Bolinas, California is a faraway place. Technically, it's only 25 miles from the Marin Headlands Hostel and 19 miles from the Point Reyes Hostel, but it's as far away from the rest of Marin County as you can get. This tiny, unincorporated town without a mayor or a city hall maintains such an indie, insular culture, and an obvious aversion to non-native species, that it's literally off-the-map.
Whenever I drive north across San Francisco's most iconic landmark, I always chance a quick peek over my shoulder to glimpse the misty city skyline, perfect as a postcard in any weather. I love San Francisco and its urban splendor, but once I hit the familiar "Marin County" sign, the point that separates the city from its suburban neighbor (my home turf) everything looks different. On the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge, the traffic is lighter, the fog melts away, and the temperature rises as the sun comes out from behind the clouds.