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This is being sent to you from the home of our good friends, Susan Miller and Wes Schulze of Pacifica, CA.

August 2, Saturday
We took the day off with Sue and Wes. They are part of our close circle of friends who lived in Ohio when we did 15 years ago. Although most of us have moved, we continue to keep in touch and whenever we do get together, it is like old times immediately. We hung out, went to see the movie Air Force One, which was really good, and went out to a good Japanese restaurant.

August 3, Sunday, Bill's Birthday
Another big dilemma — how to celebrate Bill's birthday without giving gifts that add any weight to a pack. We decided to go sea kayaking, something Bill has been wanting to do for quite a while. It turned out it was Demo Day at the local rental place so we tried out a number of kayaks all within the confines of a small bay. Later, we all enjoyed a picnic on the beach. This was followed by the high excitement for the men in the crowd, including 13 year-old Jeremy. We built a potato gun modeled after the one owned by Billˆs cousin, Don Burton, of Loveland, Colorado. Yes, with PVC and ABS pipe and fittings, an electronic ignitor, and hair spray for propellant, they soon had potatoes flying up into the hills to heights of 300 feet or better. Each successful shot was followed with peals of laughter and a high level of astonishment at the power of the thing. After a terrific grilled salmon dinner and birthday cake, we prepared our packs for our next and last backpacking segment of our whole ADT trip.

August 4, Monday
Susan drove us up to the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge and we started our last backpack section there. This made our third traverse over the famous bridge as we had crossed over it twice on our bikes last Friday. It was still awesome! We had an unusually clear day without any of the usual morning fog. It also warmed up to 86 degrees by mid-afternoon. Our hike today used a number of interconnected trails that were all part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail (BART) which is not to be confused with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)! We climbed over 4 ridges en route with considerable elevation gain each time. The views back over San Francisco Bay and out over the Pacific Ocean were truly grand. The trails were mostly on open ridges without forest which added to the opportunities for seeing Mt. Tamalpais and other great vistas. At one point we walked through a grove of fragrant eucalyptus trees which are quite tall with smooth bark. Then we entered Muir Woods National Monument and walked through a nice grove of redwood trees. We were getting a little worn down by the time we reached the Pantoll Campground at Mt. Tamalpais State Park. There, the choicest campsite is reserved for backpackers only, so we claimed it. The ranger was familiar with the ADT and later came over to our site and took our picture.

15 miles hiked, Lots of elevation gained!

August 5, Tuesday
Our hike today took us over mostly level trail along the Pacific Coastal Trail and BART. The grassy hillsides overlooked Stinson Beach and the Pacific Ocean. By mid-morning, we were in trees on the Bolinas Ridge Fire Trail. Again, we saw large redwoods, fir, and pines. We took the Randall Trail down to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, except that the shore itself was still several miles away behind a ridge. The day was sunny and warm with temps in the mid-80ˆs in the shade. The Olema Valley Trail took us to Five Brooks Stable where we tanked up on water. While on this trail, we were hiking virtually on top of the San Andreas Fault. We didnˆt see any cracks in the ground but we did find some of the best blackberries of the whole trip near our lunch spot. We were told that there are minor earthquakes almost every day over the Fault, but most of them are undetectable without instruments. Later, we saw a small shop called ¶The Epicenter¾ in a nearby town. From here, it was 5 more miles to Glen Camp, a wonderful backcountry campground with a water spigot, picnic tables, and an outhouse. There were at least 30 California quail pecking around in the grass when we arrived. There were twelve great campsites here, most of them in the shade, yet there was only one other backpacker in the campground. It was a long day but we had to push for it because it was the only campsite within range and water is pretty scarce around here.

21.5 miles hiked

August 6, Wednesday
Some days are made to savor. Our last hiking miles in California were excellent. A light fog shrouded the coast line, keeping the weather comfortably cool for hiking but not so dense that you couldnˆt see the beaches. By the time we reached Limantour Beach, the fog was beginning to burn off. The wide, sandy beach with cliffs in the distance was a perfect setting to end our hike. Some agreeable bystanders captured our moment in the Pacific Ocean and our champagne toast on film. We then just sat and watched the waves while we contemplated our accomplishment. We felt peaceful and content, satisfied with ourselves and what we had done so far while in the back of our minds we knew that the real end would not come until we finished Nevada and Utah at Dewey Bridge, Utah. Then, John Fazel, the California ADT Coordinator, met us for more pictures and some adulation from more bystanders. Afterwards, it was back to Sue and Wesˆs house for some more days off before catching the train to Reno on Sunday.

8.5 miles hiked

Thursday, August 7 We bought and installed three new bike tires — ones that will be more suitable than our knobbies on the paved roads we plan to ride through Nevada and Utah. We bought a mess of food that we will prepare for dinner tonight for Sue and Wes and the family in appreciation of our using their house as a California headquarters for so many days. The mailman brought more mail for us that we really enjoyed reading. It is great to have had so many of you send cards and letters to us. Laurie got a short haircut which Bill thinks is just perfect.

Our plan is to ride bikes from Reno to Dewey Bridge using mostly paved roads instead of the backroads gravel and trail ADT route. We just do not think we are able to do the real route in the heat of the summer and without support.

Even so, water in two instances will be about 95 miles apart. Our longest day to date has been 70 miles. We anticipate a few rough days to come in the next 20 days.

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

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