What we're about

If you like to plan ahead, there are three hikes/walks/tours scheduled each week for the next three months. (Videos of past hikes are available here, click. While there you can Subscribe, comment and like what you see.) We'll be hiking in the most spectacular settings for the season. We'll hike in the shade if too hot and in the sun if chilly. Try to find the fog when the temps rise. Have lunch with a spectacular view and out of the wind. Hopefully with picnic tables and restrooms. Safety is always my #1 priority. I will be as aware as I can of any danger. But I can't be responsible for your safety. As adults you are responsible for your own personal safety and what you decide to do.
Liability Disclaimer: The organizer of this meet-up is not operating a business. All participants agree to assume 100% responsibility for their own safety, conduct, and well-being and recognize that possible hazards exist while participating in outdoor activities, and agree to participate solely at their own risk. If you RSVP “Yes” and/or attend any event, it shall be conclusively presumed that you understand and agree to this policy.

Look at some of the over 3000 photos (now over 4000) and picture yourself right there. Stay in shape and look ahead to bright days, sign-up for some hikes in the future while on-line here. 
The group is for walkers and hikers who love to be immersed in the gorgeous, special places California offers. And while in that immersion, connect not only emotionally to these places, but learn about the natural science and human history of the locations. And to do this with kindness, patience and open heartedly. And best of all to make friends with those we get to know. 
But the reality of managing a Meetup group is hard work. It has to be done carefully. Good judgement and basic people managing skills are needed. Around the world about roughly, 35% of those signing up for an Event, will actually show up.
I tell frequent no-showers to not bother to RSVP anymore and just show-up and surprise us! But some are RSVPing to whatever is interesting and then choose as the weekend approaches. I call it short-listing. I guess it's nice to make the short-lists.
When you compare Meetup to the social clubs of the past. Ski Clubs, Swim Clubs, Yachting Clubs, Country Clubs, Sierra Club, American Youth Hostels etc. Meetup is just Club Lite. Committing in a very personal relationship is a challenge for many. Is the same thing happening here in broader social relationships? Maybe keeping it lite is a way of compartmentalizing, keeping safe emotional boundaries. If friendships develop it will happen over the long term when an amount of certainty has developed?

If your work or life situation is totally stressing you out look for the Forest Bathing moments and Ocean Bathing (at Duxbury Reef) on the hikes that have as a goal reaching a meditative state of mind.
I've been leading hikes on Mt.Tam since 1995. So I know the areas very well. And also what to look for and when. I also love doing architectural tours of areas of Berkeley, the UC Campus, Albany, Richmond and El Cerrito. 
These are very doable hikes for everyone who can hike. If you can manage walking up some very steep hills, can maintain your balance on very rocky, root covered uneven surfaces and have the stamina to walk about five miles you'll do fine. I think the best thing is to have a routine where you are walking everyday including going on these hikes. Please let me know if I can answer any questions, as far as getting started?
If the above concerns you let me say this. You have to start somewhere. Walking is very gentle. Come do as much as you can and then come again and do a little more. If you have to stop and go back to your car, just be aware of the return route. There is so much to gain don't let negative concerns stop you.

