Published: July 23rd 2011July 15th 2011
Point Reyes National Seashore
The best souvenirs are bought in the supermarket. That is the easiest place to get the local feel to life. I like to end every trip at the supermarket and fill my suitcase with local flavors that can last for a few week at home.
At the end of a 2 day business-trip to Northern Italy a couple of weeks ago I had to fill petrol in the rental car before returning it. At the roadside convenience store I bought some fresh pasta, cheese, olive oil and wine to take home that was so excellent most readers will have to go to their BEST and most expensive local Delicatessen if they will want to top the produce casually sold at a store next to the petrol station in Italy
Last week I spent some time working in San-Francisco. I ended my week at the Safeway on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. What was my local bounty?
Instant Jello, Instant Pudding Mix, Cupcake and Cake mixes, bottled Marinades and Salad Dressings and topping it all ... 4 bags of Jet Puffed Marshmallows. America is a land of extremes. One of these extremes is that the lowest-of-the-low INSTANT JUNK FOOD
at Point Reyes National Seashore
has become an ART of its own with mouth savoring qualities that you cannot buy any other place on earth. So what if it is not refined or healthy? It tastes so damn good!
I stayed in the Bay-Area over the weekend. One of the other good extremes in the US is the endless, yet very accessible nature.
On the 1st day of the weekend I drove up the Pacific Coast highway 1. Detouring for a 1/2hr i walked walk up sunny Mt Tamalpias before driving down through a forest to the cloud covered coast of Reyes Point National Seashore. The weather was a comfortable 15 deg Celsius and I drove with the windows down and the stereo off to enjoy the sounds of nature. One highlight of the day was catching a jet-lag induced nap in the car near the beach with the wind at my face and the sounds of waves in my ears.
On the 2nd day of the weekend I did a 16km walk deep into an old-growth redwood forest at Big-Basin State park. After my plans to hike with my Brother-in-Law fell through I decided to to the hike alone. I have
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
during the the final climb the sun came out over the trail
never done such a long hike by myself and I found the experience of entering a dark wood for 6hr by myself and getting out safely a reassuring evidence of my hiking skills as well as my skills of being alone with my thoughts. Not that it was an "Aron Ralston Style" walk (*). I met hikers all day long on the popular weekend hike. But for at least the first 2 hours of the walk I met almost none. It felt as if the wide forest was there just for my conquering.
I came, I felt, I connected with nature. I conquered.
I entered the car.
I went to the supermarket, bought my junk-food.
Drove to the airport and boarded the flight back home.
Land of extremes indeed :)
(*) Aron is the guy from the movie "127 hours" which is BTW a very recommended movie
There are more photos below