Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 36 miles with multiple stops throughout the day. Elective 2-mile walk across Golden Gate Bridge; windy conditions. Walking 1 mile to/from Point Bonita; uneven terrain, steep decline to the point, steep incline back up. Cold, windy, often foggy conditions at Point Bonita; dress accordingly. Road to Muir Woods is curvy; if prone to motion sickness, plan accordingly. Bring refillable water bottle for the day.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, pancakes, French toast, waffles, breakfast potatoes, breakfast meats, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal and grits, bakery selections, plus juice, milk, coffee, water.
We’ll board a motorcoach and ride to the Golden Gate Bridge — exceptional for its length of 1.7 miles, 746-foot tall towers, sweeping cables, and Art Deco styling, flanked on each side by beautiful parks. Built in 1937, the Golden Gate hosts thousands of people and cars daily. Those who wish to take an elective walk across with the Group Leader are welcome to do so. We will have some time for independent exploration at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion with exhibits that tell fascinating stories such as the Halfway-to-Hell Club or sit and relax. The bridge has been featured in dozens of movies, from disaster epics to science fiction, action pics, and romances. One of the first was “The Maltese Falcon” in 1941. One of the latest was “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” How many can you name?
We will ride to a nearby popular restaurant for a buffet meal with beverage choices of soft drinks, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Next, we will hike to Point Bonita Lighthouse, built in 1855 and still active. Point Bonita is one of the Bay Area’s jewels. It was only the third lighthouse on the California coast and is the only lighthouse in the U.S. crossing a suspension bridge. When the fog is dense, as it often is, a foghorn supplements the Fresnel lens in the light. A park ranger will lead our exploration of the lighthouse and surrounding area. We’ll then ride to Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, famous for huge redwood trees. For thousands of years, native peoples lived here in harmony with the primeval forest when trees lived to unknown ages. Those we see today are estimated to be from 400-800 years old. Settlers began arriving in significant numbers in the 1800s and needed raw materials to build houses. Logging began cutting vast swaths through these ancient trees, clear-cutting many areas. The conservation movement gathered momentum in the early 20th century. Muir Woods has been protected since 1908, but by the time Redwood National Park was created in 1968, more than 90% of the original old growth forest was gone. We’ll have some time for personal independent exploration. Imagine telling family and friends back home about walking on trails through a grove of never-been-logged redwood trees in this cathedral of nature.
On Own. Group leader would be happy to offer suggestions.
At leisure. A good time for a swim in the hotel’s outdoor heated pool.