The cost of living in the Bay Area is very high. We all have to work, or have had to work, very hard, to afford to live here. One of the mitigating factors is the openness to diversity found here. One aspect of life here we can control is how we access one of the most beautiful outdoor recreation areas in the whole country. Not only the beautiful lands, the Bay and bio-diversity but the weather to allow us to get outside 24/365. 
With the above said, utilize our amazing outdoors to forget about work and worries or the ravages of age and everyday cares and achieve a relaxed state of mind and body to the greatest extent you can. That's the goal of this Meetup and has been my personal goal for over twenty-seven years of spending as much time outdoors as I can. I'm never disappointed by this local outdoor experience. As well as the socializing, potential new friends met. Resulting in fulfillment of another vital need, maintaining our emotional well being and staying mentally healthy as well. 
The bang for the effort put in, outweighs the driving time effort and the trade-offs, versus something else I could be doing. 
Not only the intrinsic benefit of being out in nature. The physical/aerobic and muscle toning exercise is vital to our long term health. Regular outdoor hiking is a totally sustainable program of the healthiest, safest use of recreation time and a very affordable venue. I think the natural qualities found in the nature of Mt.Tam are unmatched by any other urban recreational area in the country. Make the best utilization of what is offered there. 
It seems many have the impression that to have a fulfilling outdoor experience something very special must be experienced, via thrill seeking. The lure of a waterfall, spectacular views, sunsets, the full moonrise, the very peak of the wildflower bloom, some sort of special outdoor event, an unusual snowfall here, the height of fall foliage, mushrooms in profusion or some other unusual or rare occurrence must be sought to get the bang the effort requires.
Don't get me wrong the above are all fabulous. But they do not result in your having a sustainable, regular program for good health, well being, relaxation and fitness. And the great fallacy is, yes the above are great, but a plain, old regular hike on Mt.Tam, once or twice a week is so fulfilling all by itself. In this manner you can add a new, way of a way of life experience. Not just hit or miss thrill seeking, but a way of life that results in sustainable, ongoing happiness and health.
Liability Disclaimer:

The organizer of this event is an unpaid volunteer and not a professional hiking guide. By signing up for this event you agree to assume all responsibility for your own safety, health consequences, conduct and well-being, and you hereby release its organizers, hosts and participants from any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action that you now have, or may have in the future, for illness, injuries, damages, and/or economic loss of any kind or nature, arising in whole or in part out of the activities, advice, or information contained herein. You are also acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with this type of outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards.

Upcoming events (4+)

Victorian-SF-Arch.Heritage-Tour-Pac.Hts/Broadway-Laf.Pk&"Hello Dolly"Sing-Along!

###### Video of San Francisco-Architectural Heritage Tour of Pacific Hts./Broadway/Lafayette Park, on 5/11/22, link.

Because of these extraordinary times*, the best thing for me is to go watch a Broadway Musical, live, outdoors. Well that's happening not too far from SF. "Hello Dolly", at 2:00pm, Sunday, May 29, near the top of Mt.Tam.* Here's a link for all of the info and Meetup event, for going, Sunday.

Now back to Saturday:
This tour should take four hours. To do that we'll need to take a twenty minute lunch break. Bring a sandwich or buy one along the way, or hearty snacks and something to drink and we'll have the energy to complete the tour.

Looking at a Victorian, what to look for: (Google for definition)
Flat front Italianate-
Italianate with slanted bay-
Queen Anne Tower House-
SF Stick-
Queen Ann Rowhouse-
Type of Entry & Doorway(moon)-
Window embellishments-
Five Bay bump-out-
Decorative Ironwork-
Slanted or Square Bay Windows-
Floral Decor-
Fish scale&Diamond shingles-
Column Type-
Towers & Witch's Cap-
Stained Glass-
Carvings of Faces-
Newel Posts-
Western USA, Balloon Frame Construction
Fernando Nelson & Pelton's Cheap Dwellings-

Pacific Heights is known for being one of the most affluent neighborhoods in San Francisco. This tour highlights not only the diversity of the architecture, but also the people who built, occupied and maintained these grand properties. About 48 of which will be on our tour.

The walking tour covers approximately 30 blocks [masked] miles of walking). Due to the time involved dogs are not advised.

There's plenty of parking around the neighborhoods and no restriction on Saturdays.

Categorizing San Francisco Victorian Genres:
(The four style names used below are local San Francisco terminology and may have different meanings in other parts of the world.)

Development of woodworking mills South of Market provided the ornaments with which to make gingerbread houses There Was an Old English custom using fancy cutouts of gingerbread to decorate wedding cakes. The term gingerbread was now used in the decorating of Victorian houses.

1860 - 1870s Italianate: Buildings were vertical in emphasis with rounded classical detail, heavily bracketed overhangs and facades were either flat or had 5 sided bay windows.

