Sunday’s hike was about the longest hike I’d ever done, so today’s plan presented a challenge: can I follow up one 9-mile hike with another? The first steps turned immediately sour when I realized that my day-old polypropylene shirt was beginning to unravel. So much for expensive high-tech clothing.
Our route was ideal: a brief, level warmup walk along the Bear Valley Trail followed by a 2-mile climb through the forest. I appreciate being able to climb in the shade; the effort always seems greater when the sun is beating down. And if I’m climbing, I prefer to climb all at once, steep but steady, than to stretch the incline out over many miles.
We emerged at ~1350 feet for a long trek on Sky Trail. Though the terrain is mixed, there was none of the tough up-and-down we faced the previous day. My knees felt fine; Sunday’s twinges did not return (although they remained on the fringes of sensation, presumably waiting for a single misplaced footfall). All the subsystems — heart, lungs, legs, feet — performed without complaint. I actually felt very good.
Point Reyes offers wonderful views, which we almost entirely failed to capture… the skylight filter on my camera seems to add haze rather than remove it. In fact the skies were remarkably clear, providing unusually good visibility. We could even see the Farallon Islands, 27 miles west.
After the hike, we drove south on Highway 1. This is a fantastic road, but a workout for the driver, all sharp turns and guardrails. The views are amazing: rocky cliffs, breaking waves, and San Francisco hovering in the distance.
The hardest part of the drive was getting out of the car at the end. This was the lesson learned for the day: don’t forget to stretch out! After four hours of constant motion, one hour without was enough to lock up my lower body. I could barely stand up.