A Tree Like Me

From Modesto, Saturday we made the drive to Pleasant Hill, a suburb of Oakland where we planned to meet up and stay with Aaron the following day.  As we drove down the highway at about 70 mph, a gentleman in a car rolled up next to us with his window down trying to communicate something.  Oh no, is the trailer coming unhitched, did he run out of Grey Poupon?  No, we couldn’t make out exactly what he was saying, but he seemed to have made our NY plates and was acting as a travel steward of California conveying that there was snow on a nearby mountain.  Appreciate the info, but didn’t seem so valuable as to warrant driving no handed down the highway!

After dropping the trailer and our luggage at the hotel, it was Shannon’s turn to pick our lunch spot.  Apparently the chicken satay a couple nights before didn’t end our Thai craving, Shannon chose 3 Thai, a restaurant we passed on our way into town.  We all loved our dishes; Mom vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce, Shannon vegetable red curry over rice, and myself Chicken Rama (chicken with peanut curry).  Always love Thai food, great spices and perfectly sized portions.

With full stomachs and plenty of daylight left in the day, we planned a drive across the Bay Bridge, through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and along a short portion of Highway 1, the Pacific Coast highway.  It was incredible to see so many famous landmarks that I’d only seen in pictures up to this point…incredible city!  The best part was when we got a couple streets off course and found ourselves coming down the steepest street I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was so steep that I couldn’t see the street below until the car had fully passed the lip of the decline.  Once again the Volvo maneuvered a difficult challenge beautifully, even with Shannon in the driver’s seat.  Hate to keep saying this, but the picture comes no where close to doing justice.

After crossing over to the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge, it was incredible to see how quickly the city transformed to narrow country roads.  Apparently not all of the country is buried in snow through mid April.  Spring was in full swing with several types of flowers in bloom and color everywhere…incredible.

For an area surrounded with barren green hills, we were surprised to see signs for a location called Muir Woods.  We followed the signs that led us through a valley with some of the most unique trees.  The one that I related to was covered in tumor shaped lumps and had a canopy of moss.

But the highlight of the day was a scenic overlook of Muir Beach, one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen; rocky cliffs jutting straight down into the water.  Speechless…I would definitely liked to have incorporated this area into my life for a while.  Click on these images and see them full size.

Having just had one of the best days of my life, I was anxious to find a seafood restaurant along the coast to end the day with a worthy dinner.  We followed Highway 1 north into Stinson Beach, the perfect location to stop for some food.  Unfamiliar with the area, we asked a couple walking along the street for a dining recommendation.  They pointed to The Sand Dollar right across the street.  It had a great atmosphere of a low key relaxed locals hangout, but disappointingly the seafood portion of the menu wasn’t calling out to me.  We settled for a really good steak!

About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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6 Responses to A Tree Like Me

  1. Debbie Kruse says:


    I am so jealous that you are in California! Wayne and I lived there in the early 80’s for 2 1/2 years on a job assignment (actually with the same company he is working for now) and we lived in Concord, north of Oakland. Actually my Bret was born there at Mt. Diablo Hospital in Walnut Creek. We loved it there, and actually have been to Muir Park and the same overlook you were at. At the right time, you can also see whales from that spot. The scenery north of San Francisco is incredible as is the drive along the coast. Also, if you get a chance, you must go to Napa (one of our favorite places). If you drive down to the end to the Sterling winery, they have a small tram that will take you to the top of the mountain and you can sit out, drink wine, and see the entire valley in it’s glory.

    Congrats to Shan for navigating around the streets in San Francisco. We were lucky enough that when we wanted to go into the “City”, we took BART – the metro train. The train station was about 1/2 a mile from where lived and it would take us right into the heart of the city, then we did the trolley cars to get where we wanted. Lots of fond memories.

    All my best to you, Shan, and Bets and enjoy your journey and thank you for sharing it with everyone!! Hugs to all!


  2. Daniel Siciliano says:

    pics are amazing…nice photography skills

  3. Eric Borrelli says:

    I was in San Fran back in October. It is such an amazing place, especially walking along the cost on the cliffs. If you have time and the energy i would recommend going on a tour of Alcatraz. It was one of the best tours I have ever been on and also a beautiful view of the skyline and Golden Gate Bridge. If your looking for a good BBQ place there is one in the Haight/Ashbury neighbor hood called Memphis Minnies in Lower Haight. Some of the best I ahve ever had.

  4. Pingback: Giving the Journey Heart and Soul | Bret Hoefen – My CCS Story

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