A Walk in the Woods

I decided, instead of taking my typical hiking photos of landscapes and wide angles, I’d focus on the little things with my macro lens in Mt. Tamalpais near Bolinas, California. This experiment proved more useful than I thought.

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I forced myself to slow down. Not worry about distance, speed, and time. Instead I shifted my focus from the grander scene to the small details that surrounded me. Step-by-step, foot-by-foot, these tiny environments that had so much to offer and learn from.

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Every step I took led me to a new world, a new object to admire and be inspired by, to lose myself in the details of something that can be so easily overlooked.

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Bolinas Ridge Trail, Mt Tam, California

So much quality can be found in such a small space. I feel like within this Western world we live in we get so caught up in productivity, mass, longevity, quantification, more is more is best. When I force myself to focus on these tiny details, to slow down, I open up another world of possibility–another world to show me something new, something beautiful, something that makes the other worlds seem less immediate and overwhelming.

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Bolinas Ridge Trail, Mt Tam, California

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Alamere Falls

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Alamere Falls is a great hike for those who are able to complete ~9 miles of moderate hiking. Located in Point Reyes, the secluded destination is beloved by all Bay Area hikers. Simply follow Hwy 1 to rural roads shrouded in eucalyptus trees, followed by a dirt road, just past the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. You can enter Palomarin Trail Head as your Google Maps destination but be mindful of losing data services once you get into Point Reyes. Once you park your car in the trail head parking lot, go up the stairs and keep following signs for Coastal Trail. Along the trail, you’ll see beautiful cliffs, lush forests (especially during the rainy season), hidden lakes, and lots of wildlife. The few hills you’ll come across have a very moderate slope but will definitely give your glutes something to talk about the next day.

The trail is lined in poison ivy and poison oak so be sure to bring some Simple Green, or other degreaser, diluted in water to rinse off the irritating plant oils–or just wear pants and long sleeves! The invasive species are pretty easy to avoid until you get to the trail shoot-off that takes you out to the coast where the California beach waterfalls are located.

Follow the Alamere Falls trail and duck through arching foliage until you see blue waters. Keep heading to the right and you’ll see the upper cascades of the breath taking coastal falls.

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To get down to the beach, cross over the falls and keep moseying over to the right. You’ll hit a little slot canyon that you can boot scoot down to the sea.

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Over the years, this trail has become a pretty popular one among San Francisco Bay Area hikers, so get there early, or on a weekday, for some solitary nature therapy. Backcountry camping is also available through the Bear Valley Recreation Center for Point Reyes National Seashore. I hope Alamere Falls becomes your next hiking destination and you enjoy it as much as I did!