Memorial Day – Marin Headlands

I lead a numbingly routine life these days – breakfast, off to work (5 hours of pushing someone else’s pixels), back home for a few hours of pushing some of my own, a small bite to eat (‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’ = it’s better for the digestive tract, don’t make it work too hard while you are lying down) …then a bit of writing, like this. Then maybe a DVD/movie, perhaps only in part, pick up the rest the next day.

I broke out of that familiar shell last sunday, took several bus rides to the Marin Headlands, a place i have been hundreds of times, and i usually think as i am leaving ‘what am i doing this for? I’ve been there hundreds of times, what could possibly be new?’.

There was plenty new this time round, i am reminded – it’s never the same place twice.

I could title this whole post just like a Clint Eastwood western – ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’.

Traffic to the south end of the GG Bridge was routine, …after that? i was slapped in the face with new (ugly) realities.

Many people say that SF has changed a lot (for the worse) in recent years, i don’t know about that, i hear it’s about the homeless who piss and shit anywhere, and the city gives them tents to set up on the street, ‘sanctuary city’ (illegal latinos), and the influx of millenials (sic?) with hi-tech money. Nothing like ‘money’ (or lack of it) to fuck everything up, right? UGLY!

At any rate, the traffic out of SF was nothing short of *horrendous*(UGLY!). Bus schedule? There weren’t none, 45 min. late. BAD!

The bus ride? double BAD!! = Atrocious! The driver was Indian, i guess he learned to drive in Mumbai, he hit the gas, then the brake, then the gas, over and over and over again, as we crawled a cross the GG bridge. I am getting old, sciatica, arthritis, rules everything south of the waist. I hadn’t found a seat, this driver’s style leaves me gripping the vertical rail for dear life. Fortunately several passengers helped me, otherwise i’d be writing from a hospital bed, w/ broken bones. Many times people will reach out to help a stranger/fellow traveler in distress. GOOD!

Bus route? Everything going into and out of the headlands was rerouted. Entry? you had to go thru the tunnel on the east side. The return trip was over the hills, the usual route, but altered to one way to accommodate tourists, site-seekers, cones on the road to close off the right lane for parking, total crazy- ass improvisation. All to let people take selfies with the GG bridge behind them.

There should be a photo booth one could step into, with the GG bridge as a background, do the stupid selfie thing, but at the south end of the bridge, and drop the trip over the bridge.

“i was here” – yeah, ok, so fucking what?

You know next to nothing about this city’s history, or the gargantuan effort/engineering marvels that made the GG bridge possible.

Vista Point (north end of the bridge, great view of the city across the bay) was closed to all but tour buses.

Being bored with usual pix, i struck out on a new key, one i talked about in the previous post – take in what’s right at your feet, the ‘close up’….. the details.

There is an amazing array of plant life here – water is the key to life isn’t it?

I took one frame, while wandering briefly behind some old military barracks – a calalily. Never thought i would take any ‘flower’ pix worth a damn, never intended to but this just dropped into my lap.

CalaLilly99But there were many others, i didn’t have to look too far.

BlackBirdRedwings91And there was this bird… or were there many birds? Black, with a strip of bright orange on their wings. Landing, swinging on the plant blown by the wind, screeching at perhaps a neighbor? friend??

A profusion of life.


To pick up on the previous post’s theme – ‘god is in the details’, here’s a detail i love:


The NPS has made many changes/upgrades in recent years, including many educational displays.


This one talks about how fragile lagoon ecosystems are, and what might happen with climate change = the beach protecting the lagoon might disappear. The ‘thermometer’ at the right graphic depicts what might come to be.

Who knows what will come to be. One thing in the news regularly? … is that the great barrier reef in australia is disappearing, fast.

While waiting for the bus ( think ‘waiting for godot’ on this particular day) i chatted w/ 2 women. One was east indian, i think. She asked if she could sit beside me on the bench (very polite). 

After a few minutes she turned to me with palm outstretched, with a few small dime size dried up shrimp-like crustaceans, asking me ‘what are these?’.  ‘I dunno, but i think they are low on the food chain. Probably get gobbled up by small fish, that get gobbled up by larger fish, that get gobbled up by seals’.

Someone calls to her, she is gone. She seems in awe of this place, i don’t like to pry, i never asked where she was from.

I get asked by a woman holding some kind of ‘smart'(yeah, right ‘smart’!) phone where Conzelman Road in Mill valley is. There is a Conzelman Rd in Marin Headlands, she’s not far from that, but it ain’t in ‘Mill Valley’. No way! 

She’s not happy w/ my answer, but why should she be? **She’s fucking lost, thanks to… GPS!!**

I can see fog forming over the hills to the north, it’s a word to the wise – ‘i’m a-comin’, soon!’. 


Sure enough it did. I took the bus back to the south end of the GG Bridge, to go back to Marin Co., San Rafael. Glad i did, good timing, on the way north over the bridge i can see the headlands are engulfed in what is surely very cold fog.

By 3PM or so, i am home, editing pix, drinking a stiff screwdriver.

Life is good. At least right here, right now.

It doesn’t have to be that way, it can all change in a heartbeat, ‘in a new york minute’.

One good new link for ya: