There are giants in California. They jut out of soil dampened by fog rolling in from the Pacific and reach greater heights than any other living thing on the planet. They are the coast redwoods: the world’s tallest trees. Many of them grow to be over 200 feet tall and the tallest soar to over 350 feet -- higher than a 30 story skyscraper.
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.
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.
Driving south on Highway One, I can't help but scan the horizon every few minutes for signs of the lighthouse ahead. Yes, I'm excited to be spending the weekend at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, complete with its famous cliff-side hot tub and beach-house-like cottages.
Whether you're looking for an easy Sunday stroll or a rugged mountain path to explore, California State Parks' new online guide to hiking trails will have you strapping on your boots and making tracks across the shorelines and summits that grace the Golden State.