This was my favorite trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. I would typically hike seven miles in before stopping and painting. I would arrive at home at night having easily covered 14 miles on foot in the course of the day.
Near the head of the trail, a small footbridge crossed a narrow inlet where leopard sharks could be seen following the tide. When not painting, I would prepare magic brownies and hike to the mouth of the estuary. I would catch and release the leopard sharks. Wrangling those beautiful animals was exhilarating yet sobering. Turning them on their backs would make them completely docile. The object was to not harm the fish or myself – especially the latter, given the seven-mile hike to help. This particular spot was gorgeous, with high grasses and a variety of wildlife. In the center was a small but dense forest. The foliage darkened the path considerably. It gave me the willies every time I crossed it. I always felt something lurked in that wood. It was always dark and I dreaded trespassing at dusk. Knowing my silliness did not keep me from quickening my pace.