1880s Sticks Style (also called East Lake): The early buildings in this genre relied heavily on plane vertical board decorations applied to the corner of the facade and the edges of the right angle bay windows. When such buildings included dense sawn ornament, turned elements, recessed panels and incised carving they are also called East Lake or Stick Eastlake.
On the West Coast particularly it was the name of a style of ornamental excess.

Late 1880s and 1890s Queen Anne : Gingerbread could be applied to both the Stick and Queen names and styles in San Francisco.
In Queen Ann surfaces are covered with a variety of patterns with fish scale and diamond shingles, lap siding and masonry, all covered in the same building.
Rooflines in the Queen Anne were irregular, combining the witches cap roof on a rounded or octagonal tower with a gable, sometimes decorated with a spool work gable brace. Frieze bands of foliated patterns wrapped around towers and tall chimneys often with terracotta patterns added to the effect of the overall texture. Horizontal proportions prevailed over the general vertical emphasis of the to previous styles.

1895 the 1910 Edwardian and Colonial Revival: The continued elaboration of ornament and facade shapes reached its height in the early 1890s. After that there was a gradual move towards simplicity and away from excess and toward, order. These two styles overlapped and shared characteristics that were distinguished by the restrained use of classical ornament, flat planes and facades which were square or rectangular and were topped by either a hip roof or a flat roof with a heavy cornice.
The brash individuality of the late Victorians subsided into reticence and delivered good manners. Eccentricity gave way to strict conventions, quiet lines and understated quality materials. Money now made understatement its chief method of display. Style was no longer measured in pounds of gingerbread ornament per square foot, but its elegant proportions and an air of restfulness.
I've done a lot of work on the "Hello Dolly", Mtn.Play events on Mt.Tam this Spring as well as several tours of GG Park (a Victorian era Creation). Combining those with this tour makes me want to do some "Hello Dolly", Victorian era sing-along songs. Seems fitting!

Best of 2022-Green Gulch Zen Center & the Muir Beach Volunteer Firemans Picnic

Because of these extraordinary times the best thing for me is to go watch a Broadway Musical, live, outdoors. Well that's happening a short distance from us today, "Hello Dolly", at 2:00pm, near the top of Mt.Tam. We can do everything planned here but add that. Let's talk about it, together, at the start today.

In the morning we'll walk over to the Green Gulch Zen Center. If available we'll stay for the Dharma Talk, bake and organic greens sale and the organic lunch of soup, salad, fresh baked bread, coffee & teas. If not available we'll hike up to the top of Coyote Ridge.
Then it's off to the Muir Beach Volunteer Fireman's Picnic.

The Picnic hasn't been held since the Pandemic began.
Stay for the picnic and music then continue back anytime to the cars with or without the hike leader. (It is a simple route back to the cars from the picnic. Just walk down Frank Valley Rd. west or go across the road to the Redwood Creek Trail back, making a left when reaching Hwy.1. Continue to the Pelican Inn making a right here, straight back to the Muir Beach Parking Lot.
(For details check the Picnic's poster here in the photos)
After a two-year hiatus, the 48th Annual Muir Beach Volunteer Firemen’s Barbecue returns on Sunday, May 29 from noon to 5pm. Enjoy delicious food, fantastic live music, tasty craft beers and premium wine. The Firemen’s Barbecue is a festive gathering and fundraiser for the Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Keeping the nearly-50-year tradition going, local favorites Andre Pessis and his All-Stars will be back to get the spirited crowd on the dance floor with their classic rock and R & B tunes. Wreckless Strangers, a collective of six seasoned Bay Area musicians known for their collaborative songwriting and high-energy live shows, will kick off the afternoon with their infectious blend of music they call "California Americana Soul."
Muir Beach firefighters and community members tend to smoky grills. Barbecue chicken and vegetarian tamale lunches, hand made desserts, plus sodas, beer and wine will be available for purchase, as are clothing and other items featuring the Fire Department iconic logo. The day’s activities end with a raffle for over 100 prizes that include fantastic accommodations, and gift certificates from popular Bay Area and beyond restaurants and attractions.

