Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 3, 2014

Marin 20 Years Ago

Twenty Years.  How in the world has it been two decades since I lived in Marin County, CA?  We moved to San Rafael in August of 1993, and bought our townhouse in Fairfax, in the summer of 1994.  Sometimes when I hear people say '10 years ago', I first think of 1994 then realize that's 2004.... Like Washington, California has some words that people find hard to pronounce or say incorrectly.  I was guilty of it myself when I first moved there, so I've included pronunciation where needed.

This is sunset and Mt. Tamalpais (tam-ull-PIE-uss) was taken in the late winter of 1994 from my bedroom window at the apartment in San Rafael. 

That spring of 94 I was on a three week medical leave because I had developed bad repetitive motion injury issues in my wrists and arms from typing so much.  My bosses were preparing for a huge trial and I was typing nonstop for over 8 hours a day.  During my time off, I was able to take a lot of hikes and walks around my neighbourhood, on Mt. Tamalpais and in the Marin County Watershed.  It was my arms that hurt, not my legs/feet, so talk about a great little mini vacation!  I was super into hiking in those days too and we went frequently on the weekends, and I went alone a few times too.  I used to hike alone without any fear at all.

Lake Lagunitas (LAH-goo-NEE-tuss).


That hill is called Pilot Knob and it was a grueling hike to the top on a very narrow, overgrown trail through the woods on the other side of the hill.  I would never attempt it now.

Top of Mt. Tam, taken from the top of Pilot Knob

Looking down at Lake Lagunitas from Pilot Knob.

This is from a hike on the north side of Mt. Tam, which was a little bit wetter than the rest of the mountain. You accessed it from a small parking lot near Alpine Lake and it was easily the worst trail I have ever been on. This is another trail that I would never attempt it now.  Back then I was in way better shape too and it just about killed me.  It's called the Cataract Gulch Trail and goes from the lake, straight up to the top of Tam.  We got as far as this bridge before turning around, and going down was worse than the climb.  

It was worth it to see the waterfalls.


Marin's biggest town and county seat is San Rafael (ra-FELL, not 'rah-FY-ell'). This is the old Rafael theatre which was closed at the time.  It's on 4th Street, which was featured in some of the cruising scenes in George Lucas' classic movie 'American Graffiti'.  

Mission San Rafael and a chalk festival, June 1994

This was taken from The West Point trail on Mt. Tam, late spring 1994.

Trail

West Point Inn on Mt. Tam.  You can only access it by hiking there.  It's a day inn...you can play checkers on the porch and get a snack or something to drink.

I shot this picture behind the townhouse we lived at in Fairfax, where we moved in the summr of 94.  Mule deer were a common sight and they had absolutely no fear of humans.  I once heard a weird noise outside the kitchen and looked out the window to see one dining on the shrubs next to the front door.

Our townhouse place, Cañon Village, backed up to the Loma Alta Open Space Reserve and it was full of hiking trails.  I only went to the top once...it was a long hike and there were mountain lions in those hills. You could also hike up to a steep hill above a water tower, but it was treacherous coming down.  This is Mt. Tam from up on those trails.

Looking up at the hill above the water tower.

That's the top of Loma Alta.  I never actually made it to the top, but very close.

It's hard to believe it was so long ago.  I hadn't yet turned 30, and now I'm gonna be 50.  Time flies.  

38 comments:

  1. You have been blessed to live in the most beautiful places, JoJo. I'm with you, I think back to living overseas in the 90's and it feels like just a few years ago. Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it means we have great memories? Where I grew up on Long Island, everything was named after Indian tribes so the names are hard to pronounce too.

    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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    1. I didn't know you'd lived overseas! How cool!!!

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  2. The views in the pictures are amazing! It is so thrilling to know that there are such beautiful places on the Earth. I wish we could travel everywhere we want!
    Wow... 20 years ago! You are blessed to have lived there and exeperience the charm of the place :)

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    1. Boy I sure wish I could travel all over the world and see all the amazing sights! I was very lucky to live there.

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  3. Beautiful places and photos. I really enjoyed looking at them.

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  4. What a beautiful place! I love your waterfall pictures. They are divine! ♥

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    1. It was worth the climb to see those waterfalls and I'm glad I did it once. That's all I could take!

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  5. I had a boyfriend in San Rafael years ago. Best thing (the only good thing, really) about visiting him was his place and the neighborhood. It's a little gem in the Bay Area.

