On Saturday, October 4th, I had an 8:00 PM film to attend at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Unlike the first two nights, when I attended films in San Rafael, I would actually see this film at the CineArts at Sequoia 1 Theater on Throckmorton Avenue, in Mill Valley.
So.with lots of time available, I decided to take in the sights of Muir Woods. While the way to Mill Valley from San Anselmo is fairly straightforward – East and South east on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to US 101 South and exit a few minutes and 2 1/2 miles later at Exit 446 otherwise known as the E. Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley, exit. This could be called an easy drive.
But getting to Muir Woods was vastly more complex.I can still recall the streets – Nelson Avenue, Lagoma, Sequoia and ultimately the intersection of Panorama Drive. and Muir Woods Road,
Do you like hairpin turns, or like blind hair pin turns and many people on bikes dealing with the tough going when they face an uphill section of the narrow roads – which makes the way in or out even more worrisome. The way in or out of Muir Woods is like a vast roller coaster, only you must drive the car. And it is not running on tracks.
My rented compact car – a Hyundai Elantra was perfect for the trip. Low to the ground, and able to hug the curves – it was fun. It was also nerve-wracking – especially for a guy living in Sarasota, FL where the major points of elevation on the mostly straight roads are the speed bumps and an occasional highway overpass.
With all the hills and ups and own turns, makes you wonder why the place isn’t called Hill Valley instead of Mill Valley.
Far above the entrance to Muir Woods, I stopped and took this shot, and I am not sure what it is in the photo, but the location was on Panorama Drive just beyond the Muir Wood Road.
Parking is quite tough if you get there too late in the morning, which is what happened to me. Cars were parked on the road for at least half a mile or maybe more, And the walk back up to the entrance was mostly uphill, So I left without going in.
I promised myself I would return on Sunday morning, the 5th of October, Sure enough, arriving early was the key. Not only did I get to park in the lot closest to the entrance, but I got the parking slot that was the second closest. The down side of the early arrival was that at 7:30 AM, the cafe wasn’t open yet – so I plunged in without the fortification of a morning coffee. That was the downside of not wanting to make a French Roast coffee at the cottage before I left.
I’m not sure what the trail’s name was, but I walked for about 20 minutes before deciding to turn around. I love the paved or hard-packed dirt walkways with the wooden rails. You’d hear animals every once in a while but I didn’t see any.
I noticed the Sssshhh signs: Be seen, not heard! And I noticed the sign stating do not feed the animals, Those signs came after the signs that some ignored – the ones saying do not bring food onto the trails – carry just your bottled water.
I enjoyed the walk, as the air was cool, and it was still too early for the sun to make any appreciable impact and I had on a short sleeved shirt. I also had to deal with carrying a cold bottle of water, Then my camera batteries died. The spares I had brought didn’t work either. So it was a short stay in the beautiful and splendid Muir Woods,
If you’ve not been to Muir Woods, here is a short video about Muir Woods from youtube: