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Black Sands Beach Hike

Marin Headlands Hike  (Black Sands Beach) 
Date: 14th December 2013 (Saturday) 
Duration: 1 day 
Difficulty: Easy 
Distance: ~10 miles 
Trails: Rhubarb, Oakwood Valley, Bay Area Ridge Trail, Rodeo Valley, Coastal, Old Bunker Road and Tennessee Valley 
  

Picasaweb Album link: here 

It’s been about a week since this hike and this memoire has been long due. I am writing this from India. I had my flight to India on 15th of December and I wanted to get some physical activity in before heading to Bangalore for the holidays. This hike for me was as impromptu as it can get. I checked with Willy on the availability of spots on this hike (meetup) and jumped right in. Avinash also joined me for this hike and so the two of us carpooled to the trailhead after a short coffee break at Starbucks in San Francisco. 


We were at the trailhead or what we thought was the trailhead at 10am. The group was supposed to be around 25 people and having met only five other people, it dawned upon me that we were at the wrong point. All of us decided to drive ahead till the end of the road and to no one’s surprise we met up with all of the others there. Quick introductions followed Willy’s instructions and we were off on the hike. I don’t recall the names of the trails but I’ll try my best to state them. The irony was after we walked for about a mile, we were at the same place as before – where we had waited for a couple of minutes. 


The hike towards the ocean was a lot of fun with occasional bouldering and a lot of enjoyable chatting with everyone around. We passed through a ranch with loads of horses on the way to black sands beach. The descent to the beach was fantastic. Half way down the trail, we got to witness mesmerizing sights of seaside cliff formations – a very notable characteristic of the California coast. We were at the beach by 12:00pm. The first thing I did was getting my shoes out and hitting the sand and water. We played ball (catch-and-throw with a tennis ball) for a long while. Jamie transformed from a novice to an expert with all the inputs about the game from game master Lohit. 

  
We then climbed up the huge hill in the beach for a non-blocking panoramic view of the coast. It took a while for me to take in the details of the view and of course click a few pictures. I quickly grabbed a Trail Mix bar and we were off to the trailhead. The return was through different trails passing through HorseShoe beach. We were walking up the mountains with the golden hour of photography calling out for some great pictures. We got back to the trailhead a little after 5pm. What followed was dinner at Boo-Koo on Miller Ave in Mill Valley. Hats off to Lohit for suggesting this place. Amazing food. After dinner we headed back home. I reached the south bay by 8:00pm. I got home and started my packing for the long travel trip to India the next day.