sign on your left for Lake Bon Tempe and Lake Lagunitas. Follow the road to the toll booth by Sky Oaks Ranger Station. Park at the dirt parking lot on the right, just past the toll station.

Click here for the MMWD map and directions. Or click here for a Google Maps map showing the trailhead location. Click on teardrop icon to get directions and driving time from your location.
The day use fee is $8.  You can use a credit card, $1, $5, or $10 bills and coins at the automated pay station (change not given if you overpay).

Annual watershed area parking passes for Marin residents are $60 ($30 for those 62 and older). You can buy them online or at the MMWD main office in Corte Madera.

Time: 25 minutes from College of Marin. Portapotty in parking lot.  Carpoolers can meet at St. Rita's Church at 9:25 am.

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, November 23rd, the weather forecast for this hike was

More on this hike: Hike "C12 Taylor-Concrete Pipe-Bullfrog FR" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows the area where we will be hiking (our route may differ) in this part of the MMWD watershed.  (Click here to view and print the MMWD map of this area).

This is one of the routes that we typically follow, although sometimes we've take a slightly different path during the final leg back to the parking lot.

Here's the hike profile (which will vary slightly, depending on the exact route taken during the post-lunch section of the hike).

Friday, November 18, 2016

Baker-Barry Tunnel Closure Early Next Year

(Baker-Barry Tunnel Courtesy of GGNRA/NPS)

The Baker-Barry Tunnel in the Marin Headlands Unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that connects the Sausalito side of the Headlands to the western side, including Rodeo Lagoon where we begin our annual Wolf Ridge hike in late spring, is slated to be closed for repair work next year.

Here are the details:
The Baker-Barry Tunnel, a primary route to the Marin Headlands, will close for an extended preservation project beginning Monday, January 2, 2017.
The tunnel will be closed seven days a week through early May to all users, including vehicles and bicycles.
Additional one-day closures will be scheduled in December for pre-project inspections.
The Federal Highway Administration notified the National Park Service this week of the intended closure dates. The project was previously anticipated to begin in October 2016. Exact dates, times, and date ranges are subject to variation with advance notice.
The National Park Service has established a web page for project updates:, including:
an upcoming traffic management plan from the Federal Highway Administration
suggested times to visit the Marin Headlands to avoid peak congestion
alternative locations for Golden Gate Bridge photography
Safer Surfaces. Better Lighting.
The Baker-Barry Tunnel preservation project will bring safer surfaces and better lighting to the historic tunnel.
Current cracks and leaks in the tunnel result in a slippery film of sediment that creates a safety hazard for vehicles and bicyclists. A new tunnel LED light system will reduce energy use by an estimated 40% and create better illumination in the tunnel for vehicles and bicyclists.
The project will also replace water and sewer lines mounted in the tunnel. The outdated water and sewer lines are subject to frequent breaks, resulting in tunnel closures.
To keep informed on the project visit:
During the time that the tunnel is closed you'll have to follow this route to reach Rodeo Lagoon, especially if you are towing a large cannon behind you!