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Thread: New Year's Day in Marin

  1. #1
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    New Year's Day in Marin

    I used to live in New England, Massachusetts in particular. Getting out for a New Year's ride was a rarity, or at least an order of magnitude less certain than what we get here in NorCal, so I've made it a tradition to get out for a ride every year.

    This year, it was kind of wet, so I took a cruise around Marin County. I thought the roads would be deserted, but there were actually quite a few folks out driving around, shopping and doing their chores, but few folks out on bikes.

    No matter, their loss.

    First up, Nicasio. There's something about this little town that appeals to this former Yankee. Any idea what it might be?

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    This isn't what people expect of California if they haven't been here before. Winter is our rainy season and we've probably had 6 inches of rain over the last week or so. It's nice, since it makes everything all green and pretty. We have sort of a strange dichotomy in that while the leaves all fall off the trees, the ground turns green instead as all the grass that's dormant all summer comes alive.

    Nicasio, like most of western Marin county, is agricultural land. This is downtown Nicasio, ten miles from my house. There's an organic farm down the street, but most of the town is grazing land for the local dairy farms.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I was getting off and on rain showers as I headed north, so I cut out to 101 and headed down to southern Marin. Southern Marin has Sausilito, home of those houseboats that people live in and Sean Penn, among others. If you're a star that lives in SF, Sausilito is one of the towns you live in. I avoid it like the plague. It's also where the Golden Gate bridge comes ashore on the north end. The area where it lands is actually called the Marin Headlands and it forms the north side of the Golden Gate, the entrance to the SF Bay. This is where every ship coming in out of the Bay departs and arrives. Sure, there are some that head up the Sacramento River, but the big stuff goes out under the bridge.

    During WWII, they had a submarine net under the bridge and the hill where I took this still bears the batteries that were installed to defend the bay. The National Park Service owns all the land now and it's immensely popular. On the back side of the hill I'm standing on is a Nike missle site that's been restored. It's got an operating launch elevator and has a Nike installed on the launching gantry. It's pretty neat.

    Anyway, from this picture, you can see Alcatraz off to the left, SF straight ahead and there on the right side, under the bridge is Fort Point. The hills in the distance are the Berkeley Hills. You can make out the Bay Bridge in the haze, which was completed the same year as the Golden Gate.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    From there, I went west and down to Fort Cronkite. Surfers like to hang here, as do birdwatchers. There's the beach, which you see here, but to the left and out of the frame is a marsh, which attracts all kinds of birds. There were plenty of folks here from both factions, but there were a whole bunch of folks walking out to look at what were some pretty decent waves.

    I didn't feel like walking all the way down to the beach, so this is what you get. How 'bout that Chevy pickup, eh?

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Fort Cronkite isn't military anymore, so they buildings have been reused as a home for the Marine Mammal Center. These folks take wounded marine mammals in and nurse them back to health. They also seem to get their fair share of wounded pelicans and other seabirds as well.

    It's nice to see that this beautiful spot is getting used for something nice.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    OK, so enough with Fort Cronkite. It's time to take a ride over to the bay side of the southern Marin peninsula and see what's going on over there. The fort over there is called Fort Baker and is now pretty much the home of the Coast Guard. It's not really locked down or anything, as they share the base with some sort of school. It's in a beautiful spot, right on the water, directly across from SF.

    They've got a pier out here, so we had the usual weekend fishermen out.

    From left to right here, you can see the Bay Bridge, which connects Oakland and SF, that skinny little thing on the top of the hill is the Coit tower and then the pointy building is the TransAmerica building. Coit tower was built as a tribute to the firefighters that lost their lives fighting the real killer of the quake of '06, the natural gas fires.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    But the coolest thing about Fort Baker is, it's right here at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I think this view of the bridge is about as cool as it gets.

    From there, I packed up and went home. Thanks for coming along!

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    OH - one more from Nicasio. This one is my desktop these days.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  10. #10
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tour, Dave! Must make it out there sometime.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep, camping chair

  11. #11
    One For The Money BMWBEAUTY's Avatar
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    Awesome Photos Dave.... ...You Definitely Can Capture The Beauty In Them..... Thanks For Sharing....

  12. #12
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    Thanks Kbasa.
    Could have gone for a short ride today ,but too cold,and nowhere near as interesting as your locales.
    Sometimes,nothing is a real cool hand.

  13. #13
    Brrr YB in IN's Avatar
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    Great pics Dave, as always. I was in Nashville for New Year's with my buddy Dan who you and Tina met last year at this time. We reminisced about being you neck of the woods last year. No riding as I was on the way back from South Carolina with my girlfriend and her dog. I was way too hungover though to really want to do much of anything though!

  14. #14
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Thumbs up Nice write up

    Sweet pics and nice write up !!

  15. #15
    BMWRich58
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    Thanks Dave for the pictures and the "nickel tour"

    So that's what I missed.....

    Back in '81, I was crossing the GGB north to south on my Guzzi, just as the
    fog rolled in over the Berkeley Hills.

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