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Posts Tagged ‘Marin County’

Lost or discarded?

Roof of car decorated with found objects

Artist found and created in Sausalito, Ca.  You better believe it!

Old car decorated with found objects with word "believe" in front.

And please, don’t “liberate” any of the found objects, in other words… stop stealing!!!

Found objects with clenched fist and peace symbol.

La lucha continúa.  Paz y amor a todos.

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I grew up and lived most of my life twenty minutes from the Pacific Ocean.  I learned to drive on the road up over Mt. Tamalpais out to Stinson, Muir, and Bolinas beaches.  Needless to say, countless trips followed and continue!  So, yesterday I made my regular “Bay Area visit” pilgrimage to the beach.  Even on a foggy day, the sights, sounds, and smells of Stinson Beach are magical…

Alas, it’s 6 hours by car up and over the long and winding roads of the Sierra Madre del Sur to reach Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca’s closest Pacific Ocean beach.  The alternatives:  10+ hours by bus (by way of Salina Cruz) or a short but costly flight.  Still waiting for the long-promised highway that is supposed to cut auto travel time to two hours!!!

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Like the space shuttle Endeavor, I am making a brief visit to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Endeavor shuttle in distance above the hills of the Marin Headlands

As you can see, I wasn’t the only person who decided Fort Baker in Sausalito offered a great viewing site for yesterday’s shuttle tour of the Bay Area.  Take off from Edwards Air Force Base was delayed an hour to avoid San Francisco’s ubiquitous fog.  However, we eventually spotted Endeavor as it flew in over the Marin Headlands.

Close-up of space shuttle Endeavor riding on top of Boing 747 against clear blue sky

I arrived crammed in the Economy class of a Boeing 737, my view limited to a porthole size window.  Endeavor had a bird’s-eye view as it rode piggyback on top of a Boeing 747.

Endeavor above Golden Gate Bridge

Endeavor circled around and buzzed the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a spectacular sight!

Endeavor above the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands

I will be landing at OAX in a few days on my way back to Casita Colibrí, while the Endeavor has already landed at LAX en-route to its new home at the California Science Center, where it will eventually be put on permanent display.

Cars and motorcycle waiting to go through tunnel of Marin Headlands.

I suspect Endeavor didn’t encounter this much traffic as it left the Bay Area.  However, just wait until it has to navigate Los Angeles freeways!

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I’m from the cradle of modern mountain biking; Marin County, California.  In fact, it has become so popular in Marin over the past 30+ years, traffic jams have ensued at trail heads and battles between hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers over safety and environmental issues frequently make the headlines of local papers.

With this recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it looks like mountain biking has “officially” come to Oaxaca.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the wise Zapotec elders up in Oaxaca’s Sierra Norte will find a way to keep the peace.  And, more than that, I’m hoping all you mountain bikers out there will be respectful of this beautiful land and her people.

From Friday, April 13, 2012 online Wall Street Journal…

Blazing Trails in Mexico

Mountain biking is rare in Oaxaca—but not for long

By TREVOR CLARK

[mexbike]
Mountain biking on the Tequila Trail near Oaxaca, Mexico – Trevor Clark

IT WAS EARLY. Hours from sunrise kind of early. My wimpy headlamp struggled to break through the predawn drizzle, and I could barely see my front tire or the trail ahead. Roots, rocks and stumps all seemed to be in cahoots, working together to upend me.

MEXBIKE

WHEEL WORLD | Riding out of the village of Benito Juárez in Oaxaca –  Trevor Clark 

I tried to become one with the bike. I tried to feel out the trail with my other senses. I tried to anticipate obstacles, but I am no Zen master. My mountain biking skills are rough under the best conditions, and I was in the jungle in the dark.

My mate’s more powerful headlamp suddenly provided a snapshot of a sharp turn and a wooden footbridge ahead. Then, lights out. I made an educated guess, went straight and took a hit that emptied my lungs: “Huhhhhh!” Cold water rushed into my clothes and pack as I lay in the stream, bike still on my feet, straight up in the air.

For a few moments, I laughed hysterically at my predicament and the fact that I was OK after missing the bridge. Then I picked myself up and kept moving.

We made it to the peak of Piedra Larga, a 10,761-foot-high lookout, for breakfast, corn-based hot chocolate and sunrise. As the sun slowly emerged from a thick layer of fog, we found ourselves hovering above a golden sea of clouds. The scenery was worth every blind pedal stroke.

MEXBIKE
HIGH ROAD | Taking in the view from a rock spire in the Sierra Norte – Trevor Clark

Seven of us had come to the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, Mexico, a forested mountain range in the northern part of the state. Oaxaca is known as the country’s culinary and cultural center, and many visitors experience it through cooking classes and gallery walks in the capital city. We, instead, were mountain-biking part of an ancient Zapotec network of walking trails that have connected eight villages to each other and the rest of the world for eons.

Mountain biking is fairly new to Mexico…. [Read FULL ARTICLE]

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