We left our Best Western the morning of 11/19 after an excellent night. Kevin checked to see whether the Hotel had availability since we were approaching the holiday week. We were told that they had availability, but were fully booked over Thanksgiving.
Here is a photo of the Best Western Plus Novato Oaks hotel, Novato California.
And here is Kevin - we have arrived in California!
After checking out, we decided to head southwards towards Golden Gate bridge. We didn't get that far. Instead we got kind of "lost" but ended up following winding narrow roads through some very interesting suburbs. We even stopped by a Seminary and took pictures of the beautiful church.
We took Lucas Valley road to Fairfax. From Fairfax we followed College Ave to Muir Beach.
The beach sand was a dark grey. Not a white beach at all. I saw my first black phoebe at Muir Beach. A very common bird here, just not found in Colorado.
After that we headed to Muir Woods National Monument. We drove through some nice winding roads, through rolling hills, covered in dense scrub oak. The narrow road approaching the National Monument was lined with parked cars. Kevin took the bull by the horns and snagged a parking spot from a departing vehicle. I am glad he did. Because the parking lots were full full full. We visited the center - I got some postcards for Jane, and a California bird book. Kevin picked up some road maps. Then we asked advice from the cashier - who advised if we wanted to see it within an hour to do the 2nd bridge loop. And so we did.
The loop walks through the redwoods on a nice flat paved road. Lots of chances to stop, ooh and ahh, and take photos of these magnificent giants. It was surprisingly busy.
And here's more.. my favorite photo...
On way back to our car we spotted the Western Scrub Jay (Coastal) also very common, but a first for us.
We then we discovered we were extremely hungry. We left the National Monument and got on Highway 1 towards Stinson Beach. This road was in excellent condition, but narrow and windy. Spectacular views of the ocean, and at certain angles look back on N. SF area. Saw many boats and ships passing. Stacks of turkey vultures, and red tailed hawk riding the air streams. Lots of small chirping birds - titmouse, chickadees or something!! I wish they would sit still long enough to be identified. But no such luck there!
Drove into Stinson Beach, and went to the the Parkside Cafe for a bite. I had calamari, and Kevin had the mussels. Calamari were deep fried, and completely over cooked. It was like eating rubber bands. Kevin's mussels were nice. But they were covered in grated parmesan.
I felt queasy after the deep fry. So we pressed on the Point Reyes Station, in the hopes of finding somwhere to stay. Point Reyes looked really interesting. We stopped by a pond to look at some 30 American Widgeon ducks.
We then decided that we would head back to Novato (via the Costco) for another night at the Best Western.