With Dad at Salt Point State Park

Thursday morning, I got an IM from my Dad:

so if I were to appear on your doorstep in a couple of days for a few days what type of impact would that be to your lifestyle

Heh. No problem! Fast forward to Saturday at noon, and I get a call from my dad. “So which apartment number are you?” Apparently he found my doorstep, having come all the way from Texas no less.

He left Austin Thursday night, drove all day Friday, and made it into the Bay Area on Saturday. That’s 1814 miles for everyone keeping track. Blogging the whole way.

On Saturday Stephanie, my dad, and I drove out 116 to Jenner, then further up CA-1 than I’ve ever been to Salt Point State Park, known for providing the sandstone for “San Francisco’s streets and buildings during the mid 1800’s.” The weather was inexplicably clear. The fog stayed way off in the distance all day.

At several points along CA-1 we got out to admire the view (and to give dad a chance to regain his land legs—he gets the willies around steep heights). Here’s a view looking due west just north of Jenner.

Looking due west from CA-1, just north of Jenner

Later we stopped again and took a group shot.

Dad, Justin, and Stephanie on the California coast

We were a little confused about the park’s main entrance (it’s the one marked Gerstle Cove Campground), but eventually made it to Salt Point in the early afternoon. The wind was blowing at a decent clip, so we all put on 3+ layers and began hiking along the Salt Point trail towards Stump Beach Cove.

Occasionally we’d stop to explore the rocky landscape.

Salt Point State Park's rocky coastline

Here I decided to climb jump around on some big rocks (photo credit: Stephanie).

Justin jumps off a rock at Salt Point State Park

Neat erosion pattern called tafoni, thought to be caused by the salt and moisture in the wind alternately strengthening and weakening the sandstone.

Tafoni erosion at Salt Point State Park

Though only marked as 1.2 miles on the trail map (that we conveniently took a picture of at the park entrance for reference along the way) with the wind blowing against us, and no signage assuring that we were on the right path, it felt like we were walking forever. Eventually we made it to the blue green waters of Stump Beach Cove, where despite the constant wind, there were several dozen people hunkered down on the beach.

Stump Beach Cove at Salt Point State Park

After a brief jaunt on the shoulder of CA-1, we looped back around on the North Trail, which was a less windy, much warmer hike. Toward the end the trail got pretty medieval. We could have used a machete.

Stephanie had driving duty on the way back home and more importantly, toward food. We opted for the single-lane mountain road experience, in the form of Fort Ross Road, all the way through Cazadero and back down to 116. Not a drive for the weak of constitution.

We turned towards Guerneville for dinner, stopping at the first place we saw (not counting the only chinese food place in town) called the Roadhouse Restaurant and Bar at Dawn Ranch Lodge (nee Fifes Resort). The crabcake appetizers were tasty, I had a filet mignon topped with bleu cheese, dad had a pepper-crusted steak, and Stephanie had basil-stuffed gnocchi, all of which were quite excellent. We drank wine, we talked, and when it came time to head home, it was only because we were all thoroughly exhausted.


You’re making me hungry!
I sure hope you showed the Dad a good time

Xin Hui

tafoni is really beautiful

That was a beautiful trip and I had wished to be with you.
So now you have Stéphanie with you “good luck, with the tissues (kleenex)…!!!”
I’m very happy for both of you and I send you all my love for your new life.
Here, everything is fine. Aurelie is talking of having a baby. Yes, a baby….! we will see … With Frank, my love, every moment we share gives us happiness, joy and love. Thank you God ! Many kisses to you and Stéphanie. Chris


Marcia, yes he did. However he kept me all to himself, or is it because I’m shy, awkward, socially inept…one will never know. In any case I’m sorry that I was unable to meet you and his other CA friends.
Chris, I very much enjoyed meeting Stéphanie.


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