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Showing posts from October, 2012

PANAMA CANAL: The World's Most Famous Shortcut

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, PART 2: Nature Reserves

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DIPSEA TRAIL:  FROM MUIR WOODS TO STINSON BEACH Some of my most memorable trips and adventures happened without a plan. On a recent unseasonably warm California day, I was invited to hike the Dipsea. I was not really familiar with this hiking trail, or with its level of difficulty. Known to be one of the most difficult hiking trails in Northern California, the trail stretches more than nine miles from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach.

We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, drove the steep and winding Highway 1 to Muir Woods National Monument, a popular national park. It was Saturday, so it was hard to find parking. But we got lucky and found a parking spot just a few steps away from the park visitor entrance. We skipped the line and set off to hike from the tiny path from the parking lot.

After crossing the Redwood Creek, we immediately started our ascent. The trail was lined by ferns, and the hillside was covered in lush foliage. After a quarter mile, the lush landscape transitioned into dr…