Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day Trip to Half Moon Bay

 The week before last, the Bay Area was graced with beautiful, summer-like weather, so that weekend, Ed and I decided that a day trip to the coast was in order. We hadn't been out to Half Moon Bay in almost 3 years, and that was just for a evening/dinner trip.

So, Ed and I packed a picnic lunch, some warm clothes, and dressed out in running gear for a fun day by the ocean.

After a not too long and very beautiful drive, we soon arrived at our destination - a decent sized parking lot adjacent to a paved pathway that ran along the bluff about the ocean. It looked perfect for our 3 mile run, and I was excited to be running by the beach.

When we stepped out of the car, we were surprised by the force of the wind, turning what looked to be a warm sunny day into quite a crisp one. 

Despite the cold wind, the run was gorgeous - wildflowers were blooming along the coast, and the contrast between the yellows of the blooms, the green grass, and the blue sky and ocean was just gorgeous. 

We were even more excited to discover that a mere quarter mile down the paved trail, the path continued on dirt! We ran another mile and a bit down a beautiful single track that wound along the bluffs, keeping you generally within 10 feet of the edge, and always with spectacular views. 

It reminded me of Wilder Park, in Santa Cruz, where I used to run during my grad school days. We certainly weren't the only people out enjoying the beautiful scenery, and it was fun to be on such a flat, accessible trail. 

Right as we hit our turn around point, we came across snake hanging out on the trail! It was a very pretty garter snake (I think - I just know it had no rattle :) ). We stopped to admire it as it whisked into the grasses. Ed check the Garmin; we were at 1.5 miles exactly, so we turned around and headed back the way we came. It was just as beautiful going back, though the wind (and my legs) made me happy that we picked such a manageable distance. 

After we walked back to the car, we headed to another area to have our picnic. We changed into warmer clothes (though apparently not warm enough) and claimed ourselves a picnic table to enjoy our sandwiches and fruit. 

While the view was lovely, the stiff wind wasn't so great. We used our picnic quilt to wrap ourselves up and ate our food quickly, eager to get a respite from the cold. 

Once the food was done, we took one more look around the beach, and then headed back to our warm car. 

The wildflowers were beautiful here, too, and there were a few other brave picnic-ers out enjoying the vista.

Our last stop was going to be sitting in a restaurant having a glass of wine, but the cold weather drove us to a cafe instead. We found a nice place with a cute second story, where we got to enjoy looking out on the streets below. I had a delicious steamed milk with almond flavoring, which was lovely. 

All in all, the perfect spring outing!

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