Bring water, snacks, hiking boots, hat, sunscreen, something to sit on and your hiking pole.
Also I give everyone name tags to help get things off the ground socially,

Event Added(especially,for those of us in shock),Mtn.Play on Mt. Tam-Hello Dolly

I've added this Event now, because of these extraordinary times*, the best thing for me is to go watch a Broadway Musical, live, outdoors. Well that's happening not too far from SF. "Hello Dolly", at 2:00pm, Sunday, May 29, near the top of Mt.Tam.
I've seen it, it's fabulous. **Here's a link to see what it's like. (**When there click on the link to your favorite show-stopper.)

Marin County's, Mountain Theater/Cushing Memorial Theater. Mountain Play Assoc. presentation of, "Hello Dolly". The theater is located at about the 2000' level, high on Mt.Tamalpais. The weather this Sunday may be perfect.

If you have accessibility needs here is a link to what the Play can provide.
Also there is on-site support for those with mobility issues right on-site. (Not mentioned above.)

Find parking along West Ridgecrest Blvd. When you get to Rock Spring Parking lot take the left fork for about 0.2 miles. (Don't be mis-directed here. Go left.) There is parking here along the right shoulder. Keep going until you find a spot. Let's meet here. Look for me in a, big, bright red, Tesla.
If meeting @ the Theater,call me when there at[masked].

It's nice to have a blanket/pillow, water, snacks, a big hat, binocs and sunscreen. Make a picnic of it, with all kinds of picnic fix-ins. Cushioned stadium seats are for rent there.

Seating is first come, first serve, for the most part.
Sitting in the shade is best.
Cushioned seat backs can be rented at the Theater. It's nice to have a pillow, water, snacks, a big hat and sunscreen. There are buses up to the Theater from Mill Valley, also special parking is available with a shuttle as alternatives.
Where to Meet: There is a large white flag pole at the top of the Theater. This is the, in the Theater, meeting location. If you miss where we parked, meet here and give me a call. [masked]. I'll meet you.

Where to Sit: In the shade if it's hot. If the fog is rolling in, bundle up. (Have a blanket available in the car, just in case.)

If you would like to be a volunteer at the Play. Click here for info.
(I choose the Sing-Along date of June 11.)

Click here to purchase on-line.) Tickets

Hello, Dolly!, the blockbuster Broadway hit, bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallaher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” are certain to thrill and entertain audiences of all ages again and again.
Jerry Herman’s feel-good score includes such memorable songs as “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Elegance,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” and the title song “Hello, Dolly."
This one-of a kind mountaintop event takes Bay Area theatre-goers of all ages to the pinnacle of musical theatre experience.

Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre, or the Mountain Theatre, is a 3750-stone seat, open-air venue in Mount Tamalpais State Park, in Marin County. It has redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from its 2,571-foot peak. On a clear day, visitors can see the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the bay, hills and cities of the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. The theatre is remote, therefore, remember to come prepared! Bring water and whatever you need to protect you from sun exposure. For a list of suggested things to bring with you to enjoy the show and all other questions, click here.

Hike Along the Bay Trail/Richmond Waterfront

Needs a location

We'll do a 4-5 mile walk along the Bay Trail/Richmond Waterfront. There are many, many POIs to see I'm sure. Including nice places to stop for lunch.

If you have POI recommendations let me know. Like sometime it would be great to tour the Red Oak Victory, WW II cargo ship docked near Richmond Harbor.
Some eatery recommendations!

I moved to El Cerrito and the house I've lived in, in 1993. But since 1995 I spent the majority of my leisure time hiking around Mt.Tamalpais. It seems like just a hop and a skip from EC to Mt.Tam. But there have been tremendous improvements in the walking and hiking around here. So time to get going on it! So please make recommendations.


Past events (429)

Mt.Tam's Most Splendid Trails

Needs a location

Photos (5,152)