I've always found a magical allure to hitting the open road. Being a city dweller, walking is pretty much all I do, so getting out of town and looking at an open stretch of road from the driver's seat is really thrilling. On my latest adventure, I explored Route 92, which runs east to west from the San Francisco Bay, over the mountains to the coast. It's a nice alternative route to get to Coastal Highway 1 and the Pigeon Point or Point Montara lighthouse hostels.
The Embarcadero, San Francisco's scenic eastern waterfront, holds some of the city's most well known attractions as well as some wonderful hidden spots in between. One Saturday afternoon, I set out on the Embarcadero's pedestrian walkway to see what I could discover on the path from the Ferry Building to the San Francisco Giant's AT&T Park.
Many State and County Parks await visitors to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and Jane Mauss, the weekend housekeeper at the hostel, is a great resource for outdoor explorers. Born and raised on the San Francisco peninsula, she's made Pescadero her home for over two decades. Jane is pictured here riding her beloved donkey, Johnny Appleseed, who also knows the trails and beaches of Pescadero well. If you don't spot him on the trails near the lighthouse, look for him on stage! He'll be "performing" this spring in the San Francisco Ballet's production of Don Quixote.
California's rugged, coast-hugging Highway One evokes many images, most of which involve sun, surf, and sand. But on my most recent coastal excursion, I detoured away from the tempting blue Pacific and headed inland.
Hailing from Washington D.C., Hostel Assistant Kate Reese is a newbie Northern Californian with a passion for the great outdoors. On her days off, you'll find her nose-deep in a good book, wandering around a Bay Area flea market, or lost in the wilderness with her trusty pair of hiking boots.