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.
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.