I arrived into The Bay area on the 4th of July weekend with traffic bumper to bumper on the 101 and San Francisco jam packed.  To avoid the chaos I decided to spend my time lost up on Mount Tamalpais, trying to get away from it all.  This trip was especially focused on photography and Mount Tam has always been one of my personal favourites to photograph.  I kicked off my stay with some milky way shots.  They were worth the cold, the hike, and the long tired drive back to camp.

The Milky Way

My first discovery of Tam was an accident.  Many years ago I had booked a cottage out at Muir Beach for some quiet, and decided to explore around. I have always loved that when San Francisco is socked in with fog, you can climb up Tam and be above it all.  The rolling hills, the blue sky and the layer of billowy clouds makes for a perfect backdrop for more than just photography. The hiking and mountain biking is sublime! But often, it is just a good spot to sit and take it all in. 

Hiking & Biking Tam

My light was less than ideal during my city time.  It seemed I was constantly chasing the light and fog in hopes of something spectacular to come my way.  After getting stuck trying to reach Tam again due to a semi breaking down, I went and sat in my car on Hawk Hill and waited for hours for the fog to reveal enough of the bridge to make a great photo. Persistence paid off and despite the crazy winds I stuck it out.  

The following evening a group of photographers were headed up Tam in hopes of a great sunset. I was in the city and the sky was showing promise.  With mere minutes on the clock I hoped for the best and raced to Baker Beach.  Once again, persistence paid off and I got a beautiful golden sunset with the Golden Gate in the backdrop. 

The Golden Gate Bridge

This trip I took in quite a few new spots in California that I hadn't had the pleasure to visit before.  I stayed in the Humboldt Redwoods state park and walked amongst the giants.  I browsed the cool shops of Ferndale, a little town they use for filming, and I took a day trip out to the Sonoma coast where the fog was so soft against the rugged coastline.  It was a beautiful drive down highway 1 through Bodega Bay and Jenner.  I of course had to head into Sonoma on my home sick days and get a little taste of the Okanagan.  I touched upon Petaluma, Corte Medera and naturally went to a San Francisco Giants game.  I made the best of every moment, wandering from coast line to city to town to mountain. 

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