That hour’s drive took us over the Golden Gate bridge and out from under the clouds that had covered the city for much of the week. It’s been said of New England, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Here is the Bay Area, “If you don’t like the weather, just go about mile in any direction. It might not be better, but it’ll be different.”
And so it was on Superbowl Sunday. As we crested the meadows outside of Muir Forest and drove down the switchbacks to Muir Beach, the grey clouds parted and sunshine lit up the landscape. The parking lot was mostly empty. The town to the north was just a few streets, huddled up to the seaside, its nearest neighboring town many miles away over hill and dale. It made wonder if people who first settled here came from the inner regions and found it so beautiful, they chose not to return, or if they came from the sea and decided there couldn’t possibly be anywhere better to live than here.
The trail to Pirate’s Cove was clocked at only 3.6 miles, so I suspected this to be a two hour hikes tops. I was wrong. We did walk along the well-marked trail, but we couldn’t just walk. I felt a visceral need to simply stand and look out at the water and land, the crashing waves, the curves of the bluffs: to stand in awe of nature.
And so we turned around, Tucker accepting that this, not the beach, was the trail’s natural end for us. We started the trek back up and over the meadows, looking northward to all the potential of the open ocean.