I spent the last week absorbing all of this, both with Adrienne and friends and then by myself - the best of both worlds. Our adventures started in a picture perfect Monterey for a wedding and ended with my solo exploration of the Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humbolt County coastlines.
Our college buddy Jason got married, so the old gang - with some new members - rented a house together in Monterey. We spent the day wine tasting in Carmel Valley - super gorgeous spot.
Collan and I schooled AJ and Haeden in cornhole.
Now time for the wedding - Jason and Leticia.
The crew at Monastery Beach!
All dressed up.
And this Jaguar was our ride - in style.
Point Lobos on the Monterey Peninsula.
Pelicans pelicans everywhere.
After Adrienne flew home post-wedding, I drove north to the tiny town of Shelter Cove, parked the Jag, and went with this crew to a drop off along the Lost Coast. This is one of the few places along CA coast where famous Highway 1 does not touch the ocean - the King Range is way too gnarly to put a road through. The bonus? Although you can't drive here, you can walk uninterrupted along the wild ocean for nearly 100 miles.
The north end of the Lost Coast.
Doing what I love - backpacking in beautiful places.
Walking along the beach.
Me on my birthday feeling no pain - I drank a whole bunch of bourbon on this beach!
The sun rising over the King's Range. The highest peak rises 4000 feet straight out of the ocean.
I just walked and walked and walked along the beach - all the way back to my car.
Once I was done, I drove and hiked all over NorCal from Fort Bragg to the Muir Woods. Also did some wine tasting in gorgeous fall wine country.
Fall in the Anderson Valley.
The iconic Sonoma coastline.
Grateful communities spared from the devastating fires.
A Monterey Pine in the morning fog.
Sunrise over Tomales Bay.
Morning near Petaluma.
Clear on the coast, near Cape Arena.
Jughandle State Park near Fort Bragg.
Mendocino - like going back in time to 1850.
Sunrise in another of my favorites, Point Reyes Station.
Mission San Rafael Arcangel.
The town of Dillon Beach. That is the top of Point Reyes in the distance, creating a break that was over a mile long.
Part of what made this trip so incredible were the animals I saw - the coup de gras was the baby bobcat! But I also saw sea otters, golden eagles, ospreys, hawks, elephant seals, stellar sea lions, CA sea lions, foxes, skunks, deer, falcons, pelicans,
A juvenile bobcat - we hung out together for about 2 minutes!
Bear paw prints in the sand.
Elephant seal colony.
A California sea lion colony.