top of page

Backpacking NorCal/Oregon Part 6 | Bolinas & San Francisco

Well, this is it. The trip is winding down now and only a few days left. Waking up in Mattole beach was bittersweet; we’re currently at an amazing location but we have a couple more stops to make. So we pack our bags and make our long 5 hour drive down to Point Reyes/Bolinas for one last night of camping before we hit San Francisco for a couple days.

Getting out of Mattole Beach was a long, boring process that seemed to take FOREVER...because it did. The roads suck but if you read part 5 you already knew that.

Not much to report on the drive, we did stop in Honeydew to take some pictures driving through the Redwoods. I don’t think I have any pics though, so you won’t get to see any but my friend Tristan took a few and posted them (I believe it was him) you can check them out on his Instagram. There was another cool spot along the drive on either Highway 1 or 101...can’t remember but the road split between marshland to the left (if you’re traveling south) and Pacific ocean on the right. Didn’t take any photos because we were driving but nonetheless it was cool to look at and the scenery along the coast made the 5 hour drive a breeze.

I lied...I took this photo. But that was it

Hiking the Ocean Loop Trail in Bolinas, California was pretty cool as well. Not the most memorable hike by any means but moderately difficult and good views for the most part. You get a great view of the surrounding hills, a couple lakes, and the ocean. Plus a little waterfall on the beach off in the distance!

You can see the waterfall that leads into the ocean on the center/right hand side of the pic
Onwards to the campground

We were super pumped to get to the campground and eat some dank mac & cheese which I gladly recorded in slow motion for us. We were really looking forward to this meal - the best camping meal all trip for sure. The beach was windy and cold that night and we were not prepared or excited about it. We went to bed early tonight, I wish I would’ve taken more pics of the stars because I got up in the middle of the night to pee and there were more stars out tonight than the Lost Coast; I was too tired and just didn’t feel like setting up. Oh well. Remember in one of my earlier blog posts how I learned the value of “patience” and taking the extra time to get the shot you want so you don’t regret it later? It seems I already forgot it haha.

The next morning we woke up and semi-packed everything before heading over to the water to check out the beach; our campsite was behind some hills maybe 50 yards from the beach and waterfront. Another regret was not walking to the waterfall to get some pictures. I started walking in that direction thinking it wouldn’t be too bad; it was like that 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', endless running scene. No matter how far I walked, that waterfall didn’t get any closer haha. And I knew I had to walk back and then the hike immediately after. I just wasn’t feeling it. But...I wish I would’ve snagged an up close picture.

Our view of the beach!
Short walk through there to get back to our tent

We actually drove north a little bit into Point Reyes and stopped at the Cypress Tree Tunnel which was a really cool stop.

I forgot about this boat. Here it is

Took a bunch of photos and we even grabbed a group picture that someone in our group has.

Do we look like tourists yet?

Ian wanted to find some tree he saw on Instagram but the road to get there was closed and we weren’t even 100% sure where it was after that road. The tree tunnel was unique and the ocean views on the cliffside were amazing.

Don't look down

Again, very windy and cold up here….must be getting close to the Bay Area.

We hopped in the car and head south towards San Francisco taking Highway 1. It takes forever to get anywhere because the road is so windy, and you want to go slow to appreciate the views. There are so many trails and camping spots along the way you could spend weeks driving the Pacific Coast highway and stopping off at all these destinations and camp out. As we got closer to San Francisco, we had one thing on our mind. In-and-Out Burger.

Get in my belly!

We went to the one in Mill Valley just before you get to the Golden Gate Bridge and our 48 hour feast only just started.

After demolishing In-and-Out, we drove into San Francisco and checked into our hotel which was actually in a prime location in the Outer Sunset District.

I’ve been to San Francisco a handful of times, and I’ve loved it every single time. Not sure what it is about the city but I like it more than most other big cities I’ve been too. I think it's the combination of the hills, mountains, and ocean and the unique character that constantly changes from district to district.

That blue building was our hotel

The outside doesn’t look like much but the inside is clean, nice, comfortable and again the location is top notch right on the water with a couple coffee shops, bars, liquor store and laundromat all within walking distance. After checking in we all showered and took a nap. And it was a Friday...which means Food Network was airing my favorite 'Diners Drive-Ins and Dives' TV marathon. So really, everyone else napped and Ian and I watched 'DDD'.

Looks like a painting

Then, guess what? That’s right. We ate some more. We toyed with the idea of going to the Warriors Game 4 against the Raptors but the cheapest tix were in the nosebleeds and cost $850! Maybe we could buy one ticket, and each get to watch a quarter haha. But I decided I wasn’t going to live on the streets of San Fran just to see the Warriors instead I watched them lose at a bar. The atmosphere around San Francisco during the Warriors game was incredible. I’ve been in Harrisonburg for so long I forgot what game day felt like in the city when you see everyone walking around supporting the team; restaurants and bars showing the game exclusively. We found some pool bar and just drank cheap beer and stood around watching the game.

Then we rode over to the Mission district to eat the biggest burrito I had ever seen in my life! Holy cow! Yes...I ate it’m not proud. But it was good. After that we went to a couple bars to drink but I was so full I could hardly drink anything.

*Insert Italian Chef Kiss here

The next day was another chill day full of eating (surprise) and we grabbed lunch at an Italian shop, ‘Molinari Delicatassen’ which was incredible! A unique restaurant/shop, salami is hanging from the ceiling, you choose your bread out of an old wine barrel and they make your sandwich right there with fresh ingredients. We headed over to Washington Square to eat and just soak in our surroundings. The food was amazing. One of the best meals of the trip, I can still taste the italian sub to this day. Next we grabbed some ice cream and checked out the tourist destination, Fisherman's Wharf. I’ve been here a few times and it’s a cool little spot. I should’ve convinced them to take the ferry over to Alcatraz because I think everyone would’ve enjoyed it - but the food coma was setting in so we went back to the hotel and….slept.

I reached out to my dad for some good sushi spots in the city and he recommended ‘Daigo Sushi’ THIS was the best meal of the trip I've been hyping up in my previous posts. I’ve had some great sushi from all over the U.S, including Hawaii. This might be the best sushi I’ve had and if not it’s easily in the Top 5. Easily. The food was phenomenal, I went in expecting a lot and was still blown away by the quality of the fish and rice. We washed it all down with some Sake and a couple pitchers of beer and then headed out to get more food. I told you...we did nothing but eat and sleep in San Francisco.

We checked out ‘The Ice Cream Bar’ and once again was not disappointed. The line was long, and for good reasons. Everyone loved what they got and I stepped out of my comfort zone and didn’t get something chocolate or peanut butter and I still loved it.

Don't remember what it was, but it was good!

That summed up our San Francisco trip and the next day we drove down to Fresno to fly home. I landed in Washington DC around 6am Monday morning and drove to work.

All in all - this was a fun trip and an experience I will never forget. I guess it took me so long to edit the photos and video because in my mind once I did that, then the trip was over. But atlas, all the photos have been edited and the video is just about done and we’re planning our next big hike. San Francisco once again reminded me of how cool a city it is and I got to see California and Oregon in ways I never thought I would have experienced the state. Until the next trip.



bottom of page