vendredi 13 juillet 2007

Juillet 12 - Mt. Tamaipais, Tourist Club, Muir Woods, San Rafael Street Festival

Whirlwind Day...........

Found us first visiting my childhood friend MOT, while he was working designing wood art pieces for the Fairfax coffee roasters. After meeeting with the squiggly MOT and seeing his delicious psychedelic art, we wandered off to explore the building my former first recording studio lived in. There we found many yoga suites. Then, we drove to the street where I used to live, and I brought all to the horse ranch where I found myself relieved of my woes: Woodlane Canyon.

After much bickering and dispute, we finally made it up MT. TAMALPAIS, past at least two of my former living spots, panoramic hwy, vast views of the forest and ocean, and ultimately to the Tourist club, a super hidden and ultra-cool spot that sounds nothing like its name.

To quote a couple of websites:

“The first rule of Tourist Club is you don’t talk about Tourist Club.” While the location of this Tourist Club Mount TamBavarian-style lodge in Mount Tamalpais State Park isn’t a total secret, the club can be very hard to find—but it’s worth it when you do. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends the club sells pitchers of delicious Austrian beer to the public. The catch? Sweat. It’s a 15- to 20-minute hike to the lodge. And there are multiple trails. One starts at the end of Ridge Avenue in Mill Valley. That’s all we’re saying. Remember Rule #1.
The Tourist Club on the edge of Muir Woods is run by the Nature Friends (Naturfreunde), a 600,000-member international confederation of outdoors enthusiasts based in Vienna, Austria. The club is also a popular pit stop for hikers, who can kick off their boots and enjoy a selection of international beers and soft drinks on a deck with a spectacular view of Marin County's wilderness.

The Muir Woods branch of Nature Friends was founded in 1912 by a group of German and Austrian immigrants who found themselves spending more time en route from San Francisco (pre–Golden Gate Bridge) than hiking around Mount Tam. To solve the commute problem, they bought a parcel of land for $200 and built a lodge for overnight stays.

"In the heyday, in the 1920s, Nature Friends would hike all over the mountain, sometimes playing accordion, mandolin, and guitar and singing the old German and Austrian songs," says Erich Fink, the chapter's historian. That tradition may have faded, but the group keeps the gemütlichkeit alive at its annual alpine festivals, held throughout the summer, featuring traditional music and schuhplattler dancing. Lederhosen optional.

Although on arrival, the gate to the property had a "closed" sign, we also noticed the gate was left "open".....therefore, we had to wander past and go down the steps to at least 'see" the building. After a leasurely rest with not a soul in sight, our resident groundskeeper Oliver appeared, only to say to me, "so the view didnt go away, did it? ". He reminded us of the upcoming july / sunday event (the ONLY one for the month of July) which is Ummpah galore and tons of beer and good conversation and at the very least, lots of beautiful sunshine and good vibes!

We decided on Oliver's Recommendation, to drop down the makeshift trail from the tourist club, thru the primordial forest, into Muir Woods National Monument. No Problem. A steep and tretcherous trail that even our resident 9yr old could navigate with a big stick and some adults.
On arrival at muir woods, we gazed in amazement at the old growth sequoias/coastal redwoods and listened intently to a informative speaker from the park who described all things of importance and interest about muir woods.

We exited muir woods, and hiked up the dipsea trail back to panoramic hwy, a .9 mile hike going up up up!

Quite quick in fact.

une petite cabane dans la foret de sequoia

je suis tout petit à cotés de ces grand arbres.
Ce fut une belle randonnée.

After, we meandered with our hot-rod acura suv to San Rafael street fair, which offered us in a consumation sorta

way, at least very good IPA, heffevisen, and vegie pad thai with the secret ingredient - "peanut sauce". Super fun and a few good pictures to boot!

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