Fall slips up on us just when we think Summer is perfect. Soon the warm days and evenings turn to the chilly mornings and cool evenings. The colors and lack of crowds are nice, so here’s to October and great escapes!
Pacific Crest Trail near Sugar Bowl and Truckee
Our friends suggested that we try out the PCT trail section from Sugar Bowl (Old Highway 40) to Boreal Ridge (Highway 80) by leaving a car at each end which is about 8 miles. We just had one car with us so we started from near Sugar Bowl Academy and hiked in for a few miles and then back. Beautiful scenery and lovely fall colors.
Being a Tourist in San Francisco & Monterey Area
We had friends visit from Switzerland and Australia in October. So we had a great time playing tourists with our friends. We spent two days seeing the San Francisco sights, one day using BART and public transit and the other day driving.
First in San Francisco, we took a walking tour with Emperor Norton’s Walking Tours that started at Union Square and ended at St. Mary’s Cathedral. About 3 hours, great fun and wonderful guide. Highly recommend this or one of their other tours!
After our tour we visited St. Mary’s and then walked up to North Beach. We stopped for a snack at The Stinking Rose. We sat at the bar with model trains above the bar. We also took a look at the Chianti Room which is reserved for groups and has many signed photos and empty Chianti wine bottles.
Washington Square in North Beach was full of beautiful sunshine and everyone seemed to be enjoying the clear skies.
Just the day before the sky was filled with smoke from all the Northern California fires before the wind changed. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the fires. Our other visitor from Australia was with friends in Clear Lake and had also been evacuated but luckily they were able to return home safely.
We ended the day attending the evening production of Beach Blanket Babylon. The longest running musical revue in San Francisco which changes every season and is truly a delightful show.
We had dinner at a lovely restaurant in North Beach, Trattoria Contadina
More San Francisco sights
Another day we drove so that we could come up from Pacifica, CA along the Pacific Coast Highway to visit Ocean Beach, the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, Golden Gate Park, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Then drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Baker at Horseshoe Cove in Marin County. The day was foggy along the coast but beautiful sunshine in parts of Golden Gate Park and at Fort Baker.
Golden Gate Park
Flowers in the Conservatory
The Butterfly Exhibit was open and we were able to see many different butterflies emerge and fly in the exhibit.
Palace of Fine Arts.
A lovely part of San Francisco to walk around. You can see the nicest houses near the Palace of Fine Arts.
We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge in complete fog but were rewarded with some nice views from Fort Baker.
On to Monterey Bay…
We had the luxury of staying at a friends condo in Capitola, CA so we had time to visit Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel before our friends headed home. We drove Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz. On our way we stopped in at Duarte’s in Pescadero, CA.
In Santa Cruz we walked the beautiful walkway along the ocean and enjoyed watching the surfers. The Boardwalk amusements were quiet since it was a week day and late October.
Both Santa Cruz and Monterey are on Monterey Bay, which is a very large bay. While Santa Cruz is know for beaches and the Boardwalk, Monterey is steeped in California history. It has a large pier area, beaches, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and a lot to keep you busy.
We had lunch at the Fish Hopper which is the restaurant below. Back when we did SCUBA diving in Monterey regularly it was called the Outrigger. Still great food and even better views. We watched the sea otters all during lunch.
Capitola, a beautiful town that keeps the quaint seaside village feel near the beach and offers upscale shopping and dining in town.
Don’t miss Gayles Bakery if you go to Capitola; it has the most wonderful cakes, pastries and sweets!
Back to Truckee
We love the coast, but we also took our friends to two new hiking areas near us that were just beautiful with the fall colors.
Weber Lake was recently opened to the public in June 2017 by the Truckee Donner Land Trust. A beautiful natural lake that offers camping, hiking trails and boating on the lake during the summer months. We hiked the Lacey Meadow trail and then up onto the forest service road to have a view of the lake on the way back.
Independence Lake is another recently opened area that is just beautiful. We hiked the South Side trail and it was filled with fall foliage and views of the lake. An easy hike with a picnic table at the lookout point to enjoy lunch. The map looks like you can go all the way around the lake but they prefer that you don’t as it is a fish breeding area for Lahontan cutthroat trout and crossing the creek can disturb the hatchery.
So, as you can see, we have had a busy fall. Loved having our friends choose to visit us from opposite ends of the globe and share time with us.
Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob