Our trip is nearing it's end and the "plan" was to go do some climbing at Mickey's Beach. But our energy was a bit low and the heat was high, but we still went to check it out. We saw some of the climbs and the nudest beach to the right. Not your typical climbing area (Oh my;)
So south through San Francisco we went, stopping briefly to join the crowds looking at the Golden Gate. Then making a stop at the folks' in Morro Bay. It was nice to spend time with the mom, Ian, and the dogs before heading back. Got some beautiful pics of the sunset.
I just wanted to say a very big THANK YOU to PacSun for sending us on this GSOM (Golden State of Mind) trip. I've been working there for over 10 years at this point, and this was the best recognition award they've given. I feel blessed and honored to have received it. Matt and I had a great time exploring so much of California.
Thank you again, PacSun.
On Friday we woke up, ordered room service breakfast, and had a mellow morning. Although... Our room shared a common deck area. And we didn't lock our sliding door. So as we were sitting in bed, Matt in his underoos, we heard a sound. Not sure what it was we looked at each other. Then looked at a blonde lady as she walked into our room. Her face was immediately mortified and she quickly left while we laughed out loud.
Though visiting "Russian River Brewery" is enough reason to come to Sonoma County, we decided to make the most of our visit and also get to some Sonoma wineries.
First, Ledson Winery and Vineyards, where we were beyond impressed by the beautiful grounds, yummy Zin and chocolates and fudge! St. Anne's Crossing was much more quaint, but more our pace and style. Though a "tasting" was six, he let us taste everything on the menu plus somethings not listed, and we took a tour of the Naked Wines facility . I also walked out with a bottle worth saving for a special occasion. Third, was the beautiful Chateau St. James, and by now we pretty happy and done. The grounds were fantastic, but by now we didn't need any more.
And off to Bolinas, a tiny little surf town near Stinson Beach which has remained hidden by the locals, to the point where they have chopped down the sign leading to the town for the past 50 years. It was even mentioned in the NY Times. Plus, some shoreside climbing in Mickey's Beach that we wanted to check out. I have to say, the "town" was just one street. A small artist colony/hippy type of town that follows it's own rules! Matt found us this place to stay, called Smiley's Schooner Saloon and Hotel. What intrigued him was that this place was established in 1851 and was a "speak easy" during the prohibition period. The bar was a dive, but entertaining. We were in for a treat as a local band, "The Haggards" played all night, and by 1am, we had danced for hours, and we were watching local boys duke it out as it seems they do pretty consistently. Let's just say, we had way too much fun.
So sad, but today we checked out and left Yosemite behind after saying good bye to Midnight Lightning.
We were back in the jeep, our faithful beast, for another 240 miles to Sonoma County. Temps rose to about 100 degrees, just as my window broke, meaning it just would not roll back up. That makes 3 of the 4 windows broken (the other two are already permanently up). And there went any hopes to fire chase that day. Since Matt's dealt with this on the back two windows already, we made a stop at True Value Hardware and Matt "McGyver'd it" so at least it stayed rolled up and we can use the air conditioner. =)
Arriving at the Hilton Sonoma over 4 hours later, and about an hour of traffic in the Bay Area, we were greeted with free wine and cheese (wow!). After a shower we dressed up and headed to visit to one of our favorite breweries "Russian River"! We also ate a fantastic dinner in a local french restaurant before retiring back to the Hilton.
So today was a bit of an adventure, though not the one we were looking for. We woke up a bit late, then headed into the valley looking for some sport routes (pre-bolted routes) on El Cap. We hiked around for a couple hours and couldn't find the routes we were looking for and as the heat increased we headed to the river to cool down.
Despite the warm temps and the frustration of not finding what we were looking for we decided to get some bouldering in at Camp 4. After goofing around on some easy problems we wandered over to Midnight Lightning. Neither of us were feeling great and it was rather warm still but we gave it a go anyway. In truth it turned out to be the highlight of the day. Hanging in Camp 4, trying (though not successfully) one of the greatest and easily the most recognized boulder problem in the world. Meeting some fellow climbers feeling the same way (wandering around Yosemite and not getting what they wanted, but still loving every minute of it) all in all, a great day.
Plus we swam in the Merced, met some ducks, were told by the rangers that they weren't letting press near the fire (will try again tomorrow) gave El Cap a hug, and so Half Dome wouldn't be jealous Rupa hugged a statue of it, and still got a bit of climbing in.
We headed into Yosemite despite viewing the fire from the lookout tower yesterday. We bouldered (climbed short routes with a pad incase we fell) near Bridalveil Falls for a few hours this afternoon. In truth it's the first time we've bouldered in months but it still feels pretty good!
We saw a couple deer while driving in and stopped to say hello. We hung out in El Cap Meadow for a bit to take some photos. We could see a team on the Nose route and felt a bit jealous, but this isn't the time for that, but soon!
GSOM is all about experiencing and exploring everything California, so that's what we're doing!!!
Day one, we packed up our jeep and headed out of SoCal. The plan for day 1 was to drive up to Oakhurst, CA, where we'll spend Monday climbing at Shuteye Ridge, right outside of Yosemite. The pics here are some of the beautiful country side as we drove up through Central California.
On day 2, we headed out to Shuteye Ridge for some climbing and I was never so happy that we had our 4WD. The road started out pretty mild but got more entertaining as we went. I wanted to capture the epic-ness of the road, so I turned my video camera on (on my little Nikon point and shoot, not the Canon), and held my camera out the window. And um, well we bounced pretty hard and the camera popped out of my hand and died : (
We did some climbing at the Catnap Dome and Talon (thank you for the guide book Grahm), and went up to the Shuteye Peak Fire Lookout tower, where we could see a 360 degree view from Fresno to Yosemite including the Rim fire or at least the smoke from over the ridge. About 20 miles of off-roading and crawling, climbing and adventure!!!!