I walked along the ridge between Tennessee Valley and Mount Tamalpais last Saturday, after a barbecue in Mill Valley. I was in a short-sleeve shirt and was completely chilled afterwards. The wind from the coast- damp fog speeding along, comes over that ridge and sweeps down into the Bay. I’ve been on a boat right in the shadow of this ridge and felt the gusts of ocean air. It’s really a strong, tunneled force. You round one curve, and it hits you, face-on.
I hiked down near Millbrae the other day, I wanted to get the smell of hot, damp grass that reminds me of summer. The coastal ridge trail had it in buckets, but with that fierce wind, you have to really come prepared. You’re walking along a pretty sheer cliff most of the way, gradually up and then at one point you can see the Marin Headlands – a small bit of the ocean- and lots of Richardson Bay.
Being a local I’m trying to get out of my ruts- the trails I always hike- and onto new ones that I haven’t tried before. Funny thing, both times I go out informed, and then hit a new trailhead that wasn’t on the map. At Crystal Springs, some guy on the trail warned me about car break-ins so I moved to a residential neighborhood and found a new trailhead (not on the map). Again at this ridge, I was heading to another trail and saw this opening- and wanted to avoid the mob scene that is Muir Woods.