    I didn't even know about those waterfalls. Darnit. I think I hiked Mt. Tam once or twice, but I probably took a 3 mile stroll and missed the good stuff.

    Cheers, JoJo.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Marin County proved to be just too hot for my liking. I preferred the cool fog of San Francisco. I didn't realize it would be that uncomfortable over the bridge. You could always go back there and hike on Mt Tam again!

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  6. Wow, such gorgeous places you got to hike! Glad you took pictures back then, too. I also wish I was in the shape I was in, in 1994...and I'm about to turn 50, next year. Sigh. Time does fly...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. I'll be 50 in Nov. and all my friends are working out, looking great, running in marathons and I'm sitting on my fat ass day after day blogging and baking. lol

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  7. Thanks for stopping by our blog earlier. I had no idea that Marin County had so much to do. We briefly visited there back in 2005 but only saw a couple of the seaside villages and the redwoods. It looks like there is so much more to do there and somewhere I need to put on my travel list.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

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    1. There is A LOT to do and see in Marin. Sausalito gets all the press but the other towns all have great things to offer.

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  8. Awesome pics!!! It is a beautiful place! I wish I could have spent more time there! Besides visiting u there, I also visited r friends, Sean & Lynn. They took us 2 Bodega Bay. I froze my feet in the water there, cuz I didn't believe it would be ICE cold!!! lol!!! ( it was!) There was a road called Pilot Knob Road, in Minnesota!!! I always thought it was such a strange name!!! It blows me away, how fast time goes by! I turned 50 in March, & my mom turned 70 this past Sat!!! ( how did THAT happen???) My oldest daughter is 30!!! (YIKES!!!) I may be getting older, but I refuse 2 grow up!!! :)

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    1. That was fun when you visited....and what did I do but take you up to Sonoma County instead. lol

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  9. Such pretty pictures. Time does fly, its a great reminder to make every day count!

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    1. Except now I want a do-over so I can reshoot all my pics digitally!

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  10. Wow. Amazing. Looks like 20 years ago there were some great scenes. Thanks of sharing.

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    1. I hear it's changed a lot since I moved away in 1999. Great times though.

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  11. Wow, the photos are amazing! And 20 years old, too :D I have the same thing: when people speak of ten years ago I think of the 90s, not the first decade of the millennium... Time flies, man.

    Thanks so much for stopping over at Quiet Laughter earlier today :) Happy A-to-Z-ing!

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    1. Hi Guilie! It is hard to believe it was so long ago....a whole other lifetime.

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  12. Thank-you for taking us on your hikes,how beautiful it was! Time goes by so quickly,but it looks like you are enjoying every minute,thanks for the uplift! Phyllis

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    1. I wish I was still in such good shape as I was in those days. I did a lot more walking and hiking. Now I'm old and lazy.

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  13. Such gorgeousness-- only nature has this beauty. Nothing man will ever make would ever match up to this beauty.

    Wow, that's scary!

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Daily (w)rite Latest Post

    Twitter: @damyantig
    #atozchallenge

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    1. I agree....I love nature's beauty!

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  14. I heard something the other day that went along the lines 'Time stands still while WE fly by'; maybe there's something in that! Another lovely Jojo road trip, albeit 20 years ago ;0)

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    1. Nice to see you Diane! I miss you and Tess!!! Hey I like that quote a lot....sounds about right!

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  15. Wow JoJo, what a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing your adventures. I can see what you mean about not attempting those trials now though...I wouldn't be able to to that either.

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    1. It was good to be young and living in the Bay Area. Not sure I could keep up the pace I kept in those days now. lol

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  16. So many beautiful Deco cinemas have been knocked down over here. there are very few left. Breaks my heart.

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    1. Fortunately they remain untouched in the Bay Area. I worked next door to one in Orinda, in the East Bay. it was so pretty lit up at night.

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  17. Beautiful scenery JoJo :) In fact, perfect, when Jeff and I retire I want to live in the woods on a mountain :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
    x

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    1. I would love to as well...but maybe not in CA because it's just too warm there in the summer.

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  18. Lovely photos. I've a sister that lives in Marin Co., matter of fact my hubs and I will be going out there this May . . . he has a 55 yr. high school reunion to attend in Washington state. Thought we'd visit my baby sister in California first and then drive up to Seattle.

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    1. Wow! Both of my stomping grounds!!!!! Where did he go to high school?

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